This I Believe

Andrea - Oak Park, California
Entered on October 25, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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-It’s Different, but it’s Life-

In first grade, we learned about three different holidays celebrated in the United States; Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. I remember asking my friends what the celebrated, and more than half of them said Hanukkah. It was completely normal to say I’m Jewish, or I’m Christian. It didn’t even occur to me that religion and culture kept people throughout the world apart.

On September 11, 2001, I was introduced to the horrors of the world. The attacks occurred on the Twin Towers because Al Qaeda believed that the only right way of living is their own way. If you didn’t have the same beliefs or the same culture, you didn’t deserve to live. Thousands of people died, due to the different looks, religions, and government. I never understood (and still don’t) how in one part of the world a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim can be neighbors and friends, while in another they couldn’t even be in the same country.

The Holocaust is also an example of religious differences. The German Nazis tortured and killed innocent people because of their cultures and beliefs.

In middle school, I went to so many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, I memorized the main prayer and even the order of the ceremony. At school, we even get all the Jewish holidays off, because there are so many Jewish kids.

With the wars going on, and the fighting, it gives everyone a bad look upon the Middle Eastern countries. It’s not their fault that every society cannot seem to agree with each others cultures. I mean the United States government has done a very good job at pointing fingers and not accepting their own mistakes. We started this war in Iraq because of the government’s mistakes, yet be blame the whole population, why? We overthrew their government and created one just like ours. Because of this, I believe that our government is very hypocritical. I don’t believe that the world should be just like the United States. In fact, it’s okay with only one of us.

There isn’t a perfect world close in our future, I know that. Children will learn about their parents’ beliefs and go on living life with those same beliefs. No one should ever have to change their culture that they grew up with or what they believe in, to make the perfect world we all want. I believe change is good, in the way of everyone accepting everyone’s religion and culture. If we all believed in the same thing, sure there would be no wars to fight or governments to overthrow, but there would be that empty place in life. Never filling and never ending. This is what I Believe, freedom to live life how you want too, and never let it change for anything.