Austin - Alma, Arkansas
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality

I believe that a person’s beliefs and views on life are a natural right given to every human being. It is part of our free will that makes us who we are. Very often, people aren’t willing to accept other people’s beliefs or lifestyles. This can be seen throughout the world and throughout the history of the world. For example, religious and ethnic based wars occur very frequently all throughout history.

I live in small town in Arkansas that is very conservative. I have witnessed similar persecution here in several different ways. One thing that stands out to me is kids making fun of gays. I too was one them that would occasionally go along with a joke about gays. I realized how harsh and immoral this was and have begun to accept them for who they are, not what they have labeled to be. Now I have begun to think like this for everyone that has different beliefs or lifestyles than me.

My town has also shown me the great ethnic disagreements that are present still to this day. My town is around 93 percent white. In the past their have been a few issues that have arisen over race, as with many other communities in Arkansas. This type of persecution is the worst in my book. I think that separating someone because of ethnicity is very pointless. People are born the way they are and should be treated as any other human being should.

Religion is another thing that is often made an issue between people locally and globally. People throughout the ages have been harassed solely on their religious beliefs or non-beliefs. The 1st Amendment gives all citizens the freedom of religion. It is something that makes America great. It gives people the chance to coexist and live peacefully together. Unfortunately, this doesn’t ultimately stop people from persecuting others for their beliefs.

I believe that any problem can be solved through acceptance of others and seeing the other person’s side of the story. It goes along with the ideas of the Golden Rule, which says “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I hope that my belief in acceptance will continue to grow long into my life. I hope it will lead me to happier, more peaceful life.