This I Believe

Michael - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on April 29, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I have experienced many things in life, and they have led me to believe many different things. One thing that I do trust is that no matter how different someone is they should always be accepted. I have a brother with Down syndrome. Over my entire life he has helped me realize that everyone is different; some are just a little more others. We all need to stand up for those being put down merely because they aren’t the same as everyone else.

Going and helping out at Special Olympics is a great way to get started. You can establish a relationship with everyone, and you can get comfortable around them. You will understand that people are people. Just because they act or look different doesn’t mean that they aren’t a living being. I try to help out at all the Special Olympics sports. It is a great time to really understand that you are different at times. No two people do everything that the other does. Others just might act or seem a little more strange than the “in” crowd, but in reality we are all out of the “in” crowd at times. I have learned that it is a very important concept to grasp. We need to stand up for the people with special needs, and everyone should uplift those that are being belittled. I know that this is harder for some than others. Nonetheless, we need to make our best effort to get away from trying to be the “coolest” or most popular person. It really is the exact opposite of “cool” when you are hurting someone else; it especially is for something that isn’t even their fault. Also, once you start being heartwarming to the “unpopular” people you will feel much better about yourself. You will truly be cool when you begin to do this.

We all need to look at what is right. Do you really feel good about yourself when you think about how you degraded someone just to make your “friends” laugh. You should think about how others feel. I’m sure that you wouldn’t (or don’t) like it when someone makes fun of you. Just take that feeling and think about how you made someone else feel. Reflect on all the good and bad things you did today; see how you can improve. Every small thing really does make the difference. Take it from someone who’s been on both sides of the road. Deprecating can only hurt people, including yourself.