This I Believe

Todd - Gilbert, Iowa
Entered on November 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness
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A Sense of Guilt

Have you ever accidentally caused harm to someone and then regretted never apologizing to them for some time? I believe in the power of a guilty conscience.

I would like to believe that I am a forgive and forget kind of person. But I am not. I can’t forgive not even minor offenses. Like when someone insults me, I can’t just let it go; I have to get even with them. I want to believe that other people can forgive me for any bad things I have done to them. I know some won’t, but most will.

There is only one incident that I wish I could have had the courage to come forward and apologize for. I was a freshman in high school. I was in algebra class with other freshmen and eighth-graders. It was just before the start of class. I had discovered I had done the wrong page for an assignment. So in a fit of rage I threw down my notebook onto my desk, only it didn’t touch the desk. Instead it went forward and hit an eighth grade girl in the back of the head. She didn’t turn around or say anything.

Four years later and I still haven’t got the strength or the courage to simply apologize to her. But in a way I think she has forgiven me for what I did, even though we haven’t talked since. She doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge or harboring any ill will against me so I believe she has forgiven me indeed. And even though it was four years ago it is still fresh in my mind. Even though it wasn’t that serious of a problem, it still bothers me. My belief that I have been forgiven has cleared my conscious of the guilt I felt over this. Maybe I just think this so my conscience will be clean. I certainly hope she is the better person and apologizes to herself for me since I most likely never will.

I don’t know what would happen if I confronted her on this. Maybe she has forgotten about it. But it will stay with me forever.