Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Anger. I could hold onto it. I could let it eat me alive, consume me. Believe me when I say, there is quite enough of it. It’s not that the people I surround myself with are particularly prone to making mistakes, but merely that I trust a lot of people. Not to many, just a lot. Trust is precious. It opens doors, teaches lessons that suscpicion never could. Sometimes, however, the conclusion must be reached that trust is often the cause of suffering. But what does anger do? It burns. Trust can sometimes burn you, but anger always will. As a famous man once said “anger is an acid that causes more damage to the vessel in which it is stored, than anything onto which it is poured.” It is someone startling how often this quote rings true. Anger thrives within us all because we don’t want to give the transgressor the relief of knowing they are forgiven. Most of the time, however, those who have hurt us will already have moved on. They might feel guilty, but guilt cannot run one’s life. They will eventually move on to new endeavours, and any power we had over them is lost. Forgiveness, then, appears a somewhat attractive option. You don’t get burnt, and you get to maintain the relationship. When I forgive someone, I look at what has been done. I acknowledge that it hurt me, I acknowledge that the act was greedy, and disgusting, but I also acknowledge that I myself am not above making mistakes. That I could have, in fact, been the one making the mistake. That everyone deserves forgiveness. So I forgive them for hurting me, and all the sudden, I feel a lot less hurt. No, the pain does not magically vanish as some people seem to think it will. It just stings a lot less. Forgiving and forgetting should both take place, but they cannot be done at the same time. Forgiving can be done instantaneously, while forgetting takes time. It takes time for trust to build again. And if I have one goal, it is to let that trust rebuild as quickly as possible. To forget the names of my enemies. People change, and we must forgive. Although trust can sometimes cause pain and suffering, it also leads to beauty. Long lasting relationships, bonds we never could have imagined. Yes, trusting someone is a risk. But it’s like a lottery ticket. What you stand to lose, be it hurt feelings or a few dollars, you will forget about in time. The potential rewards, however, will last for years to come.