This I Believe

Jonathan - 11104, New York
Entered on January 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, this is an age old adage that has been applied to

virtually everyone in life. It’s simple, when one hurts another person, he should be hurt in return.

However, I must say that vengeance and vindication is not what I believe in. I believe vengeance

will only cause people to hate each other. Vengeance calls people to do certain actions in their

life: Nothing less than degrading actions toward others when they have been wronged.

Also, I believe it will create a poisonous atmosphere between people because they will choose

only to do negative and degrading actions against each other. This is why I don’t support the

belief that revenge is the answer to problems; I believe in the power of forgiveness. And because

I believe in the strength of forgiveness I live my life constantly trying to forget the worse deeds

done to me and seeing the better ones. Forgiveness is the answer to conflicts as it doesn’t leave

the sting of hatred that vengeance does.

I forgive people often in order to be forgiven myself when I wrong people. For example,

one of my closest friends told me not to upload a video of him making fun of another person, yet

I still did it anyway because of popular demand. Soon, our friendship became acrid and we

chose to exchange arguments against each other with me saying that he wasn’t a sport, even

though I knew I wrecked his social life, and that he should see it as something small and him

calling me a backstabber. The situation continued to deteriorate and I was left with a storm of

terrible emotions ravaging through my head. I couldn’t stand to see myself losing someone so

precious so I apologized and he forgave me. Almost immediately we saw the entire conflict as

something so miniscule and absurd that we each spent a good deal of time wondering how this

could have ended our friendship. I was leaving a tainted place of my life; moreover, I intend never

to go back to such grounds. Forgiveness brought me true satisfaction back because I

honestly believe there is almost no better feeling then the one I get when I know that I admitted

to something I was wrong about and was forgiven for it.

There are also negative things when people choose to exact revenge to other people’s

deeds. This is heavily reflected by Capital Punishment, also known as the Death Punishment. It is ‘

still debated whether Capital Punishment is morally right and whether death is really harsh

enough sentence since many people would rather die than live out a miserable life in prison. The

Eye for an Eye rule is applied here and some people believe that it only encourages harsher

crimes, and for some cases, it actually has. Once someone is executed for their crimes I only see

it as a a means that indirectly implies that a person can violate the laws and ruin or even take

away peoples’ lives then die a a swift, painless death by lethal injection. Even in my more

humdrum personal life, revenge would be something of last resort, if it even is an option at all.

Whenever I am wronged, I tend to forget about it because I choose to. It is entirely in our power

to forgive or not. Getting someone back only serves to cause harm and I strongly support the

belief that people shouldn’t waste time poisoning a community rather than building up on it.

Summarily, this is why I believe in the power of forgiveness. I have faith that it will lead to

what is best. Revenge is completely futile. Vengeance will only serve to create more conflict even

if its original purpose is to end it ,hence no one wins. My belief in the power of forgiveness is

summed up in the powerful words of Mahatma Gandhi-“An eye for an eye-will make the whole

world blind.”