This I Believe

Carly - Boulder, Colorado
Entered on November 6, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

Almost everyone has heard the phrase “forgive and forget”. I believe in a moderated version of this; forgive and move forward.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been told to forgive my “enemies”, and to be honest, I’ve never had a problem with this. To me, living a resentful life is a waste of time. You can’t control the past so why would you choose to hold on to something you can’t control? Forgive those who’ve done you harm and you’ll most likely have a clearer conscience than you would if you were to hold a grudge. As Cherie Carter-Scott once said, “Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.”

However, even though I think it’s right to forgive, I don’t believe it’s always right to forget. This is because if you forget about something, you are less capable of protecting yourself from being hurt again. I’ve seen this happen so many times, it makes me shake my head. My best friend is still with the boyfriend that cheated on her twice. My step-brother who continuously breaks the rules and crosses my parents’ boundaries still has his car because they always give him “just one more chance”. These are examples of people trying to forget what has happened to them but I figure it’ll all just end in grief. Granted, it’s painful to think about the times you’ve been hurt, but I find it ignorant when one tries to close their eyes to it.

For that reason, it’s important to remember but also to move forward in life. I take what I’ve learned so far to go forth and take on new challenges with a clear but more aware mind. I’m not angry or sad, worried or anxious. I don’t go around complaining about how I lost my dad when I was 7 or how Emily didn’t invite me to her birthday party in 6th grade.

I’ve been hurt and so have people close to me, but laughing is one of the things I do best and I’ll probably have huge smile lines when I grow old. Every day I forgive what wrong was done to me and move on to what everyone should pay more attention to; the good things in life.