Buddha said, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule”. Love is the energy behind what we call forgiveness, and is one of the most important keys to ridding ourselves of hatred and anger. The Qur’an has the verse “The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah… (Qur’an, 42:40)”. Forgiveness is found in almost every great religious text. In the new testament of the Christian bible “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13, NIV)“
It seems that forgiveness is something important in religion, but it is also important to philosophers, poets, and great thinkers throughout history. The following are just some of what has been said/written about the subject of forgiveness.
- Confucius ~ “Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.”
- Voltaire ~ “We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies – it is the first law of nature.”
- Paramhansa Yogananda ~ “Today I forgive all those who have ever offended me. I give my love to all thirsty hearts, both to those who love me and to those who do not love me.”
- Epictetus ~“When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche ~ “And if your friend does evil to you, say to him, ”I forgive you for what you did to me, but how can I forgive you for what you did to yourself?”
- Horace ~ “It is right for him who asks forgiveness for his offenses to grant it to others.”
So forgiveness is something important, it is the key to freeing yourself and others from past mistakes and all the pain and suffering those mistakes have caused. It is just as important to the forgiven as it is to the forgiver. Forgiveness may not always be easy, but in the end, it is well worth the effort. Holding on to a grudge, all the pain and suffering attached to it does no good for either side in the long run.
Why all the stigma around mental health? Why do people have to be so cruel to those that just need a little help? We all need a little help now and then (even if some folks won’t ever admit it). There is no shame in admitting you need help and asking for it is the best thing to do. Life can be quite challenging at times, and our hearts and minds can be somewhat fragile at times as well. Getting help shows courage and demonstrates you have the strength to do what is needed to move forward in your life.
We face so much negativity in life, and a good part of it is during our youth, during the years we are developing our emotional and mental makeup and forming our personality as well. School years can be both the most wonderful and also the most dangerous time for us as individuals. During those years we form social bonds and face opposition from others in the form of bullying and social stereotyping. This is when we tend to gain many emotional and mental scars and problems. If we do not learn to overcome them eventually they just get worse as we age.
With all the suicides and gun violence and other forms of violence on the rise, it should be very apparent there is a need for more extensive mental health programs for all ages. Parents and teachers alike should be more observant and responsive to signs of depression, being bullied, and psychotic behavior. If we can catch a lot of the problems early we may avert the negative outcome that many may have to experience later in their lives. More has to be done both on the local and federal levels to make mental health services easier and more affordable to access so we can get a handle on this mental health problem our nation is facing.
Just remember the next time you see someone who needs help don’t just laugh at them or ignore them, instead try to help them find the help they need.
It is the holiday season yet again, it seems as I get older it gets a bit tougher to get through it without reflecting on the times I had with friends and family that had passed away. Only this year I lost three friends and two family members. Very recently lost a former employer and friend with another friend that I have known for some time online in active worlds (3d community).
Though I feel sadness, I also feel blessed that I have gotten to know and share time with those I lost. We feel sad because of the loss we endure, and the absence of those we care about in our lives. However, they live on in our memories as well as in the memories of those who were in their lives. Some think it is hard to be joyous when you have lost so much, I say it is hard not to be Joyous of what we had and that which we still have and shall receive in the future to come. I remember how blessed I was to have those people in my life.
I wish everybody a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a happy holiday season. Know the blessings you have and remember the blessings that have passed your way in life. Embrace the people you love and celebrate each day with vigor, my friends. Remember those that went on before us and live for them and cherish their memories and pass on the wisdom they may have shared with you as well. Count your blessings, and forget the negative things that only get in the way of being happy in life.
We all play a part in society, we all have an influence on the world around us and that influence is important regardless of how big or small it may be. How we act in public, how we treat others, and the words we say are observed by others and it influences how they think and acts as well. Humans are instinctually tribal and tend to reflect those in their tribes/groups. Birds of the same feather flock together come to mind, and how true that is. Starts as early as elementary school and is very noticeable by high school. We form into cliques and social classes in those years and until we venture out in life for some time we tend to stick to the basic mindset of the groups we formed during those years.
Even those like me that were more of the outsider, lone wolf, and unpopular kid in their school years had formed behaviors and beliefs through the experiences they had during those years. The good thing is as you age you have plenty of opportunities to adapt your way of seeing life and how you act in it, even though those core beliefs from school years tend to play some part in how we develop, they are not immovable objects or unstoppable force in our lives. So we all can change the course we are in life, and become greater than the sum of our parts and experiences. We also can become great influencers on those around us and can either lead others to a more compassionate and peaceful way of life or bring them along the path of ruin.
The ability to think for one’s self and outside the box/norm is a great asset for an individual. Do not fall into the sheep mentality and follow blindly all that is spoon-fed to you by media and peers. Question and verify all, make your own path in life, and try to remain compassionate towards all life. Take time out from all the news outlets and social media and give yourself time to think about it all for yourself. Dont accept a package you dislike just to gain one item within it, especially if the rest of the package is against your core beliefs and values. It is not worth selling out who you are deep within just to get one win.
Be true to yourself and keep your eyes wide open friends.
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