This I Believe

andrew - los angeles, California
Entered on June 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • 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.

Finding IT

I believe in rebellion.

Recently my mom gave me an article about teenagers and how just last century the stereotypical teenager didn’t exist. There was no time for children to become “horrors” as my mom calls us. They were forced into adulthood by the need for money in their families.

But that was then, this is now. People need to realize that comparing generations is not realistic because we are so much different from the generations before us as the generations before us were different from the ones before them.

Having a mom that grew up as a hippie made me think that she would be able to understand this. Yet she and her generation find themselves trying to define us, mold us into the same people that they are. People are unique; they shouldn’t be defined by anyone but themselves.

Teenagers are caught in a strange place: striving to discover who they are, and also trying to fit the mold given to them. This is where rebellion comes in. Rebellion should not be frowned upon because it is part of this search.

I believe that the real lessons in life, the ones that really define you, are not ones that can be taught in school or by an older, “wiser” person. Real lessons need to be experienced. I find that many people today live in fear. Afraid of germs, getting in trouble, not being liked by the people around them because of their cloths (this one really makes me giggle). This fear keeps them sheltered, they are afraid to experience things that are different. It is these people who have lost sight of the important things in life.

I’ve lived my life doing things that are not recommended: like eating things off the floor, getting lost in Peru, etc. Living life at the edge has taught me a lot, basically how to handle myself. This unorthodox way of thinking is in no way conventional, and it has gotten me into a lot of trouble. If have learned anything form my history classes it is that: most people working for change have been ridiculed for behavior that was defined at the time as, “out of the ordinary”. But if these acts had never been allowed then our world would not be as good, or as pleasant (ha-ha I don’t know that it is). So if rebellion is the platform for change and brilliance, then it should not be a bad thing.

It’s this mentality that I think makes a person into something great. Sometimes you need to try a little wrong in order to truly understand what is right.