To err is human; to forgive, divine.
- Alexander Pope.
The power of forgiveness is often times undermined in this fast moving ruthless world. The words of Alexander Pope resound with quiet solitude and hold true for all generations. We live in a world where it is easier to break than to make, to throw rather than fix and hate rather than love. Fast flying tempers and low running patience make it very easy to get irritated an annoyed and not pay heed to other’s needs and wants.
One sorry is all it takes to fix broken ties, to melt hard stone hearts and brighten up dark gloomy days. A simple ‘I am sorry’ or an ‘I apologise’ is enough to lift the scowl into a smile and warrant a warm hug of forgiveness. It has the remarkable power of reducing screaming shrieking voices to warm mellow reconciliations and hot red anger to cool blue camaraderie. Somewhere in the middle of our busy daily life, we have forgotten how to forgive people and move on in life. We hold burdening and debilitating grudges which only seek to wear us down. The baggage we carry increases everyday and it only slows us down in the journey of life.
Ego. This three letter word is the single greatest destroyer of love and friendship and has the annoying habit of getting in the middle of happy easy going amicability. The whole why-me-first-why-not-him chokes and kills our ability to forgive and look through the past into the future. Friends turn to foes and lovers are reduced to bitter quarrelling individuals. This ego, which seeps in unknowingly and unchecked, grown on us to cloud our judgment and asphyxiates our ability to give and receive love.
To ask for forgiveness is not an easy task. To recognise a mistake a committed, to accept defeat or to simply be the one to recognise the value of a relationship takes great courage. It shows that you value the other person over and above anything else in the world, and that your relation and bond is stronger than some petty argument or a heady fight. Where we are busy trying to make our voice heard over the other, we often forget that we are slowly detaching ourselves from those that we love. This blinding anger takes away from us what is important, and by the time we open our eyes to realise the truth, we are left standing alone. There is nothing shameful or embarrassing in going ahead and saying a sorry. The cliché ‘Sorry doesn’t make a dead man alive’ is a cowardly thing to hide behind and was probably devised by those who had not the power to forgive.
The other end of the spectrum takes equal courage to offer. To spit out anger and embrace love is not what many people can do. We have been bestowed with the power to forgive, to erase old scars and heal deep wounds. The power to truly forgive requires deep reservoirs of kindness, patience and generosity, all three of which come in short supply in today’s world. We are all humans, and we all make mistakes, but to look past ones flaws and embrace them, complete with all their shortcomings is what makes truly anyone great. To even consider the possibility that the other person feels bad whatever they might have done, and to recognise that you can put them out of their misery by uttering three simple words such as ‘I forgive you’ is humbling. To overcome animosity and accept love with open arms is the least we can do when someone comes to ask us for forgiveness. Do not forget, the person had to pluck up a great deal of courage to even come up and ask that their folly be over looked and are looking to you to help them salvage what they couldn’t.
The greatest form that love takes is the form of true forgiveness. Forgive, with all your strength and with all your love. Even when not asked for, forgive. There is nothing more liberating in the world than the feeling of having forgiven someone. It is the joy of knowing that you no longer carry a heavy heart and are free from the burden of carrying negativity. This alone will lift your spirits and exalt you to a freedom which words can’t do justice to.
Life is all about second chances. There are plenty of mistakes committed by one and all. Remember, we aren’t perfect. We strive to do the best we can to avoid hurt and pain but it is inevitable to falter in our endeavours. The concept of a stitch in time saves nine should be applied to relationships as well. The joy of forgiving is something to be experienced for it makes your world light up. Fights with friends, family and loved ad dear ones are bound to happen. No matter how much we think that a person would not mind us hollering at them, try telling a sorry and see their face light up like a thousand lights. Forgive and forget, after all, that’s a motto to live by right?