This I Believe

Rebecca - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I Believe…

“You sound like a mouse!” she states snottily. I turn and look, and with an over exertion of friendliness I simply reply, “Oh yay! I love mice!” I turn once again to my friends and we continue on our way out to the field where our group normally gathers. After reviewing the incident with my friends and giggling about the pathetic nature of the statement, my day went on as it usually would.

Later on in my life, as I have pondered this confrontation, mice for me have come to represent the opportunity to show kindness to people who make belittling comments such as this. If a mouse bites me, and I smack it or throw it against the wall, it will keep biting me every time I go near it. If I give it some cheese though, I’ll soon become his best friend.

My final period ends, and as I leave the school I notice the girl who so harshly pointed out my mouse-pitched voice, sitting in a white truck with her mom, apparently waiting for a sibling to arrive. As I walk towards the humongous vehicle I remember something my father has always taught me: “If someone is mean to you, try being nice to them and they will eventually apologize.” I get an idea: I walk by casually, and as I pass her I look up, smile, and wave. She ignores my gestures. I continue this pattern every day for at least a week, maybe two. A friendly look, a friendly smile, a friendly wave. As I continue this pattern, nothing seems to be changing, although she has not bothered me since she scorned my mouse-like voice. A short time later while eating lunch with my group of friends, she walks up to me with her friends and apologizes for what she had said. I eagerly accept it and am filled with amazement that what my dad said was true. I always sensed afterwards that I had earned this girl’s respect. She never bothered me again.

This incident happened when I was in eighth grade, about four years ago. I have never forgotten the lesson I learned. I learned to show kindness to an enemy. How easy would it have been to say something negative to her? It’s extremely hard for me to hold my tongue when someone is being mean or rude to me. But for some reason I knew she would keep “biting” me if I didn’t give her some “cheese”. This is why I believe in mice.