This came my way on Facebook. And what a lovely idea!
Forgiveness and gratitude are simple ideas we learn about in childhood, but we don’t always learn how to live them. The “abhyaas” (practice) or careful nurturing of these ways of being are both very natural and very hard.
One of the most beautiful books about war and peace that I have read is Simon Wiesenthal’s “The Sunflower,” which raises questions about forgiveness and memory that are not easily resolved by an absolute judgment. In the edition linked here, several distinguished persons reflect on the dilemma posted by Wiesenthal.
But equally, to live with anger is ultimately suicidal. How is one to move forward and to grow, to be and to do all one can, while carrying the burdens of anger, resentment, frustration and envy?
When to forgive, how to forgive–how does one understand the answers to these questions? Or rather, how does one arrive at them–for each of us must, for ourselves and each time, afresh? I don’t know.
The one little thing that I have learned about both forgiveness and gratitude is that merely thinking about them feels like a cleansing. I am often angry, anxious and unsure, but when I start to think about gratitude or about forgiveness, I just have greater clarity. It’s like the experience of a cool breeze on a hot day.
In a bitterly fought election season, this simple idea arrives like a balm.
Am I going to take up the challenge? I am certainly going to try, starting with forgiving myself for the innumerable personal shortcomings that cause me frustration.