We frequently complain of difficulty in forgiving and forgetting. This set me thinking about forgiving. Whether it is easy to forgive or not depends on the mental makeup of the individuals. Nearly everyone has been hurt at some stage or the other by the words or deeds of others. It can be one of our own close relatives, friends, colleagues or utter strangers. The level and intensity of hurt may vary. While these can leave one in anger and bitterness, it is only us who suffer finally if we do not practice forgiveness. But one thing we can be sure of that the person who forgives is no more troubled in mind and can have a good night’s sleep. Nursing the hurt and constantly turning in the mind adds only to the misery. “A spark will die of itself if it falls where there is not a blade of grass. Similarly he who has earned the mantle of peace cannot be harmed by evil.” Forgiving brings peace and fosters other positive traits like’ humility, solidarity and gratitude.’ The act of letting go of resentment and the urge for tit for tat can actually let us lead a happy life. ”Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha Life becomes a lot easier if one learns to accept an apology not really given.
Do we not forgive our children or spouse for the hurt they cause more easily than we forgive a stranger or even a friend? Why do we distinguish then in the act of forgiving? Is there a trace of selfishness or expectation in forgiving the dear and near? Ponder over the reason to get a better perspective.
Acharya Vidyananda says “The Sanskrit word for forgiveness, kshama, may be traced back to the elements of Ksha and ma, which indicate a knot and a negation respectively.Kshama thus suggests that we must refrain from tying up our minds in knots of resentment Forgiveness is a sign of courage and fortitude; it is not to be confused with the resignation of cowardice.”
While it is conceded that to ordinary people it is difficult to forgive when an extreme injustice or hurt has been caused, it should not be difficult to practice this where the hurts are imaginary or minor in nature. To be always on the lookout for possible hurt will render one friendless. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget the incident or deny the responsibility of the person who caused the hurt. Forgiving is just excusing the other person of the hurt caused without lessening the wrong. By practicing it in a manner that it becomes our second nature,we would find ourselves free from bitterness and surrounded by friendsForgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain