This I Believe

Cody - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on November 24, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness
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Being like children

I have many beliefs and ideas about the world and people in it. Among these ideas there is one central belief that governs all the others, and that is forgiveness. I believe that forgiveness is the key to peace. When all people can look a person in the eyes who wronged them and say they forgive them, all the horrible things that exist in this world will vanish, and all that will be left is peace.

Whenever I think of the word forgiveness, the image of a young child comes to my mind. Children are so free spirited and full of love. They forgive all people, no matter how bad the deed, or how bad the person. This is how I try to be.

I also know, however, how hard it can be to do this. The idea sounds easy in theory, but when put into practice, I find it to be one of the hardest things to do. When I was in second grade I lived in a small town called Casa Grande in the southern part of Arizona. Casa Grande had the highest crime rate per capita percentage in the state at the time (that is including phoenix). So needless to say, it was a fairly rough town. Well, the second grade shared the lunch period with the forth grade, everyday during lunch, two forth graders would find me out in the grass field and pick on me. One day I finally got fed up with it and decided that I, a little second grader (who was underweight), was going to fight these two fourth graders. So they came by me and started to tease me and I pushed one of them and asked if they wanted to fight. Just then the bell rang for us to go in, I don’t know what would have happened, but the next day the two kids came over, and were nice to me. For the rest of that year and until the time I moved they were my best friends. If it had not been for our abilities to forgive each other, we would never have been friends.

Though this small episode of forgiveness doesn’t much matter, can you imagine what kind of world we would be living in today had the world leaders of the early 1900’s been able to forgive Germany after the first world war. Had the world found it in their hearts to forgive Germany, the treaty of Versailles would not have been signed, Germany would not have plunged into a depression, Hitler would not have rose to power, and millions of lives would have been saved. Though this is all hypothetical, just think of all the events that could have been prevented, had the world been able to lay down their pride, and rise to level of small children, who forgive all.

Forgiveness is the key to lasting friendships, the key to lasting marriages, it is the key that unlocks the door to a world free from hate, free from persecution, free from everything that is wrong in this world that we live in, forgiveness can bring peace.