I wonder why it’s so easy for some people to hurt others. Why can’t we just be good to each other? It takes a lot less effort. Furthermore, it makes you feel good to put a smile on someone else’s face. Don’t you agree? Yet, if you listen closely, most people will tell you about someone who has wronged them, or, at the very least, said or done something that hurt their feelings.
People sometimes ask me, “Do you think I should forgive her/him?” Now, I don’t claim to know everything, but I’ve been around long enough to know that we have no choice; we have to forgive! That is, we must if we want to be forgiven ourselves when we make a mistake. And all of us will make a mistake sooner or later. Not one of us is perfect. Everyone knows the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”So if you don’t forgive, what’s going to happen when you ask for forgiveness and someone says, “No?”
There are some who carry grudges for a lifetime—even to their graves. I wouldn’t want to be one of them!
I’ll never forget when my first-born son was in the second grade: we lived close enough to the school for him to come home for lunch. He came in one day with tears running down his face and looking very upset. I ran to him, of course, asking what was wrong. He flung his little arms around me and said, “Stevie was being mean to me." I saw red. Through clenched teeth, I asked, “What did he do?” Pulling back and wiping tears from his face, he said, “He kept hitting me and calling me names.” I said, “Did you hit him back?” He said, “No.” I yelled, “Well, why not?” I wasn’t ready for this little boy’s answer. He said, “I don’t want to hurt anyone.” And he meant it!
This child, who was only seven years old at the time, has grown up with that attitude. He’s never wanted to hurt anyone. Oh, he learned the hard way not to let people walk all over him or push him around, but unless they tried, he remained agreeable. He never threw the first stone. Throughout his life, I often wondered if he was “for real.” He seemed too good to live in such an evil world.
At times he even has to get his mother back in line. My temper is quick to flare and I’m always threatening to do “thus and so” until I have a talk with number one son. In just a few minutes and, with very few words, he changes my thinking from attack mode to amiable. I don’t know how he does it exactly. It usually goes something like this: “Now, Mother, you know it’s best if you do ‘the right thing’ and then you won’t have anything to be sorry for later.” I end up agreeing and doing as he says. It’s amazing! I’ll never know when the roles reversed. Sometimes, it seems as if he's the parent and I'm the child.
I wonder... If I could bottle the effect he has on me and distribute it widely, would people then be nicer to each other?