This I Believe

Jarrett - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Everyday someone questions who I am and what I believe in. With all the labels out there I would think it would be easy to say whether I am a “this kind of person” or “that kind of person”, either a punk, a jock, or a nerd but none of these can possibly explain who I am, I am me. I believe in a person’s right to be an individual.

Today more than ever do I believe it is important to understand and accept people for who they are and what they believe in. Is it fair to say that someone must be just like another person because they share a particular trait or interest such as gender, nationality, race, or even musical taste? Of course not, because every person is unique!

By collectively categorizing someone I feel that I take away a part of them, something that is missed because I cannot look beyond differences or something I don’t understand. That person that I am judging could become my best friend, but only if I look past the exterior and focus on the core. I ask myself, “who is this person and what do they stand for,” only then can I honestly make an accurate appraisal of who a person is.

Too often am I pressure by the world today to categorize and analyze people based on looks alone. By refusing stereotypes and accepting individuals for who they are I have increased my understanding of cultures and peoples from around the world as well as meeting life-long friends. I believe that everyone brings something new and fresh to my life if and only if I allow them to.

Sometimes I think of how easy it would be to just ignore someone’s individuality and judge them accordingly but then I remember that everyone’s voice should be heard. I choose to be heard too, because I believe.