By Stephanie Cochrane Posted September 17, 2008
Past the mountainous wall enclosing small-town Winnemucca is a big world full of different cultures; there are the cultures that are dwindling away because tradition remains true and cultures that adapt to the ways of the world and prosper. Where is the line drawn between self-identity and self-preservation? Conforming to the ways of society applies not only to cultures around the world struggling to keep up with those more powerful but also to people in our own town looking for acceptance.
One of the things that make the world so beautiful is the diversity of its inhabitants; yet about every American tweenage girl wants to be Hannah Montana. Staying true to oneself is hard when American society views uniqueness as a flaw. No one likes to be mocked for being true to themselves. Accepting people as they are and not falling to the ways of society prevents mockery. People should learn from tribes in Africa being taken advantage of by white farmers that take their land and lives for just another paycheck. Culture can’t survive if it isn’t respected and uniqueness won’t be respected if people don’t change. The ways of the world will continue to worsen and look more and more the same if people don’t realize that their differences make them special.
There are ways to stay true to oneself while staying up to date with society. Avoiding gossip and bad-mouthing people stops criticism and reflects a sense of inner-confidence. Open your eyes to the minorities of the world and of your own world. Learn to accept yourself as you are and apply the same treatment to others. By stepping away from hurting others to make one feel good, one person at a time people will learn that what makes people different is what makes them beautiful.