This I Believe

Rachael - 90266, California
Entered on November 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

Throughout the past, present, and I am sure the future, people have lacked the freedom to make their own decisions. Whether it is the government interfering, society holding everyone to certain values, or a person simply being unable to find the opportunity, many are denied the ability to embody their beliefs.

Beliefs are what make a person whole. They define who they are and act as a key part of their identity. Without having the freedom to make your own choices, it is not possible to truly understand all that you stand for, what it really is that you believe, or even who you really are. No one deserves to go through life without having some understanding of the person inside them. With restrictions on what a person can and can not do, he will never find the opportunity to explore every path in which he can choose to take in life. Everyone in this world should have the freedom to make their own personal choices. This I believe.

As I have sat in my English class throughout the past few weeks, I have discovered that I value, above many things, the right to make your own decisions. I listened and contributed to debates on assisted suicide, marijuana legalization, and even directed a conversation on Gay Rights. While many may disagree with my points of view, I will firmly stand by them no matter what is thrown my way. If a person wants to end their life and they want the help of a doctor or a friend, then that is their choice. Only they know when they have nothing else worth living for. If they have no hope of utilizing the aspects they were given, and they want to give up, they should not be forbidden to do so. Deciding how your life ends is a huge factor in deciding who you are, and who you want to be remembered as. If a person wants to take drugs to have fun, be social, or escape a certain pain, then it is no ones choice but their own. No one, not the government, not their family, and not their friends, has the authority to take this choice away from them. As long as they weigh the consequences, and want to follow that path, than it is who they are, and should be interfered with by no one but themselves. If a person falls in love with a member of the opposite sex, then that is their choice. No one, I do not care who they are, has the power to take this love away from them. Whether you are a heterosexual or a homosexual, you have an identity you wish to establish, whether you are aware of it or not, and as a human being on this earth, you have a right to the pursuit of happiness. Denying someone the right to choose who they want to marry, who they want to be with for the rest of their lives, this is unfair. I believe that everyone does what they do for a reason, whether I understand it or not, and that alone is reason enough to allow them to pursue whatever path they choose to take.

I can not imagine a world in which I am denied the ability to show any part of who I am. The only reason I continue to live is because no one can take who I am or what I do away from me. If this privilege were to be stripped from me, I do not know what the purpose would be of existing on this earth. Establishing an identity is a key reason why each and every one of us gets up each morning. If you know there is nothing to establish, for you are not allowed or will not be accepted to follow your true beliefs, there is no point in facing the day. There are people in this world who are in this position, and I continue to question what keeps them going. Maybe it is the hope that, someday, they will be able to make choices that they want to make, not that someone is enforcing on them. Maybe this hope alone is enough to keep them going. Regardless, no one deserves to be put in that position. Our choices belong to us, and us alone, and no one should be able to take that away. This, I believe.