This I Believe

Sydney - Woodmere, New York
Entered on May 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Have you ever been stereotyped by the way that you look or act? I believe that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge people on their race, skin color, hair color, the way they dress, talk, act, etc. People should get to know a person before they think about judging them. Judging people hurts them just as much as being judged by others hurts you. Think twice before you label people.

Back one day about a couple of months ago, I was at a swim meet that changed my life forever. I have a friend who is extremely nice, pretty, and has many friends. We were having a conversation that started to get pretty personal. She ended up telling me that she used to injure herself to relieve stress. She told me that she had family problems and that was the only way to calm her down. I never really looked at her as the “type” of person who would do that. I always thought that people who self injured themselves were people with few friends, many problems, and were social outcasts. This is just a silly label that affected the way I judged people and their lives. When I told her about who I thought cutters were she gave me advice that stuck with me to this day. It was “how you see people in everyday life may just be a costume to mask their inner problems. Different people wear different costumes and you can’t judge a person by it.” I now know that people who do horrible things to themselves may be that stereotyped outcast but may also be someone with a lot of friends, good in school, but may have hidden problems that they can’t share with anyone.

As much as I may stereotype people on their looks, I know that it kind of hurts to be labeled as something or someone that you’re not. Sometimes, I might act silly or dumb just because that is part of my personality. I know that acting like I don’t know anything and acting like I hate school much more than I do is only a small part of me and that I truly am smart and do well in school. People that don’t know me may thing that I’m not smart just because of the way I act outside of school. They think that I’m not as smart as other people. If they really get to know the true me and my true personality, they will find that I really do care about school and what grades I get. They will learn that I wasn’t to do well and want to succeed in life. I don’t just go around saying dumb things all day and night that make people think that I don’t care about school and my future.

I wish that labels and stereotypes were never started and that people should get to know someone before they make conclusions about them. They should base their conclusions on what’s on the inside instead of what “costume” they wear day to day. This I believe.