This I Believe

Brenna - Charlottesville, Virginia
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

This I Believe

Brenna B

I believe in the power of words—that words can shape someone’s life, or that they can destroy it. The right words can completely change lives; they can inspire someone to be different, to be better. But at the same time our words are a terrible weapon. They can be used to cut someone down completely; they can break the strongest person alive. Most people don’t understand this; they don’t understand what power they possess. Three words, ‘I love you.’ Three words, “I’m so sorry.’ Such little, otherwise insignificant words, but when arranged like that…they become life-changing statements. Actions speak louder than words, but it is our actions that are defined by our words. More often than not people will believe what they hear, take it to heart, swear it is a very part of them, just because someone said it. Even if they can’t prove it. Even if it’s not true.

I believe that people are selfish—that people are so consumed with themselves that they’ll do anything to further advance their goals in life before considering the effect it will have on someone else. People are so wrapped up in their own lives, their problems, and their crises that they don’t take into account how their actions could potentially hurt someone else. We’ve been taught, hardened to it, that this callous attitude is how we get by in life; how we achieve our goals. So, we do it, without thought.

I believe that people lie—that people steal, that people cheat. Sometimes they do it to hide something, or to help someone. Sometimes they do it because they can. People lie about things because they’re ashamed of the truth; they’re afraid of the truth and the repercussions it will have upon them. People lie in what they say; in their words, and in their actions. They lie because the truth is unpleasant and they’re too selfish to admit it. To admit that they were wrong.

But in spite of all of this, I believe that people are inherently good. Good people exist in this world, and good people make mistakes—they screw up, they lie, they cheat for whatever justification they’ll give…but they do it. And more often than not they do it because they’re scared and not because they intentionally want to hurt someone else by it. They’re selfish because the thought of caring for someone else in the same way that you care about yourself makes you vulnerable. They lie to cover up their insecurities, or their mistakes. But good people do all of this because they can. Because they’re only human. And sometimes, and it’s rare, but sometimes they’ll find themselves in a situation with someone that they’ve hurt. They’ll be confronted by someone who they’ve wronged. And if they’re lucky enough that person will tell them something, and it’s only three words, but it makes a world of difference. Sometimes, in spite of it all, regardless of how badly they’ve been hurt that person will say, ‘I forgive you.’ And that is the most powerful words can get.