Pondering about the topic of my previous post, I went back to my old post in Gujarati where I had shared an article about forgiving. This is one of those articles forwarded to me by my cousin that I just couldn’t help but translate for I wish more people are able to read it.
Yet again a feeble attempt at translation, but I hope it is able to convey the moral of the story for those interested in it.
In this world, two things are the hardest to do. To apologize and to forgive. Relationships depend on how one is able to melt his/her own ego. Often times, we mistaken arrogance for self-respect.
The one that doesn’t make us feel “heavy” is kinsman/relative/our own person. Lightness in a relation is the most important characteristic of a relation. Where there is heaviness, there is no acceptance. One just suffers because of the imposition/burden. Inherent/natural (relation) is never heavy. People carry the “burden” and pass it on to others by doing so.
Every road has a turn. Relationships also have their ups and downs. No lines on our palms are straight then how is life going to be the same all the time? Nothing in this world stays still. Sun rises and sets, oceans also have high and low tides. Planets also change their course/orbits, flowers bloom and wilt. Rainbows don’t last forever, then how can relationships remain the same?
If someone doesn’t do according to our wish, then we consider it a mistake. Do we give our people a right/chance to make a mistake? Test/identification of love only happens by knowing how quickly we can forgive someone. It is also a kind of injustice to delay the forgiving. When bumblebee sucks nectar, does the flower complain? Does a river grieve when it merges into a salty ocean and becomes salty?
The one who realizes self, has truly earned self-respect. We create a boundary around ourselves and consider that the whole world. If someone goes out of that boundary, we consider them our opponent or enemy. The biggest sin in this world is to take control of someone’s mind and brain. Person who wishes “no one should do anything without asking me” is forcing their near ones to cross that limit.
Some people are such that others are afraid to approach them to even apologize. There is a higher possibility of estrangement where there is no affection. Where affection is the nature, there are positive feelings.
A man was on his deathbed. He realized that his life was going to end soon. He thought of things that he still had to do. After thinking a lot, he realized that he had offended a lot of people/hearts. He wished to apologize before leaving (the world).
He started to apologize to all the people one after the other. At last, he remembered the daughter who had run away from home and gotten married without his permission. He hadn’t seen the daughter who was like his heart. He requested his wife to call the daughter over. The daughter came over. The granddaughter also came with the daughter. In the hospital room, the granddaughter entered first. She came closer and asked, “Grandpa, what was my fault?” The man cried until he was out of breath; he replied to the granddaughter, “there was no fault of yours; may be it was only my fault.”
We blame others when we can’t see our own fault. The daughter came close to her father and put her hand on her father’s head. The father said “I wish you had said it to me even once” the daughter replied “but I was so afraid, dad. When did I ever feel the lightness (in our relation back then) that I feel today? I had taken a photograph of you when I left home. I would see your photo daily and put my hand on head and said I love you, Papa. Tears welled up in my eyes daily, and even today my eyes are filled with tears, but they don’t lack (feelings) today, there is gratitude (in them today).” The father said “now there are no more heavy feelings, no more lack of feelings, no regrets in life.”
Never procrastinate when it comes to forgiving people. It might be too late. There is no specific limit on “late”, late might be tomorrow. Can you forgive someone today? A boyfriend/girlfriend who is not with you today to whom you have not been able to forgive? A friend who may be made a small mistake, deceived you a bit or defrauded you somehow. Can you forgive them? A colleague or two with whom you had disagreements about something. Can you let go of it? A brother or a sister who have not been able to spend time with you for any reason, can you say “it’s okay” and call them again? If not, then you are missing out on something.
Try forgiving, there is nothing more liberating than that. A man can give big donations. But not all can become forgiver. A forgiver is the bravest of all. Often times our people want to forgive us, but we don’t apologize to them. Often we are afraid that we will not be forgiven. Often we wonder why we should apologize. What mistaken have I made? If a thread is not broken, it becomes a rope. Apologizing doesn’t make anyone smaller. People who apologize gain confidence and self-respect. Apologizing makes one feel lighter. Whether we will be forgiven or not is not a matter for us to worry about. Let the other person decide that.
We have to do what we feel is appropriate. Often we remember some people so much, we want to be close to certain people so much or wish they would be close to us. We wish to spend time with them, but we don’t let them come close to us or don’t open the doors to allow them to reach us. Some want to climb mountains but an opportunity must be given to them. Some fearful thoughts we have are not as big or dangerous as we might think them to be. All that is needed is a “sorry” and if someone says “sorry” don’t ever wait, because not everyone gets a chance to forgive all the time.
There is nothing so “heavy” in life that can’t be made lighter. We just have to let go little bit. People who love you should not be afraid of you. How much you can forgive a loved one for their mistakes is what decides how much you love them. If you want your loved ones to not hide anything or keep any secrets from you, then give them enough freedom and lightness that they are able to do those things in front of you without any fears. No one wishes to hurt their loved ones. No one likes to be far away from their loved ones. Nonacceptance is the one that causes the ill feelings. Only great and brave people are able to apologize and forgive. It is not something for the cowardly. Try saying “I am sorry” once.
Don’t wait (for anything) so long (in life) that makes you regret it. Neither in apologizing, nor in forgiving.
Original article in Gujarati is here.