This I Believe

Robert - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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“This I believe”

I believe that American teenagers who complain about going to high school are ignorant of how good they have life.

There is not only one specific memory I have that leads me to my belief, but the combination of lifestyle traits I live by and my upbringing lead me to believe this. Maybe because of my parents, I feel that American teenagers who complain about going to high school are ignorant of the rest of the world. My parents always stressed getting an education, and if I was complaining about school, they would tell me of how great I had life. Keeping their thoughts in mind, one day I was flipping through channels and I ended up on the Discovery Channel. I don’t recall the name of the program, but it was a documentary of a teenager in Africa. He walked seven miles to school everyday, and seven miles home. Most American students would never even consider walking that far each day. This really impacted me. The next day when I went to school, I heard fellow students complaining about classes saying that they “hate school and want to stay home all day”; I wanted to tell them how good they have life here in America. Maybe it was my Catholic upbringing brought me to my belief. Many times in church there would be two collection baskets; one for charity to the church, the other to help poor third world countries. As I grew older and older, I started to think about where the money we give to the third world countries actually goes. When I finally realized that teens in other countries want to go to school more than anything else, I really took a look inside of myself. I felt bad for complaining about school and not wanting to go. People that only think about themselves never realize how bad things could be for themselves.

It is o.k. for an American Teenager to complain about school and not want to go, as long as they keep this thought to themselves. I believe if a teen from a country where going to high school is impractical heard the words of an American Teenager complaining about school, the teen who can’t attend high school would be disgusted.

As time progresses, the need for an education strengthens and becomes more and more necessary. Nowadays, the need for an education is stronger than ever. No teen, regardless if they are American or not, who goes to high school, should ever complain about having to attend. I wish that every single person in high school would just realize that there are other teens in the world that would do anything and everything just to have an opportunity to get a high school education.