Admission Essay - Write about an opinion or belief that you have had to defend and how it affected y

November 30, 2010
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Prompt: Tell us about an opinion or belief that you have had to defend. How has this affected your belief system?

I grew up going to church every Sunday and Wednesday, rarely did I miss a service. I was homeschooled, kindergarten through middle school, learning daily from the Christian-based curriculum textbooks that were purchased by my parents, for me and my siblings. My father was a preacher; my mother was both a stay at home mom and my schoolteacher. Needless to say, the early stages of my life consisted of and were based upon my family’s religion. It was natural and regular for me to live each day through the beliefs instilled in me by my parents, uncontested. Then I was enrolled into a public school for ninth grade. My parents did an excellent job of exposing me to the world and to parts of society. I experienced many things and was not “sheltered” as some people put it. Even though I had social experiences before, daily contact and interaction with certain people, at a public school, opened my eyes to the world even more. I experienced a radical change from spending my day with family and friends who were of the same mindset, to interacting with many people who did not share my values and some were even hostile towards my beliefs.

People and their beliefs are extraordinarily interesting to consider. Some people view all values to merely be one’s opinion on matters, while others mistake a simple opinion to be an inherent moral truth. Such mistakes seem to occur in nearly all debates or discussions that even slightly relate or appeal to a person’s values or opinions. Upon entering public high school, I was almost blindsided with the realization that many people do not mind challenging all that you stand for. From your petty opinion on something of little importance, to maybe your core religious beliefs, people will try to make you defend what you think or say. Such a challenge was once forced upon me, and so I responded by defending what I considered to be a moral truth. Freshman year in Biology class, by some vague means, the issue of abortion came up during a class discussion. Like a drop of water hitting a hot iron, the classroom heated up and passionate arguments began to fly. The teacher attempted to calm the mood, but the debate raged on. Then I opened my mouth and naively voiced my thoughts. The opposing side jumped on me and began to tear my statements apart like a pack of wolves. Using little to no rational or reasonable counter arguments, they resorted to degrading names and making passionate accusations. Accusations that I, and a few other classmates, considered to have no relevance to the debate topic and therefore they had essentially no value to the discussion. Regardless of what I thought, the opposing side showed no slacking and, therefore, I felt forced to stand up, literally, and present a full defense of what I believed. After a few minutes, the teacher had regained control of the classroom and I was the last man standing, continuing to argue my case. Then they just told me to shut up.

After this first instance, I began to realize something about people and their values. The more times a person’s beliefs are challenged, the stronger and even more stubbornly they will believe and defend them. Even when presented with a reasonable counter argument, the person will deny logic and continue to stand for his or her belief. Because of this realization, I started to change the way I defended my own beliefs and how I challenged others. In order to have a reasonable discussion, you first must find common ground with the opposing person. This idea was once foreign to me, but now I try to begin every discussion by determining what we agree on, and then progress from there.

From one little instance, seemingly insignificant in the whole scheme of things, during my freshman year, I changed and was able to understand my belief system and others more accurately. There is much more progress to be made in my understanding of human beliefs and standards, but I certainly think I’ve started and touched on the “tip of the iceberg”.

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Rhino said...
Jan. 29, 2016 at 8:03 am
Thanxx for sharing
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