I Believe in Coming Together

Rachel - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Like many people, I don’t like to be alone. I am always with someone and always talking to someone. However, even in a crowded room, one can be very distant. That is why I believe in coming together.

Upon recently watching the move Freedom Writers, I discovered a new belief. An inspiring group of highschoolers came together despite their differences. In the story, students from many different races were involved in gangs and would shoot each other in drive-by’s and murder. These students had to be together in the classroom. Can you say, “awkward?” None the less, in each and every person, there was a spark that ignited, and united them. Learning about the Holocaust for the first time, they realized that hate is hopeless, and their situation would never get better unless they learned to accept and love each other for their color and their heritage. I can relate to this story in my own life.

It occurred to me after watching this that the situation happens everyday. Although in my neighborhood we aren’t separated by blood, race, and gangs, we carry a lot of the same hate towards one another and pass judgment too easily. Every summer since I turned 13 I have gone to camp with my church. It was a new experience every time, which was intimidating for me because I am shy and when there would be someone there I didn’t know, I’d feel uncomfortable being myself around them. Every night, we would go see a band play and after we would spend time together talking as a group and just hanging out. I remember these exciting nights as if they were yesterday and how star gazing and chugging mountain dew contests were normal things for 13 year olds to be doing every night. Somehow we all found a way to become close to one another, revealing our deepest most troubling thoughts. These times being open with people whom had judged me or I had previously judged and evaluated without cause or reason changed the way I treat other people forever. Just giving others a chance without judging them has allowed me to be more open with others and myself. When you come together like that, it changes your spirit.

I have come to believe that accepting people for who they are, not the way they look or where they’re from or what they’ve done, builds friendship and trust, and allows you to make bonds with people you never expected. There are times when I have never felt more alone in a crowded room. But since those experiences under the stars with total strangers, I’ve come to believe in coming together, and accepting people as they are, and the change of spirit it can bring…ignoring all social status, gender, or race affiliation.