A Walk Through the Desert What is forgiveness?
Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to have a swim. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE. The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
“In forgiving we do not lose anything, rather we receive a gift.” Fr. Andrija Petresin
I came agross this beautiful unknown “parable” in a box full of old articles, the name and/or date of the magazine from which it came was clipped off years ago. After reading it I felt the need to share it on this blog for two reasons. Firstly, after reading and writing so much negativity about the airwaves and media I get so caught up in the abyss of hatred that I sometimes forget that at some point we must forgive. Secondly while reading this story I cried! I thought of how Michael had lived his life and how he never ever had a negative word to say to anyone who had done him wrong, the media, the sycophants, people who he trusted. With his status and power he could have lashed out more times that anyone could count but he chose to forgive. If he could do it and live his life with such grace and dignity then I must attempt to give my life a lift and forgive. We need to free ourselves from the chains of destruction which hatred and jealousy can bring.
When I say forgiveness i do not mean to tolerate the wrong that others have done and I do not have to accept the injustice in order to forgive. Whatever is wrong will always remain wrong even after forgiveness is given. Forgiving the wrongdoer does not mean the injustice is made acceptable or right. It is also not to forget what has happened or erase the wrong from one’s memory as if it never existed, but one can get another perspective on the wrong done.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT TO GIVE UP MY RIGHT TO JUSTICE because forgiveness goes beyond the balancing of rights. Forgiveness without justice strips forgiveness from being a gift. It is not only a gift for the other – at times undeserved or unaccepted – but it is even more so a gift to one’s self.
I implore the MJ Community to forgive one another as Michael would want so much for us to do. It is impossible for us all to agree with one another but if we could all just take a look at the “man in the mirror” and make a change what a wonderful world it would be. If we remain respectful to one another and treat each other with respect and remember everyone has an opinion it would be a wonderful thing to “turn the other cheek” and forgive. We can be like Michael and lift our hearts as he did and live a life of forgiveness.