There have been too many times in my life when I refused to forgive someone for a wrong that I perceived they had done to me. Looking back I cannot recall a single time where not forgiving the person helped me, or played to my advantage. I like to compare nature to the human existence because regardless of how superior humans feel, we are a tiny part of the universe.
The grass doesn’t bemoan the weather during a drought and scheme to get even. Even animals that are low on the food change do not resent the predators who thin the tribes of lesser species. Somehow nature installs a cycle in these non human animals and plants that has no resentment or anger. Both sentiments would be counter productive to existence.
So why do we as the superior species allow hatred and resentment to adversely alter the course of our daily existence? There are no positive results from hatred. There is nothing to be gained from resentment. The satisfaction of “getting even” is an empty and fleeting emotion that ultimately leaves us far worse physically and spirituality.
Perhaps the greatest gift that humans posses is the gift of choice. To some extent we are free to choose where we live, who we befriend and with whom we will procreate and start a family. Every day is filled with hundreds of small choices that ultimately determine the path of our day and cumulatively the path of our lives.
The ultimate gift of choice is that we can decide to assign our own meaning to the things we do and the things that happen to us. Now, when wronged by another, I do my best to realize it is an opportunity for personal growth. I do my best to forgive and move on. If I wronged another I apologize sincerely and absolutely. If I receive a sincere apology I decide to forgive and give the relationship a second chance. If my apology to another is not accepted I move on. The satisfaction is not in being forgiven it’s knowing that we were truly sorry and that we will do our best going forward. It’s much like the grass on the prairie forgiving the drought knowing the next gentle cool rain will rectify any wrong.
If we refuse to forgive, it’s all on us..