Valary - Grangeville, Idaho
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30


I believe that people should not be judged by who their family is – good or bad. Just because you might come from a good family doesn’t mean you are a good person, too. And, even if your family’s background isn’t the greatest, you can still choose to be a good person. This belief comes from a few personal experiences that have shown me to never judge a book by its cover. In other words, don’t make assumptions about people based on their family.

In order to protect certain people, I won’t mention specific names, but I do know a family that has always been well respected and for good reason. The father was a hardworking farmer that believed that everyone should have to earn their own money, their own freedom, and their own respect. No one should have to be waited on hand and foot. The mother was a sweet, down-to-earth, reliable woman anybody could trust. She believed that family came first. Two sons make up the rest of this family. One of the sons is probably the hardest working, fun-loving cowboys I have ever met. Not just a want-to-be cowboy, but a real life, country drawl, cowboy. Every life these people came across was touched in some way. No one would have ever guessed the horrible things that the second son had done over several years of his life. He had a wonderful family, but he was a master at manipulation – the very reason so many trusting people were fooled into believing he was such a good person. However, everyone found out the truth.

The man had hurt his own step-daughter in a way that isn’t appropriate to put in writing. Everyone who knew this man asked the same question: How could someone from such a good family turn out to be like this? They knew his family to be wonderful, loving people and thought him to be the same; however, his dark secrets were well hidden.

I also know a boy who, unfortunately, is judged by the more “sophisticated” people of my school and community based on who his family is. Because he has had an extremely hard life – going through one dad after another, moving from place to place, always running into new obstacles with his family – people pass judgment on him, based on who his parents are. I find this very unfair. My own mother looks past the absolutely caring, hardworking person he is, to the bad things she’s heard about his family. However, I don’t know that I have ever come across a better person. He is truly an outstanding person that has worked hard to become who he is today.

I believe that even if you weren’t born into a “good family,” you still have the potential to be a good person. People can’t choose their families, but they can choose their own reputations. Remember, a good cover doesn’t always make for a good book.