This I Believe

Haylie - Camas, Washington
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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A Rebel With A Cause

I am a rebel.

Anyone who knows me, anyone who knows my name, will laugh at that statement. It’s true that I’m generally considered a goody-two-shoes extremist, but the statement still remains accurate. I believe it’s true with all my being, and no one will ever prove to me otherwise.

Of all the life lessons I’ve learned up to this point, a large portion of them have come from my experiences in high school. As I’ve walked the hallways these past years, I have come to realize that one of the natural desires that humans possess is to be recognized as an individual. To be a rebel, if you will. To be someone who goes against authority and acts according to what they believe instead of what is expected of them. But in their conquest to be rebels, they can become identical to one another. I sometimes think of them as “rebel clones”, which, of course, completely defeats the purpose of being a rebel in the first place. They become self-centered, teenaged slackers, just like everyone else around them.

The other day some friends and I were discussing the coming finals and the punishments they assumed they’d be receiving from their parents shortly. As always, the conversation eventually turned to teasing me about my “perfect grades” and my “perfect behavior” and everything else that is just so “perfect” about my outlook. I’ve grown accustomed to this from my peers over the years, and I know that they don’t mean it cruelly. Perhaps they simply receive a self-esteem boost by singling me out, and if that’s what it takes to give them contentment, then by all means I will endure their accusations. After all, I know that despite their belief that they are rebels, the belief that they’re going against something or other and making a statement, I am the one that’s going against the authority of uniformity.

Listening to these clones that sit alongside me everyday has given me the impression that I am a rebel. I strive to be the best that I can be. I want to leave this world with my imprint on it. I want to make a difference and be remembered for it. And so, I do the best I can at everything I attempt. I work hard in school, I’m respectful and considerate to people around me, I refuse to curse and be involved in illegal and immoral activities. I hope and dream and try to be optimistic throughout the obstacles that I face in my life. I want to one day walk down the halls and have all the clones stare at me because they can tell that I’m different from them. And I hope that someone decides they want to be like me and make a difference, too.

I believe that in a world of rebel clones, I’m the true rebel. I am a rebel with a cause and I’m here to change the world. So I’d watch out if I were you.