This I Believe

Gavom - Traverse City, Michigan
Entered on May 22, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

A Manifesto of my Core Belief

During this pinnacle time in our human history, beliefs have gone to the wayside. People no longer are comfortable talking about their beliefs at the risk they might offend someone. However, we should not omit our beliefs out of fear of offense. Instead, we should state our beliefs as a way to offer more understanding of differences in our world. One belief I hold above all others is this: Be true to who you are.

It is hard to be different in our world. Many people think that “different” implies “worse”. This is possibly the farthest thing from the truth. To be different simply means to follow your own words, not the words of someone else. Every person has the potential to be different and to make the world different. Let’s face it; our world could use a little “different”. With the homogeneity in our current culture, if something is different, there is immediately a red flag that goes up over it. This should not be the case.

Oftentimes I fear what is different because I do not understand it. If I took a few moments to learn about the differences between people in my world, I could not only come to accept those differences, I could understand them for what they are: something that makes each one of us great. Differences should not be feared.

To be an individual is a very hard thing to do. There is so much pressure to fit into a mold that, ultimately, many people do not fit. To be an individual is to go outside the rigid fitting that is expected of many people. A lot of times I find myself afraid to do this. Either I do not think that I will be accepted for being who I am or I simply do not want to disrupt the status quo. Breaking out and being who I am is essential to finding the happiness that I want.

Sometimes I find it hard to follow my own advice. Sometimes I catch myself wearing a certain shirt or talking in a certain tone because I think that if I do so, the people around me will understand me better. I have come to the realization they will understand me less if I do those things because they aren’t seeing the real me. They’re seeing the me I think I they want to see. The only way people will see the real me is if I wear what I want to wear and talk how I want to talk.

Being true to who you are may sound like a simple thing but it is possibly harder than anything else a person can do. It is much easier to be something that has already been. It is much harder to be the first. But ultimately, I know that I will be much happier as a real nobody than a fake somebody.