By Dayanna Alvarez
Riverhead High School
This question, for me, is actually quite ironic because recently in my social studies class we talked about laws and which ones are the most important. I chose the one about tolerance of others because I believe that if we are tolerant of others than there wouldn’t be so much chaos in the world. I understand that it might be hard to accept something that you may view as wrong or that clashes with your own opinions but reminding ourselves that we are not all the same and we are the directors of our own lives helps to be tolerant. People’s choices affect their lives, not our, and their choices do not cause us any harm. Therefore they should be allowed to make their choices themselves without the help of other people’s opinions and views unless they are asked for. To put it blankly, what others do is none of our business and we should not go to the lengths of making it our business.
Personally, I like this country because it contains so much diversity. Inclusion may not be as prevalent but some of it does exist. In my school I see people that are gay and cliques that contain all types of races. The friends that I myself have are all different and yet they sometimes have the same concepts or opinions which shows that we are not so different. In my school there are gay relationships and gay people and the best thing of all is that nothing is hidden. As far as I have seen homosexuals are not afraid to admit that they are gay and express their affection for each other in public. I find that to be freeing. Homosexuals are viewed and treated like any other human being which is the correct thing to do because nothing about them makes them different. Every time I see something like that I feel a warmth inside my chest as well as pride for a school that is so accepting.
My first experience with intolerance was with my mom. Our dog had accidentally run out of the house and gone after a lady who was walking on the sidewalk. My dog started barking at the lady. I would understand the lady to be fearful of the dog and be angry because of our carelessness, but there are limits. The first thing my mother did was apologize and kept on apologizing for the dog and the things that came out of that woman’s mouth left me astonished. She started calling us illegal and a bunch of dirty mexicans who had only come to this country to cause problems and commit crimes. My mother was so angry she started yelling. I held her back and faced the woman calmly because I felt pity for her ignorance. I explained to her that we were sorry and I understand her anger but she should learn to think before talking about things she did not know. We are not mexicans and we have no ill intentions against this country. I was so infuriated especially when I saw the tears escape my mother’s eyes. How dare the woman insult us so harshly? All for an honest mistake that was not intended to cause her harm. But in the end I realized that that woman was so ignorant that I actually felt sympathy for her. That poor woman has to live through life with her harsh prejudices. I only hope for her to not find hate and loneliness in return.
I have friends that are all diverse and I love them all equally. I watch social videos on YouTube where people pretend to be gay and the reaction that some people have disgusts me. It brings me to tears to see such cruelty and ignorance for another human being. Personally, I plan on helping the world by not being a bystander and acting when I see someone being bashed for whatever reason because it is not okay. I will act because I know in my heart that prejudice and racism is wrong. If I can help someone feel good about themselves and realize that it is not them who has to change but the world, then I will most definitely take the opportunity. If I can, I will try to educate the other person and give them the reasons for my view because that way they will have information from both sides of the coin. That way their opinion will truly be honest and supported.
The differences between human beings is what makes us beautiful. We are not all the same and that’s what makes this country so amazing and interesting. We may have different personalities, preferences, skin color, etc. but deep down we are all human beings. That is something that some people sometimes seem to forget. Humanity is not something that someone should be constantly reminded of, but should instead feel in the bottom of their heart. When that is gone, what is left? Nothing but a shell of someone who was once human.