This I Believe

Emma - Ventura, California
Entered on May 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Lose yourself in the Dough

When I was a little girl, I would sit at the table for hours with my brother and sisters. We would make food, clothes, hair, people, towns, cities and worlds; out of play-doh of course. The play-doh represented freedom. We could do whatever we wanted with it- so long as it stayed off of the carpet. The play-doh taught us to be creative, and unique. But most of all, it taught us that we could do whatever we wanted, make whatever we wanted, be whatever we wanted. A simple malleable toy, taught us in a matter or hours what it takes some a lifetime to learn . Mold your world, and believe in Play-doh.

I am a unique person- at least I like to think so. I don’t go along with things simply because my peers do. I don’t follow fashion trends, I have my own. I’m not into rap or hip-hop music; I much prefer belting “Wicked” or “The Light in the Piazza” in the shower than the Pussy Cat Dolls. Yeah, I frequently get weird looks from people because no one understands what I am talking about when I make a reference to a Broadway show, or just because I say whatever’s on my mind. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: those looks are half the fun of it. In our society, people often aspire to be like the person sitting next to them instead of taking pride in their own individuality. When my siblings and I used to sit around the table to play with play-doh, half the fun was trying to make something that the others wouldn’t think of, something that set your creation apart from theirs, something that was uniquely you. I believe that that same principle should be applied to our everyday life. I don’t want to look the same as my friend standing next to me. I want to stand out as an individual instead of being just another faceless person in the crowd, just like my play-doh creations. As for the people who don’t want to be around me because of what I say or what I wear, quite frankly I don’t want to be around shallow people. I want friends who love me for who I am, and for what’s in my heart. I want friends who love me for my quirks, not despite them. I am my own unique play-doh color; not blue, not green, I am aquelsplac! I am unique, and I have been lucky enough to be able to surround myself with people who love me for it.

Play-doh is like a bare stage- it has no sets, no props, no actors- until you give it some. It is willing to be molded into anything, reinforcing the old motto “if you can dream it, you can achieve it”- at least with toys. But this motto certainly goes beyond a moldable gooey toy, it expresses the confidence that we should have in ourselves. The confidence that puts the idea into our heads that we can be anything we want- be it a mail man, a news reporter, a pop star, or a fairy princess. Without confidence, I wouldn’t be able to audition for show after show, knowing that the part I want will most likely not be the part I get. But I always do my best, and that’s all anyone can ask of me- and that’s all I can ask of myself. Without the sense that we can mold our worlds, the desire to do well in school and in life would be nonexistent. Why work hard if you have no control over your life? Pursuit of happiness, and the idea that we rise and fall based on how hard we work are basic principles upon which our country was founded. Our country where everyone is created equal and receive equal opportunities. Our country, where an unknown girl from Louisiana can become a famous pop star and have the whole world go berserk when she shaves her head. Our country, where actors can become presidents. Our country, where the next person to turn the world on it’s ear could be sitting in this room. We all have the power to mold our worlds-will you create your own color or conform with the crowd?

Create something new; be unique. Do what you want to do; mold your world. We learn things from Play-doh that we don’t always realize, so lose yourself in the doh!