This I Believe

Sam - Kansas
Entered on November 16, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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These days, there is no world war to fight in. No great depression, no epidemic to fear. Today’s struggle, the war we all fight, is one to discover who we are as individuals. I fought and fell then got back up on my feet to become a stronger person with more confidence in myself than ever before. The trials I faced made me realize one very important thing: Live and let live. Everyone is fighting a war of their own, and it’s your job to make sure you don’t make their war any more difficult than it already is.

I know the phrase “live and let live” has become hackneyed but I believe it is one of life’s most important lessons. What is accomplished by going out of your way to make someone else’s life worse? Why would someone exert energy for negative ends? Life is hard enough are your own, we don’t need any more complications.

My test was surviving two years of private school. After seventh grade, the opportunity arose for me to switch from public schools to a premier private school and I took the opportunity. Those were the two worst years of my life. The entire school was a crucible of insecurities brought about by mind numbing amounts of gossip, group exclusivity, and uniformity. I was stunned that these people would go to such great lengths to blackball one another. It was so easy to make fun of someone else for a temporary boost in confidence that I found myself taking part in their game. Freshman year I went into depression. I couldn’t get out of depression because of the negative energy everyone else put forth towards each other. After freshman year I left. I had to leave, I had to grow as an individual and they inhibited my growth. I resumed my public school studies in advanced classes sophomore year. I hated every minute in that school but I walked away with a better understanding of the phrase “live and let live”. I fought my war and can sympathize with everyone that is now fighting their own war.