This I Believe

Courtney - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks
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When I first sat down to write an essay based on my beliefs, many ideas came to my mind such as laughter, hugs, and minding my own business. As I continued to think about my actual beliefs, I got a call from an old friend that truly reminded of a belief that I hold dear to my heart. This belief is giving the people I love second chances. As I sat in my room, talking to this friend, I realized how important my beliefs regarding second chances had changed his life.

When we were in elementary school, Johnny and I were good friends, having grown up in the same church. As we grew up, we slowly grew apart, each gaining new friends, spending less time with each other. Eventually Johnny stopped going to church and I hardly ever saw him. As the years passed, Johnny had fallen into drugs and promiscuity. By the time we had reached high school, Johnny had developed sever drug problems such as cocaine and methamphetamines. Unfortunately, with these habits, Johnny had lost most of his friends. During his freshman year of high school, he dropped out. During my senior year of high school, I found out Johnny was being put in prison. It is a this point I decided to give Johnny a second chance at friendship with me. I noticed that no one would talk to him or write him letters during such a trying time in his life. I decided to write Johnny a letter. Johnny wrote me back expressing how much he appreciated my concern and care. For the next year and a half, I was Johnny’s only friend, his only companion outside of jail. When Johnny was released from prison in November, he told me that by giving him a second chance at friendship I had given him the strength to overcome his addictions to cocaine and methamphetamines. Since his release from prison Johnny calls me at least twice a week, talking to me for hours on the phone about his addictions and his struggle to regain the friendships he had lost.

If I had not given Johnny a second chance, I strongly believe he would have fallen back into his dangerous habits upon his release from prison. Though I had this belief before the incident with Johnny, Johnny has only strengthened my belief in the redemption of others.