Are you ashamed of who you are or where you have come from? If your reply is yes, then you should not be. You shouldn’t live your life wondering what society thinks. Although society has set many standards for different races who’s to say you have to live up to them. Why don’t you go beyond them or for that matter set your own standards.We live in a world where people pass judgment everyday. It is not God’s will but it happens and the only thing you can do about it is pray. Criticism is hard to understand especially against the same race. We spend more time hurting each other than we do helping each other.I had an encounter with an associate of mine due to a number of males screaming in the movie theater. "I can’t stand niggas," He said, they never know how to act." "They must be from Grambling." Well imagine how I felt being with someone of the same race as those he was referring to. He not only insulted my race and my intelligence he insulted himself as well. My friend is an African American freshmen attending Louisiana Tech. He was raised in Arcadia, La. He grew up in a home where his troubled behavior received more attention than academics. It seems as though he sees himself in different people and deep inside it is that lifestyle he’s trying to escape, but at that very moment in the movie theater he was ashamed of who he was and the color of his skin. He said, "We just living up to society’s standards." There is no such thing as we are living up to society’s standards. We are individuals. I will not hold my head in shame because of that incident. I am proud of who I am and I say to any male or female you should be proud to. Stop categorizing yourself and be that special someone you are destined to be. There are too many people fighting this same battle and in the end, there are no winners. We set the standards for ourselves. You can either live up to your expectations or be someone’s puppet and live up to theirs. We define who we are by the decisions we make in life and the actions we use to uphold each decision. We tend to blame others for our irresponsibility thinking that if someone else carries the weight of our problems they will soon fade away. What you fail to realize is your issues sit there and wait for your return.Understand that life is what you make it and this is where you take responsibility for your own actions not someone else’s. One would say when you point to someone else you have three fingers pointing back at you…It speaks for itself…If you feel the need to talk about someone begin with yourself, change must begin within to work its way out. Don’t get so caught up in society’s standards that you forget who you are. Remember that no two people are the same. Just because someone of your race is uncivilized doesn’t mean that you too are uncivil. It is not about your skin color it’s about who you are inside.I also attend Grambling State University, the same school that he so proudly insulted because he attends Louisiana Tech. Whether my friend acknowledges this or not, he implied that we as African Americans, especially those attending Grambling State University are uncivil and because of our race, society will say the same. I say again, that is not what defines you. You define you. There are certain things in life that will either make you or break you. How society perceives different races is one of them. Remember you are who you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.LaDeidra Warren is a mass communication student from Farmerville.