This I Believe

Justin - Independence, Missouri
Entered on November 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Justin S. Harman

I believe in symbolism. Everything means something to someone that might mean something totally differently to someone else.

The clothing you wear is a plethora of symbols. The way you wear your hat can mean anything to someone. Your shoes, and the way you tie the laces can have a unique effect on someone. The way you wear a bandana can put you in a bad situation. I often get in trouble for wearing one, period. If you wear a jersey, you are presenting yourself as a fan of that team. Many times in life you make big choices by what city, or background you’re from. You have to represent your city as your clothes represent you. The way you talk easily gives away where you originate from. What food you like, and are used to, the way you act. Everything means something. A pair of sneakers on the power line means that a gang controls that area. A symbol tagged on a wall can mean anything.

Now, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you should know what the cover says before you read the book. I’ve been around bikers most of the time. The stereotype that bikers can be cut throats killers is true. But not for all bikers, my dad is a biker in a Christian club. He’s prospecting to get his patch. A patch has three essential pieces, and each tells what level of involvement in a club a member is at. Bikers are usually involved with tattoos. Now, tattoos are permanent, but the things you can represent when you get them can change. This I’ve noticed is common in the Christian community. I’ve seen people with tears under their left eye. Which usually means they’ve killed someone in prison. A spider web means that at one point, the holder of the tattoo was ready to kill. The spiders on the web are the way you tell how many victims the con holds. The type of bike, also, tells you much about a biker. A person on a crotch rocket is usually a younger person than an old guy on a bobber.

I’ve told you the negative symbols of every day. But, many symbols can mean something good. A rose, it represents love to some people. A set of Hebrew lettering can say that person believes Jerusalem is the Holy land. A scripture reference can mean anything depending on the verse. There has always been a good side and bad side of everything. This included people, if you see a man wearing a cross round his neck, and then see a tear tattooed under his eye. Try to get to know him, or stay far away. Your instincts will kick in, so you’ll know if he is someone that might be a good person.

Symbolism is a great thing, but remember not to judge a book by its cover. But also know what the cover is saying before you expose yourself to the content, whatever it is.