A Few Simple Words
By Sepehr Hajiheshmat
Pasadena, CA


ďA single moment of understanding can flood a whole life with meaningĒ, thatís what my father once said to me. At first I did not quite comprehend what he meant by those words so I thought and thought. Days flew by and yet I still had no clue. I asked friends, parents, teachers and yet no answer. After a week, my dad walked up to me and asked me, ďFigure it out yet champ?Ē To my disappointment, I had no answer and only shook my head. He took me outside and began explaining to me the importance of life and why I should value it so much. ďI know things may not exactly make sense to you right now but in time, you will grow up to be a fine young man some day and you will realize the answer. This world we live in is not always the best or the worst but you take the good with the bad. Weíre all human and we are bound to make mistakes from time to time and no one can stop this. Itís this flaw that makes us so unique and sets us apart as individuals because of how we all handle our own situations and think for ourselves. Itís alright for you to fall down but it is absolutely not alright to fall in the same hole twice. The only mistake a man can make in his life that is unacceptable is one that he has already made. But one day, you will find your way towards wisdom and understand what these few words meanĒ

So I grew, as fast as I possibly could just because of one conversation I had had with my dad when I was eight years old. The curiosity drove me nearly mad so I began to study and learn about the world around me and its history. When my class reached WWII, my teacher was not as anxious to teach it as she was on other timelines. I learned about Hitler and his cruel acts toward the Jews. I learned of the concentration camps and the disgusting methods used to kill nearly six million people. I saw the pictures, the movies, the tattoos, the people, and the madness and felt dumbfounded. How could one person bring about such pain towards a race of people? And thatís when I began looking into the subject more by watching videos and reading books from Elie Wiesel such as Night and thatís when I began ďunderstanding.Ē

So many people massacred in so little time without mercy. The Jews stripped of their rights as humans and worked exhaustion itself to a point where death gladly opened its arms in an instant. The Jews were all ordinary people, no different than a single person in the world and yet they became the victims of a disastrous holocaust. It is because of these few reasons that we must never forget what happened in 1943. It is because of these few years in that past that took the lives of so many innocents without fail. It is because of these few reasons that the remembrance of the holocaust becomes such an important task. If the new generation and the many more to come do not learn of this mistake made by man kind in the past, we will be bound to repeat something just as horrific and by the time we realize our faults, history will have repeated itself. My father tried to show me that exact same thing and unfortunately, it is only now that I begin to empathize what my dad tried to tell me when I was younger. He wanted me to understand that I must take what I have learned from past failures and use that to create new success.

To be honest, we people cannot suddenly become perfect over night and stop all the hate and prejudices all at once. We canít gather up all the racists and sexists and tell them to change because they have to, although we would like to. There are many things we canít accomplish right now, but time always has its rewards. Something as simple as a rally in the street to bring people together or a club formed at a high school for people to become friends and get to know each other and accept each other for who they are. Little things like grabbing a basket filled with warm welcome gifts to greet your new neighbors next door. If we can achieve peace within our lives and accept people for who they are, we can stop violence and hate all together.

Today, I am a fifteen year old high school student trying to begin his life and learn the many things world has to offer. I canít change the entire world by myself but it doesnít mean I canít contribute towards a better tomorrow. I donít have to learn from the holocaust and take with me the many things I have read about but I will. I will, not of a forced will, but of a will to become a better person and have pride in being an individual. Each and every person on this planet can change but only if they want to. I canít guarantee the earth will ever become a perfect Utopia without violence or hate, but I can guarantee that working together and learning from our past mistakes can bring peace. It is only now that I see that everything is in that moment when we take our lives by the reigns and command it towards the future and prevail as human beings. Towards a path that makes us wise and understanding of each other with the power to abide foolishness and welcome tranquility. It is in that single moment when we understand each otherís hardships and problems which brings us together in aid of one another. It is in that single moment that our lives are flooded with meaning and purpose to keep living and learning to understand that life is a beautiful thing bestowed upon us and should never be taken for granted.


Works Cited :

The Holocaust . Oct. 30 Apr. 2008 <http://tsc.k12.in.us/stucurr/webquests/holocaust/peters.htm>.

Stern, Kenneth. Teaching the Holocaust is important, but it wonít stop anti-Semitism. Oct. 30 Apr. 2008 <http://www.jstandard.com/articles/2175/1/Teaching-the-Holocaust-is-important,-but-it-won%92t-stop-anti-Semitism>.

Helmstetler, Ryan. A look at the holocaust. Oct. 2001. 30 Apr. 2008 <http://techcenter.davidson.k12.nc.us/spring3/people.htm>.



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