This I Believe

Catherine - Altamont, New York
Entered on August 25, 2006
Age Group: 65+


Until we start teaching our children the value of honesty, that we are all accountable for our actions, that we are all members of the human race and although we have our differences in religion and culture, we can’t settle things by killing each other, there is little chance of world peace.

More and more I have come to believe that children learn by example. If the parents are polite to each other, say “please” and “thank you” the children will pick this up naturally without coaxing. They can also quite easily learn prejudice and hatred at the knees of their elders. We should teach children that it is wrong to steal whether it be ideas or material things. We must set examples for young people by doing what is right ourselves.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” advises the “Golden Rule.” If by some miracle, we could all live by this principle, the world would be a better place. The older I grow, the more sense this makes to me. These are the guidelines we should all set for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. Try putting yourself in someone else’s circumstances before you criticize.

Treat your neighbors with respect and kindness, smile at strangers on the street, don’t be a road hog. Greet the checker at the grocery store with a smile and a hello not a grunt. Hold the door for the person behind you. If someone with his arms full drops something, pick it up. If you have extra vegetables in your garden, share them with neighbors and friends. Give away clothing that is no longer wanted or needed. Notice how good generosity feels.

If we are unable to get along with each other, how can we possibly expect other countries and other cultures to coexist. Stop perpetuating hate. We must all love our children more than we dislike or disapprove of other cultures. Learn the peaceful rules of “You do things your way and I’ll do things my way” and we all might breathe more easily. We can’t always have things our way; sometimes we have to give something up for the good of the world. Sometimes compromise is the lesser of two evils. If we are unable to do these simple things, perhaps the world isn’t worth saving.