Forgiveness and kindness can help resolve today’s issues

Holding on to a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter.

Forgiveness doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.

— Dave Willis

Oct. 27 was when we celebrated National Forgiveness Day. Just about every day of the month, there is something that we designate as special. Occasionally, I like to do a search to see what is special for a particular day and then share my thought with you about it.

I think that many of them are a little silly, such as Oct. 13, we celebrated No Bra Day. Yes, that’s right — No Bra Day. I will not get into that one. Yet there are some that deserve our attention.

Let me share with you what Forgiveness Day brings to my mind. I will start by telling you a story — a true story.

Some time ago, I worked with a man whom I will call William. William was a person who always held grudges. He was always ticked off at someone for something that they did. One day, William was telling me about someone who did something to him that highly offended him. I remember William saying to me, “I will get even with him. I don’t know when, but believe me, before I die, I’ll get even with that guy.”

Now, having known William as I did, I have no doubt he did get even with “that guy.”

I believe William no doubt was an extreme case, but I also believe we have many Williams out there in cases of varying degree; some to the same and others to a lesser degree. I also believe if we really give it some honest thought, as to whether or not we have a little bit of William within ourselves, we may come upon the realization that we do.

There are many reasons why holding a grudge, staying bitter and refusing to forgive are harmful to us and to many others. You don’t have to take my word for it, just do a little bit of research and I’m sure you will be convinced. But regardless of what you discover about forgiveness and kindness, isn’t that the way we ought to be anyway? Yes, you — me — everyone should try to be.

Can we change the world by being more kind and forgiving? No, but we can make a big difference. I believe one of the reasons for some of the problems we have today is because there are too many who act and think contrary to forgiveness and kindness. That in itself can result in all kinds of problems.

Imagine what things would be like if more individuals would do their best to practice forgiveness and kindness. We would see fewer conflicts, less fighting and arguing, much less violent behavior and more individuals enjoying each other’s company. This is not just a bunch of words but the truth as I see it from the research I have done and from observing human behavior and noting what seems to work and what does not for the 87 years that I have been on this earth.

Let me offer a challenge to everyone. If there is someone whom you have some bad feelings for, make up your mind to forgive them. The problem may have been the other person’s fault. It doesn’t matter, forgive him anyhow. Next time you see him, say something nice to him while being totally sincere about it and see how it makes you feel. Just give it a try and see.