This I Believe

Alyssa - Springdale, Arkansas
Entered on September 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: parenthood, race

All my life since I was able to understand people, my father would always tell me, “Alyssa, have faith in your self.” He would tell me to forget other people’s rude comments and to be proud of my background. I am mixed with my father being African-American and Italian-American; and my mother being Hispanic. When I was in the first grade, there was this girl in my class, and one day I wanted to join in on hide-and-go-seek. The little girl told me that I couldn’t play because I was darker than her and I didn’t look like her. When I went home, I told my parents and they told me to ignore her. Of course, since I was only in the first grade, I listened to what they told me…. sometimes.

When reached the sixth grade, people would wonder why I didn’t hang out with “my kind”. I would tell them, I don’t have a kind. I don’t hang out with people by their appearances, that I should judge people by their mind and heart. My classmates would ask, “If you’re African-American, why don’t you look like it or act like it?” I always dealt with this problem time and time again. I explained that there isn’t a certain way people should act just because of what their background happens to be.

I believe that if you’re certain ethnic race, you shouldn’t judge or not be friends with that person just because they have a different background. I remember when I went to the seventh grade; all of my classmates thought it was strange that I didn’t dress in baggy clothes or provocative clothing, like the girls on BET, MTV, or 106 & Park. I personally, believe that people’s clothing shows their mood. Some people may dress in pink because they’re happy, and others dress in black to show depression or maybe for some other reason. Either way, I dress on how I feel, not by what my background is.

My friends and I never think about what we are and where we come from. I love being with my friends all the time, they never care about what I look like or what I am. At the end of the day, we’re all the same in our own unique ways. I believe that it is truly what friendship is all about, not about the outside beauty of our bodies.

By what my background is, I feel I can accomplish any obstacle that is thrown in my path. I have always felt unique about what I am because my parents come from two different worlds; my parents have shown me that every person who walks the earth is special and unique and we all should put in an effort to accept it. I am in the eighth grade, and I believe that beauty is within, and everyone is extraordinary and dazzling in their own special way.