This I Believe

Jennifer - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in giving everyone a fair chance. Looking past others outward appearances and going in depth to their soul; finding out what makes them laugh, cry, angry, what they are passionate about, and how we are alike in so many ways but different.

Growing up, race was never an issue. I lived on a military base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Living on a military base, all of my friends and closest neighbors were from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Spending ten years of my life there influenced me in many positive and negative ways. Since we never questioned that we were different because of outside appearance, I felt I was sheltered from the outside world that did only judge you based on your outside appearances. Yet it taught me to look past peoples’ outside appearances

I can remember one summer when race did come into question. I attended First Baptist Church and we would always take trips together to fellowship with each other and to just have a great time. This time we had decided to take a trip to Fantasy Lake, which was a little water park ran by a family. When we arrived we got off of the bus to go inside the entrance of the park. When our leader of the trip tried to enter through the gate, the owner’s son closed her up inside of the gate. Half of her body was inside the gate and the other half outside the gate. After the men that were with us got her free from the gate, they asked everyone to get back on the bus. When we returned to the church, I was wandering what went wrong because everything happened so fast. As I continued to think about what had happened, race never crossed my mind, because I have never been in this situation before. After the whole incident we found out it was because of our color why he did not let us in the park. He did not know that we were all African Americans.

For a while I was taken aback from people I didn’t already know and trust. I was still in shock. I could not believe people really acted this way. It took a while for me to get back to what I believed in and what I know. I can remember I got some help when I went to a birthday party and we are all sitting around eating cake and ice cream, and a man said, “I can’t believe my eyes that I am sitting in a room with people from all different cultures and backgrounds and we all can enjoy each other’s company without even thinking about we are all so different.” He reminded me that there are really good people in this world. In retrospect I believe in giving everyone a fair chance.

In retrospect I believe in giving everyone a fair chance.