This I Believe

Hillary - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Seeing the World through an Open Mind

As Barbra Bush once said, “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.” I believe in open-mindedness. When we open our eyes, we can see more than skin color, social status, racial profiles, stereotypes, and age. We can see wisdom, knowledge, humor, love, acceptance, and appreciation.

I believe that one man does not represent all that he identifies with. I have learned through my short life so far, that each group of people, each race, each age group, each “type” of person you discriminate against, your world gets smaller and smaller. Diversity in friends is key in acquiring knowledge about the world around you. Teaching our younger generations the true power of love, is the greatest gift we can all give.

I believe in acceptance. Accepting everyone allows anyone to accept us and appreciate our love and giving spirit. To give is better than to receive, haven’t we all heard that enough? It may be a tired Christmas jingle, but it has never rang more true than in the world we live in today. You’d be surprised at how much love you receive when you learn to appreciate the differences in people. I believe in knowledge, and I pity narrow-mindedness. I feel bad for those who think down upon African-Americans, because they can’t appreciate their amazing culture and historical background like I can. I weep for those who denounce the words of the elderly, because they can not absorb their wisdom like I can. I believe in unconditional friendship.

I believe in kindness. Kindness can change the world, and peace would be a result of the change. I believe in appreciation. But how does one convey appreciation? Acting with kindness can change a person’s life for the better, in turn, never ending gratitude. I believe in ideas. Ideas that people can all get along, ideas that people really aren’t driven by evils such as money, lust, pride, greed, and power. I believe in conversation. You can learn more about one person in conversation than you can by instigating rumors and implying stereotypes. You will never learn about someone unless you ask. You will never learn to appreciate someone unless you understand them. Understanding is the oxygen that fuels the fire of the nurturing passionate spirit that drives the most optimistic and positive people to try and change this world. I believe in the power of change, and all the great it can do in this sometimes gloomy atmosphere we thrive for life in.