Bad Choices Don’t Make a Bad Person

Jodi - Wausau, Wisconsin
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that bad decisions don’t make a bad person. While growing up I watched movies with a bad guy and a good guy and no one in between. Now, in the real world there is a thick gray area between black and white, bad and good.

My entire life I had looked up to my older sister, I would do anything and everything to be with her. I would wear her clothes so people would think I was her, I even became friends with her friends. In high school I took the same classes that she did, I would sit in the lunch room so I could see her, I arranged my schedule so I had teachers she had once had. I joined the German club to talk in German with her. I wanted to be exactly like her.

When she went to college I wasn’t sure what to do with my life, I didn’t have my sister to follow around, she wasn’t there for me to be her mini-me. Soon the news came to me that my sister had gone against what my parents had taught us, she had begun to drink, use fowl language and she was living in a house with boys. These choices were hard for my family to accept, I think I took it the hardest, I had lost my hero.

Because of the choices my sister had made I decided that she was a bad person and I did not want to look up to her. I would do anything to not be like her. I changed the way I dressed; I picked new sports and hobbies, when people would mistakenly call me Amber I would get offended. My teachers would tell me how much I look like Amber, I would snap back at them saying, “I don’t look anything like her”. My new goal in life was to become the exact opposite of her.

It took me a few years to finally accept that she wasn’t a bad person. She’s not a good person, but a great person. I had realized that the good qualities were more important than the bad choices. I had to escape my fairytale world where there is only good and bad to realize that even though I don’t agree with her choices I could still look up to her. She is still a great sister who protects my siblings and me, she is still the hardest worker that I know, she still is the person that can make me laugh, she is still the person who always has my back, and she is once again the person I look up to.

I believe that I can only really accept people for who they are when I stop using the good verses bad, black verses white mentality. These ideas almost made me lose all respect for my sister because she wasn’t perfect in my eyes.

I believe that bad choices don’t always make a bad person.