This I Believe

Laurie - Rhinebeck, New York
Entered on June 19, 2006
Age Group: 65+
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I believe in equality for all human beings. We are all the same, we feel, we think, we hurt and we bleed the same. All parents feel love toward their children and the cry and pain is the same for all human beings and animals when one of their young is hurt or killed. At age 18, my parents took my fiance’ and I to a wedding in Harlem. The daughter of a minister friend was getting married. I was not raised to be prejudiced so this was very normal for me. The bride was beautiful as well as the wedding and we were treated like honored guests. When I learned later on of prejudice, I was appauled. I could not understand it. My Mother and Father had instilled these beliefs in me and I never even knew it. I was married and had three children when I first found out that Jewish people were also discriminated upon. My neighbor told me she was in love with a Jewish boy and were turned away from a beach in Florida by a sign that read: “NO JEWS ALLOWED”. I certainly did not understand that. How can anyone tell what another persons religion is by looking at them? Afterall, it couldn’t be their skin color. We were well into the Viet Nam war when I realized that this country was fighting amongst themselves. How could anyone tell a North Viet Nam person from a South Viet Nam person? They look the same, they are all brothers and sisters under the skin. What’s with that? The same as the South against the North in America. What a terrible waist of human flesh. When will the people on our planet learn something. Who cares if a person is a Tootsie or a Htoo? Why all this hatred for people that are slightly different than we are? What a waste of time and money when we could all band together and invent wonderful things to make the world better. The root of all this hatred is in a person’s bringing up. What they are taught from birth at home and out in the world. If you are taught prejudice against other people for whatever reason, you believe this with all your being and of course pass this on to your children and their children. I met a young black woman who became my closest friend. She was my maid-of-honor when I got married. I learned so much from this beautiful human being that I would not have known if I had been prejudiced against people of color. I would have missed out on knowing an outstanding person. What is it in us that breeds prejudices? Jealousy and envy of what they have and we don’t have? Material things? Knowledge? Talent? I thank God I had the parents I had that brought me up to believe in equality for all human beings. I have no understanding of people that believe they are always “right” about everything and everyone else is “wrong”. Be it religion, feelings, beliefs or traditions. Everyone has the right to choose their own destiny. If Gay people want to get married, let them. They deserve to be loved and love just as much as anyone else. The magic word is love. I just heard that Willie Nelson wrote a book about love. It’s the most natural and rewarding feeling in the world, and it comes to us in so many different ways. A parent, a child, a friend, flowers, writing, food, and religion. It’s ours for the taking and to enjoy while we are on this earth. I BELIEVE we should all take it as it’s ours for the taken. It’s our RIGHT. Man is created equal and they should be our equals. Believe in ourselves and all other human beings. Make your life a happy one.