Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday rerun: Those who are the hardest to love, need it the most

I'm always really impressed when I read about people who have been able to forgive others who have done them massive wrongs. I mean, if you can come to court and see the person who killed one of your loved ones and still look at them and say, "I forgive you," well, that's a wonderful thing to do. I read this quotation today:

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Lewis B. Smedes

It might be interesting to find out who Lewis B. Smedes was, I figured, so I googled him and found that he was a theologian who, along the way, wrote 15 books, one of which was entitled "Forgive and Forget." He died in 2002, falling off a ladder at the age of 81. And that last was a sentence that you don't see too often...most people in their 80s are not up on ladders. He must have been a remarkable man!

One of the tenets he puts forth is that, on a practical level, you're not doing any harm or any good by holding onto a grudge. Let's put aside the really big deals such as murdering one of your loved ones, conspiring to have you lose your job on falsified accusations, or moving your football team to Indianapolis...these kind of things might take a lot of forgiveness...and let's look at life's petty problems. Someone cuts you off in traffic, takes a cell phone call during a movie, or cuts you off in traffic while you're making a cell phone call on the way to the don't do that person one iota of harm to rail and inveigh against them. Trust me, they could not care less that you're steamed. So why waste time on it? Move along, put it in perspective, and resolve to shine your light a little more brightly when you get a chance.

It was that great American philosopher, Mr. Buddy Hackett, who taught us, "While you're holding grudges, they're out dancing!"

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