Eddie - Rochester, New York
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: equality

I remember my first day in high school; I walked into the math class and immediately heard some kids laugh as I walked past. At first, I did not think too much of it but discovered later they were laughing because I was from an orphanage. This made me very angry, and sad; for, those laughing kids did not know what I, the “orphan”, went through on a daily basis. That day I promised myself that I would never look at people differently because of their situations. If I meet someone new, I try not to have preconceived ideas because I don’t know what in their past life brought them to this place.

I try not to judge, but I haven’t always been successful. It was a Wednesday, and my friend came over to hang out with me. We went to the movies, went shopping, and came back to my house. We talked, and talked and eventually the topic of religion came up. I told her I was a Christian and invited her to come to my church. When she said no, my curiosity took over, and I wanted to know why. She told me about her religion, and I started laughing. I laughed because I wondered how she would ever go to Heaven believing in that. I immediately felt bad for thinking that, and even letting those hurtful words out of my mouth. I hurt her feelings, and she started crying. I apologized profusely, and we made up. From this stupid mistake, I learned two things: that what you say cannot be taken back and that I need to not choose my friends based on their beliefs.

Last semester, I met a guy in my health course, and we became friends. As we got to know one another, he told me he wanted to become an artist. I just kept thinking to myself, “Why in the world would he want to do that? Does he not know career artists don’t make a lot of money?” These thoughts kept going around and around in my head, until one day I asked him to shed some light on these questions for me. He told me that just before his grandmother, who was very dear to him, passed away, she told him that he would make a great artist. In her honor, he decided to pursue this for his future career. This made me realize I can think what I like about people’s aspirations, but our past experiences and belief’s play a role in what we become. Therefore, I no longer let myself question what people want to do with their lives.

I believe all people are equal no matter their past, beliefs, or aspirations. If we all decide to change what, or how we think of others, our world will become the best one it could possibly be, because we are not in high school anymore.