Monday, May 30, 2011

Tips From My Mom #13

There existed quite a bit of hullabaloo recently concerning the oft-predicted, highly anticipated, non-materializing Rapture.

Outrageously annoying on every front - from the sad crazies spewing fear and nonsense, whose disillusions include the insulting claim that they alone have a direct line to a higher power (of their creation) to the inconvenience of the ensuing media bombardment.

Because this pronouncement was utterly pervasive, and because I have a tendency to ponder hypothetical realities, I "couldn't help but wonder" what the criteria was for ascending or being left behind.

And I decided that it all centered on forgiveness. Jesus, may have said that the greatest commandment was to love one another but offering forgiveness and asking for it seem of paramount importance.  It's right there in The Lord's Prayer.

In the realm of forgiveness, my mom is an expert.  Throughout her life I have seen her ripped off, taken advantage of, hurt, disappointed and treated with less respect than this saintly woman deserves.  But she has always been quick to forgive. Her "live and learn" mentality (or credo) remains intact.  No bubbling anger, seething emotions or clenched teeth for her. She can let it go.

It seems as though I have inherited this ability.  Like my mom, I am quick to forgive.  I have come to believe that everyone is simply doing the best they can, the best they know how given their background and experiences. Once you can take on another persons perspective it is easier to forgive.

This does not mean that everyone operates nobly at all times, but it does mean that we are each capable of letting go of the anger and pain associated with holding on to whatever wrong was done to us (real or imagined).

As with most of the Tips From My Mom it is her actions and example that stays with me. Forgiveness isn't easy for everyone - I understand this. However, it can begin by simply saying the words "I forgive you". The power behind those words is freeing.

Give it a try.

And next time a group of attention seekers espouses the rapture, forgive them - for they know not what they do.

7 comments:

mouse (aka kimy) said...

love, love, love your tips from mom series.

always inspires.

nice trait that you inherited.

i have to work on that....with people i am more quick to forgive than with businesses...i can keep a boycott up decades after i started it and even when i forget why i started boycotting a product or business. but, i know me and even if i forgot i know there was a good reason.

hope you are having a good weekend.

forgive me for falling behind and being a lousy correspondent of late!

love you and think of you often!!

Lynda said...

Your mother has the right idea. No one can predict when the world is going to end, it will not come with trumpets. It will be on HIS terms. Honestly, everyday when you say your prayers at night you need to forgive and you never go to bed mad.

Your mother will never have an ulcer because she can let go and forgive.

Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful post, Gary. Forgiveness can be so powerful. Your mother passed down a wonderful trait.

Gary said...

Sweet Kimy - Thanks! It has been a while since I posted a "Tip" and the rapture talk got me to thinkin' about forgiveness and my dear mom. I agree with you about people vs. companies (although companies are obviously run by people). It's that person to person thing vs. person to entity. How do you forgive a thing?

For many years I ascribed to the statement by Blanche in Streetcar "deliberate cruelty is not forgivable" but at some point I realized that I forgive even that.

Sending love back at you. xo

Lynda - Also good advice but I have no problem going to bed mad and have from time to time. I like to think my general, everyday behavior will prevail if something should go terribly wrong in the night.

Tess - After I posted this she, once again, said that I give her too much credit. She can forgive others but sometimes cannot forgive herself for things she would like to change about the past. I guess that is another thing entirely.

Barbara said...

If your mom taught you nothing else, the lesson of forgiveness would have been totally enough. Your mother is such a half FULL type of person. What a great role model she has been for you!

Angella Lister said...

Your mom understood that those who can forgive are free. What a gift she gave you in her example.

Gary said...

Barbara - Yes, she is of the "Half Full" mentality. I have noticed that when this is your outlook life has many blessings, simply because you see things through this lens. The converse is also true. I'm glad to have this perspective.

Angella - Indeed!

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