This I Believe

Christopher - Arlington, Texas
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness

I believe in second chances. It’s hard, and everyone’s had some experience with them, whether you’re the one doing the forgiving or being the forgiven. They happen every day. You know, the whole repentance deal. “I’m sorry,” “That’s okay,” and everything’s all better. Well, not exactly. There’s that saying that goes, “Forgive but don’t forget.” I kind of catch myself living my life by it sometimes. It’s not right; when a friend makes a mistake, you should like them enough to put it past you. An American politician once said, “I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” That quote was made by Congressman Henry Beecher, and you can imagine how many words get tossed around between politicians! But still; forgive and forget. Every day something different happens, something goes wrong, and you find yourself upset with someone for a little while… even if it’s over the most stupidest of things. There’s also that whole issue with the “eye for an eye” philosophy. It’s out there, and a lot of people tend to act that way, but I think it just starts to jade people’s perspectives on what relationships are about. People aren’t perfect. Mistakes do sometimes happen. And when they do, it can be difficult trying to cope with them. But it’s forgiving those who hurt us that really brings out our humanity. When something like that comes up, your first thoughts tend to shift towards revenge. You want to get the other person back twice as good as they hurt you. But when that happens and you follow through with it, don’t you feel a little bit guilty? Isn’t there a little voice inside your head saying you shouldn’t have done that, that was a mistake, you’re in trouble now? I know I do! That’s part of the reason why forgiving can be so difficult. Forgiveness can be hard, and it can often times hurt twice as much as the injury itself. But in the end, second chances seem to bring a lot more out of a person than any concept of revenge. It’s not easy, it’s never easy, but in the end it’s worth it.