We all have things about our personalities that do not come from the teachings of our parents or experiences in life. Some aspects of character simply exist within us, and they are so much a part of who we are that certainly we would cease to be ourselves if we were without those personality traits. I have one such trait, or rather I might term it a passion and belief that no one necessarily taught me but which is the driving force of much of what I do and who I am.
I have always passionately known, even from my earliest memories, that all human beings have endless potential and the ability to change for the better. It is a belief upon which I have acted in what would seem like absolutely reckless and even dangerous manners, but never once have I found this idea to prove altogether untrue. I recall one person I insisted upon befriending, even though I had to do so somewhat in secret to avoid extreme persecution because the world around me was howling that she was a lost soul and would never be a decent person again, and battering against me for my efforts. It took over two decades but she is now a striking lady with reverence for God and a determination to be the best woman she can be. I have counseled would be murderers and helped them make peace with themselves and those they have injured. I have watched truly hardened and hateful people turn their lives around and give themselves to the service of others, and I know for a perfect fact that no one is exempt from this ability. No one.
My friends, not one of us is perfect. I am surely very far from it. But each one of us without exception has the inner light and power to be a force for good in this world. And those who have done the most damage, the most wrong and injured the most people have an extraordinary opportunity to turn around and not only change their own behavior to goodness and strength but help those who face the same temptations and setbacks change theirs.