Has anyone ever caused you anguish? Or perhaps they were simply unkind or even hostile. Maybe they embarrassed you or hurt your feelings or misunderstood you. Have you ever felt ill-treated? Has anyone promised to call you back yet never did? Has anyone ever accused you falsely? Has your trust ever been betrayed? Have you ever done any of these things? Well, I wonder where all the forgiveness is. Who's holding back? Where have they hidden it? And why is it so difficult to extract it from people?

Committing any of those aforementioned offenses doesn't necessarily make one a "bad person." Although we'd be hard pressed to accept someone as "good" if they caused us anguish or betrayed our trust. But I believe that many of us, who want to be truthful, understanding, kind or compassionate, make mistakes sometimes, either out of omission and neglect or deliberately and with purpose.

And what does it mean to "not know any better"? That excuse is unacceptable for adults. I say, you need to either "know better" or you need to learn to apologize earnestly. Say you're sorry. Ask for forgiveness. Expect apologies. Even forgive those who offended someone else. Forgive your parents; forgive your partners, your children, siblings, relatives, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Let people suffer the consequences of their actions, but forgive them nonetheless. Relinquish all grudges. Free yourselves from the weight of regret. Lift the cloud of bitterness. And, by doing so, you will be helping to forgive the sins of the world.


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