Living in the south there seems to be a certain code of conduct. You listen to country music, drink ice tea, talk with the Texan drawl, and go to church every Sunday. Though this stereotypical definition does not encompass everyone, it does describe many people I know.
Like any good southern girl I love sweet tea and southern accents. The occasional country song will play in my head for days. However. I do not frequent churches on Sundays. Now you must understand that I am a very private person. I trust very few people with my views and these people accept my non-religious views.
The Reality Essay Example
However, one unexpected day, while sitting in the floor of the schools bland lecture hall, the beliefs of those around me came into view. I sat whispering conspiratorially with my best friend of eleven years as we searched the road map for a hidden town. A third member of the group, a short curly haired girl in the grade above me, jutted down our findings. They began to talk about their god and plans for church this week. As they talked my friend did not bat an eye; she falls under the category of those who go to church every Wednesday and Sunday. Suddenly realizing my silence, the girl turned to me.
“Well don’t you believe in him?” I felt like caving in on myself. I had not prepared myself this morning before school for someone to judge me for the way I am. Why would I? I sucked in a gulp of air and attempted to reply calmly.
“No, I’m not a religious person.” This seemed so absurd to the girl she looked as if she would soon start yelling, how do you not believe? You don’t think God exist? Seeing the girl poised for attack, my friend readied herself to swoop in and save me, but I motioned to her I could handle this. The girl proceeded to do just as I expected, and I took my time to give her calm respectful answers. I explained that I would prefer not to have this debate. She, however, remained persistent. Then she proceeded to tell me,
“You should talk to my preacher! He can help you!”
This nearly knocked me out of my seat. Never before had someone talked to me like a broken thing in need of fixing. As if realizing something else she turned to my friend and exclaimed,
“How can you be friends when you believe different things?” Like the first breath I had taken in a week my friend took my hand and smiled at me. She looked calmly at the girl and explained that though we have different views we accept each other for who we truly are. We may not be the same, but that was not enough to tear us apart. Through the savior of my friend I found my voice and thanked the other girl as she gave me the name of her preacher. With one last squeeze of the hand and my friend separated and sought out our seats.
After I got home, the thought of the girl was grinding in to my mind. I could not believe how harshly she tried to discount my thoughts when I had done nothing of the sort to her! My anger grew until in an almost epiphany moment I realized the girl was not attempting to be rude. She was not accustomed to dealing with people with a different thought process. People like my friend, however, exist to help diversity grow. I learned that the reality of the world is not everyone will understand, but I cannot shut down and get angry at them. You have to take the good with the bad and hope that everyone will accept you as you accept them. In the end, I am still the ice tea drinking, southern drawling, country music girl who knows being different is a blessing not a curse.