This I Believe

Alexandra - Oak Park, California
Entered on October 29, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness
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Forgiveness: The Key to the Future

“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese who said this quote, had a clear understanding of the meaning of forgiveness. Seeming so simple, to forgive is probably the most difficult thing you’ll ever have to do. To forgive someone is to understand their mistake, accept their apology, and move on. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance if they’re willing to change. I believe in forgiveness.

When I was a little girl, there was only one thing that I hated above all: forgiving others. There were times when my twin sister would take my favorite stuffed animal and hide it from me. I would get so mad that even after she said she was sorry I would refuse to forgive her.

“Sorry,” my sister mumbled with down cast eyes. I remained silent looking disappointed in her and, inside, myself too. Even if I was willing to forgive her on the inside, on the outside, I wanted to show her my anger.

It wasn’t until the fifth grade that I realized how important forgiveness would be to me. In my elementary school there were two girls who were the closest of friends, and they were completely inseparable. One day, everyone arrived to class nervous for the test we were about to take that day. Some people were more prepared than others, and I could tell that one of the friends was clearly not ready to take the test. As the test began, the unprepared girl sat, of course, right next to her best friend. As I was taking my test, I noticed, in the corner of my eye, the girl who didn’t study was glancing at her best friend’s paper. She was cheating. As soon as her best friend realized what was going on, she walked up to the teacher’s desk and told her what had happened.

Before I knew it, the friend that got cheated off of was asking me these questions like whether she should forgive her friend for cheating or should she simply hold a grudge. As she was asking me these questions, I was wondering myself whether I should express to her what I had always believed in or what was really right. Then, another question popped into my head. What’s so bad about forgiving anyway? Like the quote said, to forgive is not to forget what happened in the past, but it is an opportunity to increase one’s possibilities of love and friendship for the future.

As I was telling the girl about the possibilities of forgiveness, it was almost like I was pulling my real beliefs out from inside of me. That year, I realized that forgiveness can mend a heart and save a friendship. It can work wonders for you too if you just put your feelings of anger aside and just forgive. This I believe.