I grew up from an extended family on the maternal side. Grandma and Grandpa had managed to put up rentals, and therefore the whole neighborhood was a swarm of people. Among them were children. Children my age bracket then, we would play all sorts of games which sometimes ran us into penalties for failure of doing house chores or sometimes, we missed taking lunch from our respective homes.
But more so, we used to get mad at each other. Not once or twice we got into heated arguments which culminated into fights. Not once or twice, we swore after a fight never to be friends again, but that never happened. Not once or twice if the fight was at the feast of dusk, the crack of dawn found us playing together. Our anger used to be fierce at time. We got overwhelmed at times.
When children get mad at each other, their anger can like that, and even much more. Because they are learning to experience and deal with hurt. But they quickly put it behind themselves and come together as friends. Friends with no lingering animosities among themselves. Friends with no grudges. Friends with no concealed ill intensions towards anyone.
This is because children live in the moment. Their lives are not governed by what happened time ago. What happened yesterday does not impede their interaction with one another; it does not get in a way of their fun. They still play anyway.
This is what happens. When we grow up, our lives become less and less about the now and more and more about the then
We dwell on negative events in our lives and lose the ability to forgive. Our bodies grow up but we lose the childlike place in our hearts.
We forget the children we were, and instead of living in the now, we swing in-between the yesterdays and tomorrows
We should all embrace forgiveness as a philosophy of life. And in doing so, we must embark on what it means. Forgiveness is not just a sacrifice one makes to rebuild a healthy relationship between a parent and a child, a husband and a wife, and brother and a sister, between spouses or communities and Nations at large. It is beyond. Forgiveness is not just the practical means of preventing physical and emotional harm un-forgiveness wreaks. It is beyond that. Forgiveness is not just a way of embodying ones spiritual beliefs. Or being religious. Or pleasing the ancestors. it is beyond all that. Forgiveness opens our hearts and allows us to be better human beings
Each and every single one of us can reach a place of forgiveness, because we have all been hurt and we are still getting hurt. Being hurt gives us an opportunity to forgive. As difficult as it is, it is possible and once it is embraced. It becomes second to nature. Where negativity and anger once took up residence in our body, mind and soul, we instead find acceptance and peace.
As a twenty five year old, writing about this, over these years, I am learning to nurture forgiveness within myself. I am inculcating it in my way of life. I equate forgiveness to a flower; a flower grows and blooms when taken care of, when it is watered and planted in nutritious loam soil. Forgiveness is a flower which must be nurtured to grow.
Nurtured through good manners, kind speech, honesty and consideration for everyone. Empathy, with this and more, forgiveness ceases to be a sacrifice but rather a philosophy of life.