Did anybody watch 20/20 on Friday before Memorial Day Weekend? The segment about revenge had one clear message, forgiveness. This is an appropriate message for a Memorial Day weekend.
Forgiveness is a challenge in a society that celebrates revenge; good conquering apparent evil in a grand fashion. Revenge with a tremendous amount of violence is the premise of most movies and television shows. It permeates our culture, at home, at work, in the lunch room, on the playground, on the playing field, and during the commute to and from work. It is the dark side of competition in American Society.
Revenge is the absence of forgiveness. It is the energy that drives separation and isolation among people and among cultures. It is the fuel of murder, war, and persecution.
Forgiveness can conquer all of this. Positive energy is always more powerful than negative energy. You will never jump start your car by hooking your battery to the negative pole of a donor battery and connecting the positive to ground.
We all seem to know this intuitively, but putting it into practice after a lifetime of revenge thoughts and behaviors is at first difficult. We may have learned this inefficient behavior unconsciously by simply absorbing and mirroring our environment. To change requires consciousness; not allowing habits to rule your thoughts and hence your behavior.
The first person you should forgive is yourself. Only if you have infinite forgiveness for yourself can you forgive those around you. In other words, don’t be so hard on yourself. The more gentle and kind you are to yourself, the more you have to offer everybody and everything you come in contact with.
Especially practice this with your family. Turn off the TV and movies that perpetuate this revenge mentality. Teach yourself and your children to forgive and practice it with them every day at home, on the playing field, and with neighbors. We can spend all that energy wasted on thoughts of revenge to live a richer life right now.
It reminds me of the Amish community who immediately forgave the man who shot and killed their children at school several years ago. Their forgiveness overpowered the act of violence and rage.
Forgiveness allows us to live in the infinity of NOW, letting go of the past and the future. It relieves us of the feelings of disappointment, revenge, and anxiety that go along with living outside of this moment.
It starts with you. One person’s forgiveness can stop wars. Embrace forgiveness and you embrace eternal peace.