This I Believe

Heather - Pleasant Grove, Utah
Entered on January 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in giving everyone a fair shot at acceptance. There’s been many times lately where people I know, myself included, don’t give others a chance

My sister’s friend, Theron, is a guy in his early twenties who was out in Utah, where I live, for vacation. He’s a really nice, funny, and musical guy who loves to read—everything I like in the people I hang out with. But since he’s about five years older than me, has shaggy hair, wears “girl pants” and band t-shirts, my mom considers him a bad influence. So whenever I would talk to him at all, even with my sister in the room and my parents in the house, my mom would get extremely antsy.

I understand where she’s coming from; my sister has a bit of a reputation of having “bad” friends, ones that drink, do drugs and sleep around with whomever, whenever. My mom immediately thought that Theron was the same way without getting to know him at all. She just assumed that since he had the guts to be friends with my sister, that he was “bad” too.

I’ll admit that at first, I didn’t think I’d like him at all and that he’d just be a freak like I considered my sister’s other friends. In fact, I was pretty annoyed when she took me from my room to meet this friend of hers that was staying with us for three weeks.

At the beginning, I was just like my mom; I didn’t want anything to do with him because I thought he was an idiot, to put it nicely. Not that I didn’t have friends that dress punk, but I was wary since he was my sister’s friend. I’d go to my room if he was around, or just leave my house altogether. I’d say hi to him if he did, just to be nice, but that was all the interaction we had; I didn’t want his stupidity to rub off on me. It wasn’t until he’d been with us for a week that I opened up and found out what he’s really like.

He talked about vampire books (my current obsession), and all sorts of writing from fantasy to Shakespeare. That whole day he’d been at the BYU library reading. I found he is very musical, plays the keyboard, and can sing amazingly well. He turned out to be of my same faith and a type of “goodie two-shoes” compared to my sister’s other friends. Who knew such a jewel could be found amidst the crowd of my sister’s friends?

I’ve now experienced the phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover”. I’ve come to realize that a person’s outward appearance doesn’t matter, like how they dress or who they hang with, but what they truly are like on the inside. I’m glad to be able to say that now, Theron and I are friends.

Everyone deserves a fair shot at acceptance; this I believe.