This I Believe

Thomas - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

To understand another person. There is nothing more important that a person can do than that, because it’s what makes long lasting relationships. I have often been quick to judge, my impression of someone tainted by physical appearance or rumors. Doing this has limited me from getting to know that someone, truly who he or she is, more than just what he or she seems to be. Understanding is what has brought me closer to the people in my life, and I believe it’s a beautiful thing to do.

I no longer talk to my best friend from my early elementary school years. We were both little and obsessed with video games. We would always go over to each other’s houses and play for hours. And when we weren’t, we went golfing together or just hung out. I trusted my friend a lot, even when I found out he had stolen a game of mine. But then he did it a few more times. He stole a couple of my favorite video games. I soon began to avoid him. He no longer fit into my group of friends, and we would talk bad about him and cringe whenever he tried to join into our conversations or activities. He is someone who I have not tried to understand. He’s already moved away to some far off suburb, and I no longer have the opportunity to reconcile with him. And now I’ll never know—maybe he felt sorry for what he did. Maybe he wanted me to forgive him. At that young age I didn’t know.

Understanding is what brings me closer to my family. Family relations can be difficult at times, like when my parents fight, when they are so stressed out and then my sister and I are on edge—it’s hard to be a loving family. But I know parents aren’t perfect. They can’t make it to all of my concerts or sports games. They can’t always know when I’m having a bad day. But I understand, that they have a lot going on, and that they work hard and their overworking is a sign of their concern for their children. As long as I understand, my relationship with my family will survive.

Understanding is what makes relationships work. This I know from my experiences with family and friends. It is hard to do sometimes, but I know I must. I must try to understand everyone, because it’s the only way I can get to know who they truly are, and doing so is important to me. This I believe.