This past semester in English 11, Mrs. Dani DeJong shared a collection of essays from National Public Radio’s program, “This I Believe.” She then challenged her students to write their own personal credo about a core principle that defines their life. The array of topics, concerns, and passions were as diverse as the students themselves.
The ACS Inside Out blog is excited to present their essays in our 2017 summer blog series, “This I Believe: Eight Personal Credos by Eight ACS Students.”
PART ONE: Two Pigtails
by Taylor Apperloo
“I only have two pigtails today.” A disappointed four-year-old girl said as she walked into the kids’ church room.
Almost in tears, this little girl told me how today her mom wouldn’t allow her to wear her favourite hairstyle: five pigtails.
The Sunday prior, I had also been helping in her classroom. I was waiting in the cold, empty room for the children to come bounding in, and I was looking out the door to see if I could find any of my students. Some came in but none too excited to be there, most just reluctantly loosening their grip on their parent’s hand shyly entering the kid’s church room.
Then in the distant corner, I saw a little girl with gorgeous blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes; unlike all the other children in the room. She had a bounce in her step as she skipped towards the class and her hand loosely holding on to her mom’s.
I could have recognized this beautiful little girl anywhere: Lindsey.
She entered the class and her smile brightened up the whole room and without hesitation her hand slipped from her mom’s into mine while her vibrant eyes met mine.
Her face lit up as she said to me, “My hair is just so pretty today.”
No, she didn’t ask what I thought of it or if I liked it, she simply just told me that she liked it, implying that she doesn’t care what others think about her hair.
The following week, Lindsey wasn’t near as happy. She walked in with her head down looking at the floor and her eyes didn’t have that same sparkle.
Sadly, she explained why she wasn’t as happy, “I only have two pigtails today.” At first, I felt bad for Lindsey because she didn’t get to wear her favourite hair style, but then it dawned on me how smart and lucky this four-year-old was.
Lindsey didn’t care what any other people thought about how she looked; all she cared about was that she liked it.
Lindsey knew something many don’t: no one cares about your hair.
I was never able to convince myself that this was true. I thought for sure someone ought to not like me or the way I am, but Lindsey taught me to be me and that I should not care about what others think.
I no longer need to try and hide myself from the people around me.
I don’t need to try and live in the shadows and in fear that people won’t like me for expressing who I am.
This I believe.