When I was a child, around middle school age, I had a hard time making friends. I was shy, had low confidence, and spent a lot of time playing on my own. It was very difficult for me to put myself out there in hopes of making a connection. This is why I was so excited when, in seventh grade, through very little effort on my part, I made a new friend. We were instantly attached at the hip. We saw each other at school and she came to my house on several occasions. One afternoon, my new friend and I were talking in my room. She casually asked me about my background, saying her father was curious. I answered, thinking nothing of it. After that day, she would no longer speak to me in school and we never got together outside of school again. I knew why, but I was still confused and hurt.

I have rarely thought about this girl and her family since graduation. I haven’t harbored any anger or ill-will toward her. In fact, I forgive her and her father. I know that there are people in this world who believe that we are divided into a hierarchy based on race, ethnicity, religion, and other distinguishing characteristics. These people have hardened hearts and blinders on their eyes, but the worst thing we can do is to match their attitudes. Instead, we must soften our hearts and open our eyes to the truth. I truly believe there is more Good in this world than evil and that evil works very hard to make us think otherwise. If we fail to see this, to really focus on the good in our lives and around us, fear, anger and unforgiveness will take hold of us and destroy our lives.

In our current culture, there is so much focus on negativity. People agonize over all the wrongs we have faced, all the mistakes that have been made, all the hurt, confusion, anger, fear, and sadness. We are weighed –down by emotion and it is stifling.

It’s time to let it all go. Forgive. Forget. Reconcile. Be free. Be happy. Live without fear. Let the anger go. Feel the freedom. Let love into your heart. Improve.

Don’t let someone else make you something you are not. Be part of the Good in this world.

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