Practise attitude of forgiveness


Focus on what you can control, forget what you cannot. FILE PHOTO | NMG


  • Make sure you balance between what needs to be focused on and what needs to be forgotten.

A young man saw his primary school teacher at a social gathering. He went to greet him with all the respect and admiration. He said to him: "Do you remember me, Teacher?" The teacher said: "No, please introduce yourself." The young man said: "I was your student in the third grade, I was the one who stole the watch of Phillip in the classroom. I will remind you, but I am sure you remember the story."

“Phillip was a dear friend, one day he came excitedly and announced in the class that he got a new watch for his birthday. All of us were awe struck as the watch was what most of us dreamt of. A few hours into the day, I could not get my mind off the watch, I knew I could never get one as my parents could not afford such an expensive watch and even if they, I did not think they would think of it as worthwhile. So, I decided to steal it during the sports time.

“Phillip came to you crying that someone had stolen his watch. You asked us to stand so as to search our pockets. I did not have enough time to put it back or hide it somewhere else. I was pretty sure that my action would be exposed in front of the students and teachers. My heart sank as within a few minutes I would be called a thief, a liar and my life at school will be shattered forever.

“You asked us to stand and face the wall and close our eyes completely. You went searching from pocket to pocket, and when you reached my pocket you pulled the watch out of my pocket, and you continued until you searched the last student. After you finished you asked us to open our eyes and to sit on our chairs. I was trembling with fear that you will expose me in front of the students. You showed the watch to the class, and gave it back to the boy, and you never mentioned the name of the one who stole the watch. You never said a word to me, and you never mentioned the story to anyone.”

The teacher smiled and said: "I can't remember who stole the watch that day, because, while I searched the pockets of all of you, my eyes were also closed."

Focus on what you can control, forget what you cannot: How we lead what we can control doesn’t define, how we deal with what we cannot control is what defines us.

Make sure you balance between what needs to be focused on and what needs to be forgotten. When you forgive others, you help yourself more than others: Every time you hold grudge against people, situations or actions, you harm yourself more than others; forgiving and forgetting at the right time is the best gift you can give yourself.

Letting go does not change the past, but it does change the future: Holding on to things or letting go of them is a choice you need to make day in and day out. Make your choice wisely so that you are out of guilt and hurt.