This I Believe

jeniffer - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe in the potential of cruelty. The human mind is a wonderful, breathtaking thing that has taken centuries to understand. Elaborately created systems that so beautifully conduct our everyday life, all contained in what we call the brain. Now I understand these networks of veins and whatnot control what we do, but I can’t seem to grasp, I can’t seem to comprehend where cruelty comes from.

I agree that sometimes it is hard to be kind, but cruelty is not an alternative action. I’ve seen so many acts of brutality, witnessed things that should shame the human mind, but instead takes pride in. I do not understand how such a beautiful thing, how the human mind can create such hateful words, such putrid actions, such acts of bloodshed.

I believe that cruelty is practiced in elementary school and perfected in high school. For me, being kind is natural for I was taught this action since I was a child, so this is why cruelty amazes me. I first noticed it in third grade when my friends told me I couldn’t be friends with them if I was friends with the new girl. I couldn’t understand this at first and I was very upset, but then I realized that the new girl had a lisp and she stuttered several times as she was speaking. This made me more compelled to help her out and I could not understand why my friends weren’t doing the same. They stopped talking to me and in the playground they would push me around saying that I too had a lisp and a stutter because the new girl was “contagious” therefore labeling me “weird” in third grade language.

Now at an older age, it makes me wonder that if cruelty comes as natural as I witnessed at the early age of eight, then cruelty has the ability to escalate to higher degrees as age progresses. And I began to understand that cruelty in its disgusting wisdom knows to take hold of an innocent mind and then mold it to its control.

I believe that throughout history this malice has perfectly, silently, and willingly conquered the human mind. It conquered the mind of Hitler, it has conquered the mind of Saddam Hussein, Mussolini, slave owners, it has conquered the mind of Rosbepierre and most of all, it has conquered the mind of everyday life.

I see hateful glares, ignoring, the cold shoulder. I hear of murders, rape, abuse, hitting. I taste the air and sometimes recoil from the taste of cruelty. I feel it all around me, and it is my personal struggle, my everyday commitment to guard my mind against the soiled claws of cruelty.

For me being kind is a way of life, but I see that for many people that is not the truth. For what I’ve seen, for what I’ve heard, for what I’ve smelled and felt, I believe in the potential of cruelty.