One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed.
THIS IS THE LAST DAY
The Summer Question is closing it's doors at midnight EST.
I read thoroughly the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran, as well as a lot of philosophy, history, science and other dust covered tomes. In all three of those sacred texts great stress is laid on the commandment to forgive, friends, enemies, everyone, including ourselves. In fact the issue is so big and important the writers must have felt there was some divine power behind forgiveness.
I've found that it is much easier to forgive people than I ever thought it was back in my smart aleck days. Oh, I can make excuses for people: he has a headache, she's having a bad day, they just don't understand. But that isn't the same as forgiving.
True forgiveness is a matter of consciousness, it is holding in thought the truth about human life and human behavior. Nothing is easier in this uncertain world than to do something wrong, to make a mistake, to miscalculate or, worse, to be motivated by something sinister, like hunger or greed, to do damage to another person or his property. Those demons are all part of the great struggle we have as human beings against the powers of darkeners that would destroy us.
None of are exempt from that struggle, not even the rich and beautiful. In fact, and this is an important fact to know about, it is often that the rich and beautiful succumb to the temptations to do harm more often than those who grapple with the chains of a difficult life.
An even more important discovery about forgiveness is that it is a mark of maturity. The idiot who engages in road rage or any process of "getting even" is still back in his childhood, refusing, like Peter Pan, to grow up.
The first urge we have to forgive is usually met with a counter urge. "What! Forgive that bastard. Never!" But if the need to forgive has divine power behind it, that counter urge has no divine power to strengthen it no matter how vigorously our nerves may shake with anticipation. The so called reality of revenge is an illusion. The anger that lives with one who cannot forgive takes over and controls that person's life. Heaven forbid if that anger is salted with the heavy spice of violence. Eat dynamite and drink human blood, there's nothing left.
I won't make a list of the people I need to forgive. For one thing, that would only legitimize my negative feelings about them and for another thing, I've already forgiven them. When one person or event pops into my mind I simply remind myself I've forgiven them and that's that. I have set them free and I've set myself free.
But, ironically, the buzzing fly of conscience that may keep me awake at night is that I need to forgive myself for more than any one else has done to me. If I could genuinely and completely forgive myself for all the stupid things I did and the smart things I didn't do, which seems like an impassible, life long task, that would be freedom and a divine state of being indeed.
"Let there be peace in the world and let it begin with me."
DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.
This is it, your last chance.
It's been a long, hot, wet and sticky summer, so here's the hot, sticky question..
Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?
22 interesting answers so far.
You have until midnight.
I eagerly await your answer.