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There is no sweeter music than the music of forgiveness...

Posted on: 11th December 2017 | Category: Academic Programmes, Surval Life

There is no sweeter music than the music of forgiveness...

By Mariam Aziz

I have been inspired to talk to about the importance of forgiveness because of all the problems I have seen in my life caused by conflict and by people refusing to forgive. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines forgiveness as “ceasing feeling resentment” against someone, and “pardoning” somebody who has wronged you.

So why is this important?

First of all, forgiving someone who has offended you in some way allows you to show your own grace. We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is important that we try to understand what may have led someone to do something that hurt us.

Most of the time, we do not mean to deliberately hurt other people. However, as humans, we all have feelings, and sometimes these feelings do get hurt. But surely it’s better to accept and forgive the mistakes of our friends than break a friendship and lose someone important forever.

Once somebody has done something to hurt us, we cannot change what they have done. Still, rather than going our separate ways, instead, we should build bridges to move forward united. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of forgiveness is in Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Despite the persecution suffered by black Americans for over a hundred years, King urged his audience to show forgiveness, stating, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” King understood that if America was to be a “great” country, all Americans needed to be united as brothers.

Forgiving, therefore, is part of what it means to be human. Forgiving someone who has wronged us is a beautiful feeling. Once you have let go of something that has made you angry, you feel a wonderful sense of calm.

It is important that children are taught how to forgive and encouraged to do so. Of course, it is natural for children, like all of us, to quarrel. It is important that we are all able to recognise when we have made a mistake or done something to upset someone. Even more important is that we have the generosity of spirit to say those two simple words: “I’m sorry.”

Why is it that so many people find those words so hard to say? Perhaps it’s because many of us have experienced saying that we are sorry, and not being pardoned in return. We all know that this is a horrible feeling. Therefore, when we are in the position of being the person apologised to, we must try to be humble. We must try to remember that, at some point, we will be the person apologising. And we should behave as we would hope to be treated ourselves. Forgiveness helps us all to change for the better and makes the world shine.

We are so fortunate to be living here in such a mix of different cultures. There are many differences among us; but, more importantly, there are many similarities too. We all make mistakes and we all sometimes argue. Above all, however, I think I am right when I say that we all care about each other, and we all have good intentions. If this can be a home where we are able to say, “I’m sorry” and we are able to say “I forgive you”, then it will be a happy home – a home where we can become wiser and more empathetic as humans.

Remember, empathy is all about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding why they’ve behaved in a certain way. It is rare for any of us to want to deliberately hurt someone. So if we take the time to listen and to understand why someone has done something, most of the time we’ll realise that it wasn’t intended to hurt us at all. That makes it easy to forgive, and easier to move on

 Martin Luther King spoke of his desire to “transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood”. Perhaps there is no sweeter music than the music of understanding and forgiveness.

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