This I Believe

Alissa - East Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on October 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: peace
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in a motion you can make using two fingers. I believe in a design that only requires a circle and two lines. I believe in a universally known symbol. I believe in one simple word. I believe in peace. I don’t just believe in peace in terms of war. I believe in creating peace in everything I do.

I think my love for peace came out of my youth. I had friends who would constantly pick fights with me over the dumbest reasons. I would go to school in fear that I would do or say the wrong thing and it would result in my friends getting mad at me. I just wanted them to stop getting mad so I wouldn’t be so paranoid. Now that I look back on it, I shouldn’t have ever bothered with them. If their happiness came from fighting I shouldn’t have had anything to do with them. Fighting doesn’t get us anywhere. Fighting is associated with words like hate, arguing, war, killing, and madness. Peace is associated with words like love, happiness, generosity, and kindness. I would by far rather live in a world filled with peace.

People can express themselves in many different ways. You can use your voice, choice of words, hand gestures, or body language as ways to get your point across. Sign language can create feelings of love, hate, humor, or simple words. If we give someone the sign language for love we don’t have to speak, they understand us. Also by making a peace sign with our hands and showing it to others we will make people see that we don’t mean harm. We’re not here to fight or judge. We’re here to love, listen, and share peace. We might not realize it but hands are powerful devices and can be used to bring people together.

The sun was cascading down on a clear mild day through big sheets of light. My friends and I were driving with the windows down. The wind was slapping across our faces and we were happy. My friends and I love peace. We also like to express ourselves in creative ways or with unusual ideas. One particular day we decided to “throw” peace signs to anyone that was walking by. Throwing peace signs to us means just putting our hand in the sign language for peace. I was surprised at the response we received. Many people put their hands back in a peace sign with a big smile across their face. The whole time we were doing it I was completely happy. I was with my friends sharing our passion and happiness to others. We didn’t know these people’s stories, we had no idea if they were having a good day or a bad one, we had no idea where they were going but whatever the case was we were able to put a smile on their face. We were able to do this because of one simple hand motion, one simple belief. We didn’t give the people a lecture on what we were doing because we didn’t have to. Four simple hands were able to put a smile across a stranger’s face and that’s all that mattered.

I realize that it is a lot easier to be cruel to someone and get in a fight than it is to make peace with others. I think it is something that we should strive for and that someday we will be able to achieve. Why waste time fighting when we could be living in peace? To me peace equals happiness. They go hand in hand. When everyone is fighting there is so much stress and tension and we’re so hung up on everything but when there is peace we can get on with the things that really matter in this world.

Peace puts smiles on peoples faces. Fighting puts frowns. Peace brings out the good in people; fighting brings out the bad. Peace brings people together; fighting pushes them away. Peace loves; fighting hates. Peace will not only help our world but everyone’s lives. Peace will put an end to violence. Violence, corruption, and killing are all too common in our world. So many innocent children and families are being affected in a negative way because of a lack of peace. So many families are living in poverty because war has come into their country and left devastation. All this poverty and dying happens because somewhere along the line someone had a disagreement. Think of how all this devastation could be ended if that person just let the disagreement go and decided to approach it peacefully. Think of how many lives could be saved and how many lives could be made better.

Peace is something I believe in and hope that many others do too. Make peace, be kind, and give of yourself. I think if we do all these things our world would be so much better. I see no logic in fighting and being mean. From personal experience it gets you no where. I for one am proud to say I both love and believe in a hand motion, in a word, in peace.