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.
Sometimes I just sit here and think about the evil things men have done in the name of God, for love, lust, greed and power. Then there is those that enjoy doing horrible things for pleasure, so much evil that is out there in the great big world. Then when I think there is no hope for us I remember all the great things people have done, the communities pulling together after a disaster, the people who dedicate their life to helping those in need of food, medicine and just a friend to care. Though the bad things we see seem to be more prominent in the world it isn’t so, they are the main things reported on in the media and recorded in history. Seems tragedy is a ratings booster and is good at grabbing someone’s interest more so than the good things that go on.
Unfortunately there are people who do horrible things, this has been a fact of life since the beginning of civilization if not humanity itself. But just the same there are many good people out there that do such wonderful and good things. The balance between the two tips back and forth through time rarely letting one stay prominent for too long. Hopefully one day humanity will mature and become a society that is prominently peaceful and compassionate.
One can dream can’t they? Well peace be with you
Love and its healing that’s found within its unconditional and nurturing embrace is what we all seek. To be accepted as is and without any condition by another whom we accept in the same way. To Embrace and be embraced with only the other person as our concern. To be selfless and affectionate with the other person as our motive to share love. To find one whom matters more than our selves, to see the kind of love God has given us to share with one another. To see the manifestation of love in the eyes of a child and the wonder within that child’s heart.
The innocence we had lost can be seen in the eyes of the children and our future is within them as well. Children are the seeds of love we have planted and are the saplings we are supposed to nurture. Look to them for the love we have forgotten through the years of exposure to the worlds cold and selfish ways. Only if we could see the world through the eyes we had as children we could see the simple truth that love is the answer as well as the question.
Love and its healing that’s found within its unconditional and nurturing embrace is what we all have within our hearts.