This I Believe

Rachael - fayetteville, New York
Entered on December 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Equality Does Not Discriminate.

I believe that no matter your color, age or sexuality we are all equal because we have one thing that connects us our right to live.

People in history have struggled to earn equal rights, from the people who were immigrants working in the Factories, to equal rights for women, and then equal rights for blacks. They have fought for what is right and through hardship, and pain they have come out on top. But do we have to go though what happened again? Do we have to shed more innocent blood, and ruin more lives just so we can have equal rights for the people who don’t? Have we not learned anything from our history, our past?

I understand what it is like to be discriminated against being relatively new to this country; many people have made jokes at my expense. Laughing at the food I like, the activities I take part in, and the culture of the country I am from: England. They laugh asking if I take time from my afternoon to drink tea, sometimes it is a harmless question, but other times it is in a mocking voice, something they have no idea about. On the surface I laugh along and joyfully answer their question, but deep down I wonder if my culture is really so different, so new that they don’t understand, that they had to make fun of it.

As part of my culture I have been taught that I should never make fun of someone else’s life or beliefs. I should try to understand them and then effectively form my own opinions. Also the old saying also comes into it “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” So I don’t, but it confused me when my fellow classmates stated how my way of life was “weird”.

My friend from England recently came “out” telling me he was gay. This of course did not bother me., I was shocked but only because I did not see it coming. When I confided

In one of my friends they said something that still scares me. “ Maybe you should stop being friends, I mean it’s not natural being like that, they are just not normal” Just because he is gay does not mean he does not have the same rights as you or me. It does not mean he has less of a right to live, to have friends, or to just enjoy the pleasures of life. But what is “normal” and how can we tell who, or what is normal?

These are the questions that seem to make people think, that questions that help us form our own opinions. We don’t always agree with other people, but we should all agree on one thing, we should all agree that if we can think, breath, and live then we should all have equal rights. Of course these questions will never have a definitive answer. So while you sit here and try to decide what is “normal”, I am the one out there believing in the equal right to live and acting on the equal right of friendship.