This I Believe

Katherine - Cypress, Texas
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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We laugh when we’re happy, we cry when we’re sad, must we fight when we’re angry? I never understood why the common human expression of anger is violence. Does one feel accomplished when beating someone up? No, I’m not an angel or a saint, but I believe violence is unnecessary and avoidable. Mahatma Ghandi once said “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. I agree with him; Does any good ever really come from violence?

On October 19th, 2006 15-year-old baseball player Michael Nieves got into an altercation with 17-year-old Kelvin De La Cruz during lunch time in University High School. When the fight was interrupted by school securtiy, the two decided to settle it after school. Anxious students gathered around the bus stop to witness the anticipated fight over a girl that both Mikey and Kelvin liked. With the expectant crowd cheering them on the boys knew no limits and fought like rabid wild animals. Feeling a sharp pain in his chest, Mikey reached down as a reaction to the pain, but when one of his close friends looked at him with an awe-struck look Mikey frightfully looked down to a blood-drenched T-shirt. The sight of his life spurting out through his chest was too much for him to handle and he collapsed to the floor. Kelvin had stabbed him in the nape, the cheek, and the chest before running away and with all his friend watching Mikey’s fight was no longer for a girl but for his own life. It was too late though, Kelvin had unrighteously determined Mikey’s fate and as Mikey was being taken to the hospital, he closed his eyes one final time.

I never knew Michael, in fact I had never even heard of him until I heard the tragic story from an eye witness (my cousin). The story left me with chills and I began researching it. Reading about it every single time caused my face to drown in tears, it was just so cruel and yet avoidable. I know it in my heart that Mikey’s parents could still have their only son, and his three sisters, their only brother if only violence wasn’t a natural instinct to so many teenagers nowadays. A concerned parent commented to the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper that “When I was a kid, we received bloody noses or black eyes, lived to say we were sorry and went on about our lives. Todays youth needs to recognize this and leave weapons to the soldiers.”

I know it’s possible to avoid a fight. I myself have done it before. A girl confronted me in school ready to fight over a “he say, she say” comment that was made, when I refused to fight her she showed up at my house after school. Then I received one of the biggest satisfactions ever. I opened my door smiled at her and offered to talk about the issue. I can’t explain the feeling I felt when we really resolved all our problems without any blood.

Why people resort to violence is beyond my comprehension, but I know that this world can do without violence. Michael Nieves left behind family, friends, and a whole little league baseball team. Not everyone dies during fights but I believe no one has to die over someone else’s inability to control their anger and I believe violence can be avoided.