This I Believe

Brandon - Auburn, Washington
Entered on December 4, 2007

Using One’s Words

When a person is wronged, the most common reaction is revenge. What if, instead of hurting them back, you do something kind to that person? I believe that kindness, not instinct, is what can bring this world some sanity. When a person is hurt, it is often their first reaction to hate you. If you retaliate in kind to them attacking you, you strengthen their belief. Inversely, if you are kind to them when they do wrong to you, then they become confused, but it is registered in their mind that you don’t hate them, and they might even recognize that you are truly sorry.

I haven’t been the strongest in being an example for this course of action, but I will change myself. I wish to better my peers, and if I can show them kindness in the stead of hate, then I believe that I can help influence others to do the same. It took a very big wake-up call for me to realize this, but it is an epiphany that I have reached all the same. This generation is all about reputation and toughness. What they don’t realize is the words are one’s most powerful tool. They say that a kind word can stay a sword. If this is true, then what could a sentence do? If that sentence could be so mighty, then what could a paragraph do? Or a book? Or a library full of words? The tongue is like the rudder of a boat; although it is a small component, it can turn the entire ship, so can the tongue turn the hearts of those who you speak to. Vocabulary is one of the greatest gifts that God gave to man, so why don’t we use it to better ourselves and each other? Words are taken for granted these days, and it breaks my heart.

So I would encourage my fellow students to not turn on each other, but to turn the other cheek. I believe that a kind word can turn away anger, in time. It may not always work right away, but if you let the person calm down, then your words will be meaningful and effective. There is no one impervious to a kind word from a friend, nor is there any who won’t listen to reason forever. I have hated, been hated, I’ve wronged, been wronged, I’ve angered, and been angered, and I know that saying that you are sorry isn’t what’s going to fix it. When people are wronged, they don’t look for an “I’m sorry” they often are truly looking for reparations, or some acknowledgement that whoever did that was wrong for doing it.

My basis for my words has come from my background in the Christian faith. I would turn none away from a belief in Christianity, but everyone has the right to their own choice. The pastors and elders had always said that we should always turn the other cheek, although I never understood the practical meaning of the phrase. I now know that if we turn the other cheek, that we will not continue the chain of anger and hatred, even if we do not get a message of kindness across. If we all can learn to not hate each other, or to not stay mad at each other, then we can begin to learn to be kind to one another, and to help one another. Eventually crime might lessen, and even stop. Even further in time wars could cease. If that chain reaction was let to continue, then eventually we may be able to realize that classic, Ms. America dream of world peace. So this I believe, that if we show kindness simply to those around us, we can change the world we live in to be a better place.