“Lack of Understanding Leading Lives Away from Unity”

Oriana - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in taking the time to get to know others. If more people took the time to understand others and their reasons behind their actions, their actions can start to make sense. If countries, cultures and religions got to know each other to realize they are not that different, maybe peace could be achieved someday. I believe in never judging a book by its cover; and no matter how unappealing the cover is, at least taking the time to skim through the pages. And if one still doesn’t like the book, to never discard of it and hate it, but also not pretend it is one’s favorite book.

My best friend from Israel moved here 4 years ago because of her father’s job. She is moving back to Israel when high school is over. We were talking about her leaving and the people she has met here. We talked about how one of her friends is Muslim and Egyptian, people that she isn’t supposed to like. She told me she never had a chance to talk to and be friends with a Muslim person before, and when she got the opportunity to do so in the US; she realized that they really are not that different from her. She hates the fighting that goes on in Israel, and wishes it was over. But, when she goes back, she has to enlist in the army to fight for something that should’ve been over a long time ago. Her dad told her when she was little that once she was 18 that she wouldn’t have to fight because the war would be over, but she is now 18 and still has to enlist. She told me that what her dad told her, her ancestors had told their kids every generation.

I have learned a lot about life from her. I have always believed in not judging and taking the time to get to know others, but she gave me a real life changing example of that. Of course, they still have their differences, everyone has their differences. But they have learned to put those aside and still be friends. And even if they did hate each other, they at least have reasons to hate each other now; instead of hating because of what they hear, and in her case, of what she sees.

I believe in unity. I believe that in the words of Bono, “we are one, but we are not the same.” I think the best part about living on this earth is the diversity of it all. All cultures and religions have beautiful aspects about them and I don’t think we should all be the same. But I think we should celebrate that we are not the same, instead of hating each other because of it. Many conflicts are caused because of confusions, rumors; if everyone took the time to understand others, a lot of silly high school fights or even wars could be prevented.