This I Believe

James - Skowhegan, Maine
Entered on January 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe in the Mafia

One day in English class my teacher gave us this an assignment- we had to read some essays from the 50’s and then try to make our own essay similar to the samples. The topic just happened to be on something we believe in. Well anyone can write rivers of pages on something one doesn’t believe in, but it’s supposed to be hard to write over something you do believe in. Well, here comes the truth on a “hard” assignment—I believe in the mafia.

Would you like your president to run the country by the same philosophies as you would? Would you like to live in a place where you knew you were truly protected, in a place of love and loyalty? Do you like the sound of money, power, and respect in your own life? Well, I believe the mafia can offer someone all this and more.

The mafia is a secret society which was first developed in the mid 19th century in Sicily. The word mafia comes from the Sicilian word Mafioso which means honorable, noble, or generous. According to some Mafiosi (or mafia members) the real name of the mafia is Costa Nostra which translates to “our thing.” The Sicilians have a law of silence, the OMERTA, which forbids the common person to cooperate with any law enforcement even if they have knowledge of a crime. The mafia is well organized and controlled by a Don, also known as Capo Di Tutti Capi or “the boss of all bosses.”

The mafia runs like a miniature country where a Don is the president and the Mafiosi are the voters of their country. These groups are forever loyal to each other and they share their wealth, along with protection. Although the mafia appears to be involved with illegal activities, when really they are providing guidance to those who have lost their way. There’s always a reason behind the mafia’s actions, and the common person will never hear of the good deeds the mafia performs. For example, mafia family members donate to charities to help the needy. Joe Pesci stated in the movie Scarface, “Never did a poor man come to my house and leave empty handed.” Another example would be the history of the life of Al Capone. When his friends were left homeless and without jobs, he took them into his own home and provided a living environment rent-free. The mafia supports all people of the world, whether they are black, white, young, old, rich, poor, male, female, and the list goes on. Back in 1925 the Italian Prime Minister stated that he was “proud to be Mafiosi”.

The mafia works like a support group, like AA. They take in their friends and family, even strangers, and give every person a chance to prove his or her loyalty. The mafia has a good set of morals that are easy to follow: you always protect yourself and the family.

I believe in the mafia, not only because they know how to run their societies, but also they teach lessons at the same time. From the biographies and television shows I’ve seen the mafia has taught me to respect those who know how the world works—most of all the mafia has taught me to by loyal to those who are loyal to me and to never betray that trust. I believe the morals my parents taught me to live by, could have been influenced by our ancestors. I believe in the mafia, because you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge a group of people based strictly on stereotypes.