This I Believe…

Mariah - North Port, Florida
Entered on January 3, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

The story of Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut is about everyone basically being the same. While reading this textbook story, I struggled with the idea of everyone being equal in every way. Then I looked at this issue from a deeper, more personal point of view. In doing this, the rather more negative side began to emerge. All my life, I’ve constantly heard “Equality is the way to go!” but that’s only to a certain extent. So, I argued this issue after reading a couple pages from that text that changed my life. I believe in diversity.

In my very own house, I remember how the way letters were written was an issue. My uncle would tell me how my “A’s” were shaped wrong, and with my sisters, “S’s” were also an issue. Little did he know that my “A’s” and her “S’s” contained a tiny bit of our personalities.

A lot of the time, students, including me, had a difficult time holding on to that difference that separates us, when the teacher would draw something on the board and ask us to copy it; as if saying “This is the way.”

I also believe in freedom of opinion as well as diversity.

It wasn’t until I went to church one Sunday and saw my pastor praising only McCain that I realized how quickly people could conform to the other side. They cut all the parts that people wouldn’t agree with, out of McCain’s speech, but simply only showed the parts in Obama’s, that the majority wouldn’t concur. As if that wasn’t bad enough, at the end of each presentation, everyone sat in silence for Obama’s, but clapped for McCain’s; even though I was aware that half the crowd, at least, was in favor for Obama. It was very astonishing to witness this firsthand. I remember looking around and seeing all the people nodding their head in agreement. I remember the loneliness I felt; my mind thinking differently than everyone else in the room.

Until that day, I would’ve never thought that certain opinions would not be welcomed at church. I felt as thought, because my pastor was of a higher authority, and ranked higher in the social status than I, that he was able to brainwash us all to choose who he wanted us to vote for.

People in general are afraid to take a step out of their comfort zones and go against the current; even if it would make all the difference. When there’s no backup, it’s harder to speak out because we’re afraid of getting beat down. What is learned from that is that we will become better prepared, having somewhat of an experience. All in all, each person carries a bit of that diversity and freedom of opinion in us, to keep us all from transforming into identical machinery. It takes a million to keep the world the same, but only one person to change it…and that makes all the difference.