Be Neutral

Justine - Great Neck, New York
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I’ve always believed that people should stand up for what they believe in and for what they think is right. But I don’t think that people should do this by trying to defend others’ sides in a point. I believe that one should just speak for themselves, and no one else. I don’t believe in not involving yourself completely, but at times I think it’s right just to stay out of things that are between others. This, I call, remaining neutral.

A few months ago, I was sitting in social studies class listening to my teacher talk about how the United States wanted to remain neutral in a war between Britain and France. He said, “They may be remaining neutral, but they aren’t isolating themselves from the war.” “What’s the difference?” someone asked. He responded by telling us that even though the US wasn’t taking sides, they weren’t isolating themselves so that they had nothing to do with the war whatsoever.

Though it isn’t exactly the same, I learned something else one day while playing on an ice hockey game on my iPod. I kept trying to defeat the other player, but by leaving my goal to go to his, I ended up losing because he was able to score in my goal while I was away attempting to score in his. However, when I tried just staying at my goal, still paying attention to the game, he was not able to score. Though I did not really make any goals this way, at least the other player was not able to make any goals either. I’d rather play a 0-0 game in life by guarding my own goal, than play an 8-0 game with the other person winning because all I cared about was defeating them. It’s not the exact definition of remaining neutral, but by just being attentive to what’s going on in life and accomplishing things by myself instead of being concerned about everything everyone else was doing, I was able to win and get more done.

With everyone around me concerned about what everyone else is doing and what is happening in each others’ lives, and constant asking of “How did you do that?” or “What did you get on this test?”, it is hard to not do the same, and so I end up doing it anyhow. I believe, though, that I can walk in my own path and focus on what is more important to me, instead of focusing on stuff that pertains to others. By doing this, I think that I can accomplish more in life and also accomplish more of my set goals than I would be just sitting around and doing nothing but wondering and being curious about others. I’m not saying that I’m not going to care if two of my best friends are fighting, but I won’t inappropriately involve myself in a way that would make the fight now worse, and also between the three of us. I think that if I focus on my own line in life, and still care about others but don’t involve myself in things I shouldn’t be concerned with, life will go smoothly from there. This, I not only believe. This, I know.