This I Believe

Michael - Seymour, Connecticut
Entered on May 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“The greatest thing about man is his ability to transcend himself, his ancestry, and his environment and to become what he dreams of being.” I can’t think of a more true statement about our society that implies that with the idea of freedom comes pressure. It implies that individuals are open to all possibilities. However, it seems that many take this a step further to set examples on the way they expect others to become. Tully C. Knoles, the individual who wrote this quotation, touches the major points that I believe are key. I have the feeling that the public expects the most out of everyone and when the person doesn’t succeed, they are looked upon as a failure. I believe people should try their best at everything that comes at them, and if they don’t find it rewarding or not for them, at least they tried their best and can have the feeling of accomplishment of doing something different.

As I continue to grow up, I can relate to the statement made by Knoles and it feels as if the demands of freedom are in full effect. My parents have always expected the best from me, and I respect that. I hope that I will be able to transcend some of my family members with more opportunities and dreams. I feel that I am luckier than they to be able to live the life I am living now and to have the ability to go to college, which most of my family did not have. Sometimes, however, I feel pressured in school to take the hardest classes and keep my grades up so that I have a good chance of getting into the college I really want to go to. I feel that sometimes if I don’t do well on something, I’m letting myself down, but at least I tried my best at it. So in contrast, society at times, seems as if it needs to live up to the expectations of others beliefs and thoughts.

I feel that many teens today are often pressured into living up to other people’s expectations, whether they are other students, parents, or the outward society. They may feel that they have to be like the other students to fit in or not feel different. But being different is what forms a certain human’s characteristics which shape who they really are. Others are always trying to exceed the capacity of previous generations. By accomplishing more and learning new things, people feel that they can surpass the past. And this is exactly what they have done, by creating new inventions and striving to be the best of the crowd. I believe this a good thing, as each generation changes the way current life is lived.

More possibilities are in the disposal of current and future generations. Man will always attempt, and at the most part “transcend himself, his ancestry, and his environment and to become what he dreams of being.” And I believe it.