This I Believe: Stop Passing Judgment

Brennan - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on September 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: tolerance
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I believe in keeping an open mind. People constantly shun those that are unlike them because they can be afraid of what is different. We often look upon others in contempt just because they believe in other principles than ourselves. Whether it be religious beliefs, ethnicity, morals, or other factors, we jump to conclusions or assumptions without truly getting to know that person.

More often than not, when I walk into a public place, I am shot a dirty look. Random people that don’t know me at all will automatically assume I am a bad person. I am never one to cause problems and I consider myself to be a pretty polite, happy go lucky person. Yet because I often choose to wear black shirts and am a teenager, I fall into the category of the anti-authority, rebel, and problem causing teen. I can only assume this is why people look upon me with disgust, but it is a pretty fair assumption considering they have never met me before. Often, I am a victim of the old cliché “judging a book by its cover” and constantly passed unmerited judgment upon. This bothers me to no end because I try to never assume and I wish others were more like this.

The same goes for personal beliefs. Most people believe they are right no matter what the argument or circumstance. Religious people may look down upon atheists or members of other creeds because they believe in a different deity or no deity at all. Yet the main staple of any religion is treating people with equality and caring about your fellow man and creates a sense of complete hypocrisy. Differing political parties around the world fight for their beliefs without considering the viewpoints of their counterparts. Sometimes making criticism of each other more important than the actual political issues. People of different races or sexual orientations are looked down upon because they do not necessarily fit into the “social norm”. Relatives of mine will never accept others because they are homosexual or are of a different ethnicity. We constantly let completely ridiculous judgments and arguments come between accepting one another for our differences.

Yet everyone on the Earth is human. We are all individual to make the world beautifully diverse. We should all be willing to try and accept others instead of looking down upon what they stand for. So the next time you are arguing, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see where they are coming from. Do not hate someone for their beliefs, but instead accept them. If you close your mind to trying something new or accepting someone for who they are, you are only hurting yourself. As we become more accepting and loving, we can make the world a better place where everyone is equal and unafraid of criticism and judgment. I believe in open mindedness and no passing judgment.