Forgiveness is important.
We all want it when we have done something wrong. But, I have observed, that it is not so easy for some people to give forgiveness to others. This fact was brought home to me by my child.
We were talking about an incident where an accident had happened and someone we know was badly hurt. This, of course, made everyone sad.
“Whose fault was it?” asked M.
“It was an accident,” I replied, “but the person in charge of the event was a friend of Adam’s.”
“Are they still friends?” came the immediate inquiry.
I laughed. “Yes, they are.” Then I paused as I thought about when the accident had happened.
“Interestingly,” I continued, “Now Adam’s family really can’t stand Zak and blame it all on him. While Zak and Adam have just got on with their friendship. I do think Adam was upset at first but he got over it quickly because it was, after all, an accident.”
“Why don’t the others get over it as well then?”
“Well, they can’t forgive Zak for hurting Adam you see.”
“Because they love Adam and Zak was the cause of all his injuries.”
“But he didn’t do it on purpose, did he?”
“No. It was an accident.”
“I think they’re stupid.”
“Well, it’s not nice not to forgive people. If Adam had caused the accident then they’d be on bended knee asking Zak’s family for forgiveness for him, wouldn’t they?”
“I guess so.”
“Well then, if they don’t forgive Zak for what he did then they’re just as bad as if they caused the accident themselves. They’re just causing more pain. They’re stoopid.”
I just nodded.
Then M added, after more thought, “Just because you forgive doesn’t mean you have to forget, does it?”
“No, of course not. It just means you don’t have any negative feelings or anger associated with the thoughts. You have to leave the bitterness behind and move on. You know, learning from the situation, but not letting it continue to hurt you. When you don’t forgive, I mean when you keep the anger inside you, it’s like tasting the most horrible thing and keeping it in your mouth instead of letting it go. You have to spit bitterness out, you know.”
“Are they really still angry with Adam’s friend even when he’s not?”
“I hope not, but I don’t know.”
“I think that’s really stoopid.”