by Sarah Mc., Grade 6, St. Anne's Elementary School, Peterborough, ON

Forgiveness. There is not enough in the world today. It is a constant struggle to learn ways to forgive others, but have you ever been forgiven? Has anybody ever forgiven you? And, by the way, what is forgiveness? Well, to me it is a second chance. To others it might just be the beginning of a really good friendship!

Bombardment. Have you ever been forgiven? Well, I have and trust me it’s not as easy as you think, but it’s the right thing to do!

One day in the fall,I was playing with my two next door neighbours, Kyle and Tylor, and a few of Tylor’s friends. At the time Kyle and I were only about six or seven, and Tylor and his friends were only about ten and eleven. We were all playing a game of twenty-one when all of a sudden Tylor and one of his friends got a crazy idea to have an apple fight. Since Kyle and I were still pretty young, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. So we all agreed to have an apple fight right at that very moment. We all ran into Tylor’s backyard where there stood an eight foot apple tree.

First, we all sat down and set some rules.

Rule#1: You can’t throw the apples too hard.

Rule#2: You could only take the apples that were already on the ground.

Rule#3: You can only hit from the hips and down.

When all the rules were set we all stood up and picked up two or three apples in each hand, then when Tylor counted to three, we all threw the apples at the same time. I watched as all of them dogged and ducked and dipped as the apples flew by. I did the same, of course, trying to avoid the apples that were coming from all directions. We were all having a pretty good time, until I hit Kyle in the back. I heard him say “ow”, so I went over and apologized, and asked if he was alright. He said that he was fine, and seemed to accept my apology. So we both picked up two apples and started to throw.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later that he decided to get revenge. While I was picking some apples up, he was plotting to plaster me with the most rotten, juiciest, biggest, worm-filled apple that he could find on the ground! When I stood up with three apples in my hands,I saw him looking at me with a devilish look in his eyes, and a rotten apple in his hand. He wound up and threw it as hard as he could!! The apple hit me right on the nose. Even if it was rotten, it was still hard and my nose started to bleed. Everbody stopped when they heard me cry. Kyle and I were both scared. Tylor ran to get his mom and dad and Kyle came over and helped me walk to sit on the steps. He kept saying sorry and sorry and that he didn’t want me to tell his parents and he would never do it again.

I forgave him with a few seconds. It was kind of hard because he purposely threw the apple at me, but he accidentally hit me on the nose. Tylor’s mom and dad came out with some ice to help stop the bleeding. My parents and my brother were out at the time so I was pretty scared. A few minutes later they came home and came to get me. I forgave Kyle that day because it was the right thing to do. Sure, what he did was wrong, but he asked for forgiveness and I thought that he deserved a second chance.

Gossipping. Have you ever gossipped behind someone’s back before? I’m sure you have. I know I have maybe five or six times. But not all gossipping goes on with girls, some boys today are doing it too. Example: Fred and Jordan are walking down the street. Fred says to Jordan,“Hey, Jordan, that Corie kid is such a wimp. He can’t go on the monkey bars because he is afraid of heights, and he can’t play football because he is to small and weak”. We shouldn’t gossip behind other people’s back. We should accept them for who they are and not for the way they look or speak.

If you are gossipping behind anybody’s back. STOP!! Think about what you are doing and ask God for forgiveness.

Asking for Forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is a tough thing to do. That’s what make it so amazing! I mean, it’s so easy to make a mistake, but to ask for forgiveness seems really hard. You feel scared, alone, worried. It seems as if there is no one else to turn to, except the person you hurt or discouraged.

One time I had to ask for forgiveness, and this is a message to all of you people out there who have to ask for forgiveness themselves. It was scary. One summer day in 1998, I was downstairs with my brother and we were watching “Home Improvement”. During the commercials, we would do handstands on the couch. I was kind of bored from doing handstands so I started to talk. Little did I know that what came out of my mouth happened to be an inappropriate word. My brother was shocked. He ran to get my mom who was doing laundry at the time and brought her into the television room. He told her what I had said and left the room, sticking his tongue out when he closed the door. My mom sat down and started to talk. The only feeling I felt was the feeling of being scared. I looked up at my mom with tears in my eyes and said I was sorry and that I would never do it again. I asked for forgiveness, and it seemed impossible to me, but I finally got my confidence up to ask. Don’t be scared to ask for forgiveness. It might seem a little scary at first, and you might be a little worried, but once they forgive you, it’s a big relief.

Being a Bully. Have you ever been a bully in life or out on the school yard? Have you ever hurt someone so bad that it leads to serious action? Or was it just bad enough that you had to ask for forgiveness? Bullies are one of the reasons kids are having problems out on the school yard, and one of the reason kids are forgiving each other. Some kids think they can just walk out onto the yard and torment other kids smaller than they are and we have to learn to forgive them, walk away from them and ignore them.

Dolphercat? Have you ever had a fight with you best friend? Have you ever had a fight over something as silly as a sock? Well, I have, and my fight wasn’t as silly as fighting over socks but it was pretty funny.

I was at my friend, Tinkerbell’s house, and we were in her room. Previous weeks before she had gotten her room painted. The top part of the wall was painted a nice color of yellow and the bottom half yellow with blue sponged on over the top. Now, since the blue was sponged on over the top, you could find different kinds of shapes on the wall.

So I was laying on one end of the bed and Tinkerbell was at the other. We were looking for shapes when all of sudden I yelled out “I found a dolphin”! Tinkerbell answered excitedly “you did”! So she came over to where I was laying down and looked at the little blotch on the wall that I was pointing to and then said, “That looks like a caterpillar”. I didn’t think it looked like a caterpillar at all, so I said, “It does not look like a caterpillar; that is clearly a dolphin. See there are the eyes, and the dorsal and the finds, and”.... I was cut off by the sound of Tinkerbell saying “No, it’s a caterpillar”.

Now you can imagine this ent on for quite some time, but finally I gave up and said “Ok, ok, ok, can we please stop fighting over a blotch of blue paint on the wall?” Tinkerbell agreed that it was very stupid. We forgave each other for acting so dumb, and ran off and played “Twister”.

Conclusion. One of life’s lessons is to forgive and accept forgiveness. Remember the stories I have told you. I was able to forgive and accept forgiveness. This is a lifelong process, one that I hope will be with me forever.

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