This I Believe

Phyllis - East Lansing, Michigan
Entered on November 9, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family, love
  • 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 that sometimes we grow too old for hate. It just stops being in our emotional palette. The very young, babies and the like, are much the same.

I found myself reflecting on this topic sitting in my backyard on one of the last balmy nights of a Mid-western fall. Thinking about how intensely I once hated each of my siblings. Bloody noses were the least of those days. But time and distance, our own families, give us perspective. Not to mention age. And I no longer hold grudges, towards them or anyone.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some people I hope to never see again. Not many. Mostly the ones that probably feel likewise. That leaves me longing for resolution more than anything. Grief, left unresolved, the loss of a friendlier outcome. How I cherish the many people I’ve known.

My children have now all left home. I expect it’ll still take a few years before their sibling rivalries are tamed. The nest is empty, so the world fills my thoughts. Even in the wider place, who is there to hate. Misguided humans that we are, we’ve all wronged others and ourselves.

So hate seems misplaced in my life. Though I’ve known it. Forgiveness has seeped in without me realizing. My mother-in-law, a joyful Alzheimer’s sufferer, knows only love with her cats and our soon forgotten visits. When one lives in the moment, there’s little room for anything but love.