This I Believe

Jenna - Moyock, North Carolina
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

When we’re born, we perform the most important task we will ever perform; we breathe. A question lingering in my mind is this: was it by instinct, or were we influenced? Throughout our lives, we lose our natural instincts and they are replaced by the influential ideals of other people. Do we choose the clothes we wear because we like them, or because that’s just what everyone else is wearing? Do we choose to believe in a religion because we truly believe it, or because we’re told it’s a sin not to? When I first moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin, people were strange and rude to me. Before even asking my name, most kids asked “Do you believe in God?” The answer to that question was and will always be “no.” When we are put on the spot by other people around us, we forget to breathe. We quickly change our minds, afraid that our reply will displease the other person. But no other heart will beat, no other brain will think, and no other body will breathe for you, except your own. I take a deep breathe and think when someone asks me a question, because I know who I am, and what I want. I think that as humans, we must respect our own bodies and worship ourselves. Not the theories, actions, or beliefs of other people. A life wasted is one that’s led and controlled by the minds of others. I’m not implying that everyone needs to prove that he or she is unique, different, or can “think outside the box”. Because when you really think about it, there never was and never will be a “box” at all. Our society created that “box” to portray a “normal” reality for people who are afraid and do not know how to control their own lives. What these people do not realize is this: they are not living in a reality, hell; they aren’t living at all. They’re hiding, trying to protect themselves FROM themselves in a make-believe land protected by a make-believe box. I believe that the world could be a much better place if everyone came out of that make-believe land, and got to know themselves as if they were the only being on this planet. One can not even begin to know another person if he or she doesn’t even know themselves. If we all knew ourselves down to our very cores, discrimination would cease. Discrimination stems from fear- fear of the unknown, and fear of becoming something alien. If we all knew ourselves, we wouldn’t worry about such nonsense. We wouldn’t care about the words and theories that stem from other peoples minds, for we’d all have our own.

The way I see it is this: in order to continue to perform the most important task assigned to us, which is breathing, we must recognize and know the source of each breath we take.

By: Jenna Walsh