The Chance to Explain

Lindsay - Waterbury, Vermont
Entered on June 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Have you ever been in a situation where it’s your fault just because you didn’t get the chance to explain yourself? Something went wrong and you were blamed for something you didn’t do or for a problem you couldn’t solve because no one listened to you.

This is why one of my strongest beliefs is that everyone should have the right to explain themselves. My worst pet peeve is when someone cuts somebody off or doesn’t listen to them because they don’t think they have anything helpful to say when really they are trying to get themselves out of trouble by explaining their side of the story.

I have two sisters and a brother and I can’t tell you how many times I had to take the blame for things I didn’t do because I was the baby of the family and my parents never let me tell them my side of the story. Why is that? Why do people make assumptions and don’t want to listen? Is it because they simply don’t care, or maybe because they don’t think you have anything useful to say. It is really awful when people don’t listen to you. Maybe they feel superior to you and to them your opinion or take on the story, situation, or problem really doesn’t matter. It’s only fair that everyone should have the proper time and place to explain themselves.

So many things happen on a daily basis that innocent people are blamed for. You may think it’s no big deal, and sit there and wonder to yourself and think things like, well maybe they didn’t stand up for themselves, maybe they just let themselves get blamed. Or maybe they were trying to cover up someone else’s mistake by taking the blame. But what I think really happened is no one would listen. People can investigate a story, situation, or problem as much as they want but facts and assumptions can only lead you so far. People really need to believe what other people have to say. It kills me when someone goes to jail for something they didn’t do, then ten, twenty years down the road they are released because someone finally figured out they were innocent and their story was true and they didn’t do anything wrong.

Even in cases that aren’t quite as extreme as imprisonment or having to pay a fine or something, even cases as small as the wrong sibling being blamed for breaking the good china, it doesn’t matter. People should take the time to listen to all the different stories before believing one person and blaming the wrong one. This is important to making family and community relationships stronger because it shows the people you can trust, and it helps you learn who you can’t trust. To most people a person’s honest word means a lot and if you give them the chance to explain themselves and they don’t tell you the truth then that is their mistake. If you find out they were wrong, then they were only harming themselves. That is why I believe everyone should have the right to properly explain themselves.