This I Believe

Mr. - Lexington, Ohio
Entered on November 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality
  • 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.

There are no nefarious individuals on this Earth. There just aren’t. People who claim to hate a certain person do not actually hate the person himself. They dislike some of the qualities that individual has. Attributes such as ignorance, selfishness, and greed will never earn another person’s respect. On the other side, qualities like courage, trustworthiness, and honesty can attract people to a person. These are the qualities people strive to implement in their everyday lives. Nevertheless, almost everyone has qualities he wishes to lose. Nevertheless, I believe he is not a bad person.

Who determines who is amiable and who is cold-hearted? Who judges whether a person is charitable or whether he is an old miser? People do, all the time. People perceive others in many ways. One way is through direct contact. For instance, many children in first grade are new to one another. Each child may know a few kids from Kindergarten, but the rest seem like strangers. So when the time comes to eat lunch, who is each child going to sit by? This is the first time when children make judgments about their peers. Why would anyone want to sit next to Smelly Sammy? Why is there always a crowd around Jill the Joker? These kids make their decisions quickly and sit next to the people they feel most comfortable around. They want to be themselves; so they surround themselves with people who like them for who they are. People with “good qualities”.

Another way people perceive others is through communication. For example, how many people have actually met Alex Rodriguez? The man is hated across the New York because he is avaricious to the utmost degree. He refused a contract worth $300 million because he believes he is worth more than that. To the average Joe, it seems as if Mr. Rodriguez is full of himself. In reality, he is an altruistic human being who has helped millions of children with the Boys and Girls Club of America. He has donated money to UNICEF and the Children’s Aid Society. While I have not met him, I know that I cannot judge him by what the media has reported about him. Numerous baseball analysts have criticized him publicly as being a “terrible character” because of the media reporting that he did not speak much with Derek Jeter, the Yankees prized shortstop. This is perplexing. He is terrible person because he doesn’t speak often with his teammate. This is ridiculous.

These two cases show how people are very quick to judge. From little children to the New York media, everyone makes decisions about others. Some are fair assessments and others not so much. But should we let these assessments control how we think of a person? Should we let them influence how we treat that person? No what qualities a person possesses, his intentions are good. We don’t hate the person; we dislike their qualities. These qualities should not get in the way of us looking at the positives each person brings. So next time when you go out to eat, I believe you may want to consider bringing along Smelly Sammy, because I heard he’s funny too.