This I Believe

Caitlin - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on October 5, 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.

I believe that people have grown more cautious over the years, afraid to let people see them at their freest. Those that are still able to let loose in this critical and ever-watchful society that now exists, should be recognized for their confidence in themselves and their actions. For many, it is hard enough to listen to what people say about you, but it’s even harder to not care about what negative things people sometimes say.

What fun is life without being able to let loose? No fun at all! If you are given a terrible and boring situation, you should feel free to make the most of it without worrying about others’ opinions of you, right? My two friends and I were given jobs as sign-holders for a fundraising car wash on a terribly hot afternoon. However, after a few minutes of feebly yelling, “Car Wash!” and holding signs passed slowly, we figured that we’d make the most of our afternoon, and try to get as many cars through the car wash as possible. Therefore, to attract those at the intersection of 47th and Brainard, and to make them want to come to our car wash, we began to perform terrible sign flipping tricks that mostly resulted in the signs flying into the street, as well as cartwheels, and our own, shall we say “different” interpretation of the “can-can” dance. We also decided to accompany our amazing tricks with singing and screaming about the car wash.

In the next couple of hours, we had food thrown at us, windows were rolled up at the sound of our screeching, and we were ridiculed by all that had seen us that day. Despite the insults directed towards our wonderful dancing and singing, we didn’t care, because I don’t think that there is any reason to get all worked about being seen in a more crazy state than usual.

People care about what others think of them because it’s not good to stick out in a bad way around your peers. If you are considered to be “weird” then you stand the chance of either getting left out of the group, or being accepted for the way you are. I consider it to be more important to be accepted for yourself than to turn yourself into a completely different person for someone else.

So people believe in yourselves enough not to care about what others think, because it’s what you think of yourself that is more important. Even though this cliché is heard constantly from teachers and parents, everyone will probably face some doubt about themselves, and the thoughts of others. Everyone should be able to show their crazy side a bit and not have to worry about everyone else’s reactions. Insults, ridicule, and meanness will most likely always exist, but even though they exist, you don’t need to pay them any mind.