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Perhaps the Greatest Gift You Will Ever Give Yourself

photo by Hunter Bryant on unsplash

Forgiveness, what an unheard of word in today's world of so much senseless and gruel hate. Just reading a newspaper or watching the evening news, you will be bombarded with so many hate-filled stories it sickens the stomach. I just don't understand society anymore. I truly, in my heart of hearts, believe that if more had an ounce of forgiveness in them, they would have no room left for so much anger and hate.

The political parties now seem to have the worst acts of hate-filled stories going on right now. Neither left or right supporters seem to have anything good to say about each other. And this behavior seems to get worse every day, especially on social media! So much anger and hate and it has gotten out of control. 

I believe that everyone is born with a conscience, a radar in their heart to tell them right from wrong. I sometimes call the conscience Jimmy Cricket—remember his role in the puppet that became a real boy? He faced all kinds of bad influences in the world. As a real boy, he was tempted by so many bad things,  and Jimmy tried so hard to remind him what was the right choice to make. The boy just wanted to have fun, though, and he did not listen. Then he found himself in a world of trouble.

My main point is if there was not so much hate, there would be more forgiveness. Not the anger marches, killings, and pain being inflicted on every corner.

Having the ability to grant someone forgiveness is a powerful thing that all of us have. You alone have the power to say, "yes I forgive you." Or you can say, "not until hell freezes over." Wow, which response really shows that of a mature person? I don't see much maturity in a lot of people right now. Having the power to grant forgiveness is not something that everyone should have in them. Power can be a bad thing when there is no compassion or heart behind it.

A good example of hate is the person who beats another. They have the power to continue, or they can never even throw the first punch. They can swallow their anger and be the bigger person. Power, if used to hurt another person, is not really power at all, just another form of abuse.

Back to forgiveness. We can all think of a time in our lives when we were forgiven. For some, this could have only been once, but most can recall multiple times when they themselves needed forgiveness. As a child when you did something wrong, you went to your parent and saying those three magic words, "I am sorry," the parent forgave you.

Maybe it wasn't a parent that granted you their forgiveness. Maybe it was a teacher, neighbor, lover or even a friend. Everyone has needed to be forgiven at some point in their life.  

I have a secret to share about forgivenesss—omething that is quite factual. If a person comes to you and has humbled themselves to ask you for forgiveness, and you in return don't give it to them, you are only hurting yourself. The truth here is they have realized their wrongdoing and made peace with it, even came to you with it. When you deny them forgiveness, it doesn't hurt them, but hurts you. How can that be? It doesn't seem fair, but it's the truth.

So help me out here. Life is too short and any moment could be our last. Please stop the hate-filled words and actions. Learn to forgive and move forward. It lifts a big weight off your shoulders and maybe even softens your heart a little.

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