This I Believe

Will - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe Essay

Growing up, my brother was very sensitive. Any small bit of criticism dug at him and made him anti-social. For example if a teacher or a coach told him that something he had done wasn’t correct, he would take the criticism personally. He would then shy away from that teacher or coach in fear of them. I think that having a sibling who was very sensitive helped to make me aware of things I said to the people around me. In life there are always going to be people with strong and weak personalities. It’s how individuals interact with the varying personalities around them that determine what kind of person that individual is.

It is often said that it’s important to “say whatever is on your mind.” I strongly disagree with this statement. I think that it’s important to reason with what’s on your mind, filter it, and then decide whether it is an appropriate comment to make. If everyone said what was on his or her mind, the world would be a very unhappy and hurtful place to live in. You wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone without getting your feelings hurt.

Criticism is a part of life and has to be given to some extent. However, people must be honest with their criticisms while maintaining a certain level of respect to the person they are talking to. Too often, especially in High School but not limited to, harsh criticisms are made by teachers, students, coaches, and parents. These harsh comments may be a result of stress, frustration, and truth. However they need to be made with the individual who is being criticized feelings in mind.

I believe in honesty. I also believe in respect. It is important to tell someone if something he or she did or said bothered you. Conversely, it is important to choose your words and criticisms carefully. The key to functional relationships is honesty and respect. However, there must be a balance of the two. As humans mature and begin to socialize, we should discover how to manage respect and honesty.

Positive human interaction is essential. As to making harsh, angry comments, people need to take the time to get over themselves, and approach everyday situations in a calmer more relaxed manner. Positive interaction can make a difference in every aspect of life. It brings confidence to individuals as well as groups of people. Without confidence it’s impossible to be successful in life. Any great leader or individual of great significance in the past got a boost of confidence at some point in his or her life. For individuals like my brother, something as simple as positive interaction from others gives him the boost of confidence that is key to a successful day.