This I Believe

Patrice - fort worth, Texas
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that if you let someone define your failures, you will never know how much you can succeed. I have learned and now believe that in order to be loved you must at first love yourself. I believe that you must be there for yourself, not letting the opinions of others influence your well-being, not using the approval ratings of others to determine the good of yourself, and to determine if I am living a good life.

I believe that knowing who you are and embracing that self-awareness is essential to being great at being you. Learning your own cultural backgrounds, your way of thinking intellectually, socially, and even negatively towards others makes it all more effective to learn what behaviors you can change and improve. I believe that it is important that people embrace who they are culturally. Running away from your culture will only subtract from your own potential to be the greatest you can. However, it is difficult to define and embrace the cultural values when the society neither accepts nor supports the culture of its values. I am a part of a culture, the African American culture, which has difficulties accepting its own members and has difficulty relieving damaging stigmas and stereotypes associated with my culture. As a person in the process of bettering me through education, various people in my culture would not accept me and say “I’m too good or too white.” So, how is it gotten to the point where I am neither accepted by my own culture, no am I accepted as good enough by society?

Within myself, I have always known that I wanted to serve others and aid in the development of their lives and well-being. I believe that my commitment to service ultimately means a commitment to a goal of equality. It’s a hope that one day everyone will have a chance to succeed. I believe in equality but I also believe in reality. People are in a fantasy world if they believe everyone has an equal chance to be successful, based on the standards of success in this country. The standards of success for this country are going to leave many people who do not have this definition of success being devalued, seen as failures. The values such as equality and freedom, which this country is not built on the values, which are carved into its foundation. The values carved into this country’s foundation are not the values which this country holds dear to it’s heart. It ignores the struggling, the helpless, and the “less-thans” of this country. I am committed to helping those who don’t have an equal chance.