Being the son of a pastor I’ve had the opportunity to witness death on several occasions growing up. As I went with my father to visit the sick in the hospitals, nursing homes and at their homes I begin to recognize what death looks like. Death has a face.
Having the chance to talk, but more importantly listen to someone who is near death are the conversations you never seem to forget. You gain an appreciation of what life really is and who people are. You realize what’s truly important in life and how limited our time is to live it.
I’ve often found myself irritated by individuals who wait until they’re knocking at death’s door to ask for forgiveness or get their affairs in order. Perhaps it’s because I feel that they’ve wasted their life making themselves feel good instead of learning how to feel good about themselves.
We often spend our life chasing after things that doesn’t matter to anyone but ourselves. The time spent in anger is time wasted. The people we’ve curse, the things we’ve disagreed upon, and the grudges we’ve held. And for what reason? Are any of these things worth leaving incomplete?
Regardless what you believe if anything, you’re not promised tomorrow. You can die or be killed at any moment. Why leave things unresolved? That friend you got mad at who told you the truth, the father who wasn’t there like he should have been, the mother who didn’t love you the way you needed, the boyfriend or girlfriend who did you wrong, that minister who didn’t know the Bible and told you wrong, the man who said you would never be anything because of the color of your skin or who you are. As difficult it may be, we need to forgive them. Often they’re hurting themselves and don’t know what they’re doing. They may be wrong, but forgive them.
What ever happen to forgiveness? Haven’t you messed up before? Have we reached the destination in our lives that we have forgotten our journey? We all make mistakes; we all may intentionally and unintentionally say some things that we later regret. Is it worth leaving undone and/or unresolved? Make peace with it or with people. Shall I say it once again… Consider each other.
Now I’ve spoken in-depth about consideration, so I will be brief. The next time you find yourself upset or in disagreement with someone, stop to sincerely consider their point-of-view. Also seek common ground. If there’s something you agree with them on, let them know. You’ll be surprised the transformative affects this can have in any relationship.
Yes, I know we all will never agree 100% of the time, and there’s nothing wrong with disagreement with someone’s thoughts, ideas or suggestions. It’s when the disagreement turns into you being disagreeable on any subject; frustration, irritation and resentment enter.
We may not always agree with someone, but you can demonstrate consideration and/or forgiveness by accepting them for who they are and not what you may desire them to be. It doesn’t matter what race they are or if they’re a Christian, Muslim or Atheist. Acknowledge the differences, embrace it with honest sincerity and consider life as they experience it. This helps you to become more tolerant of people not like yourself, because at the end of this life none of the trivial things we hold on to in life really matters.
As I remix the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. I’m learning that forgiveness and acceptance isn’t reaching the destination of absolute infallibility, because they just like you can mess up again. But it is the process of being on the right road.
Don’t leave things undone, because it may be the last thing you say or do to that person. Forgive, because you want to be forgiven for your transgressions and mistakes.
Finally I ask that you forgive yourself. Don’t allow yourself to reach the end of this life carrying the emotional and psychological baggage that we collect through life. If you are the one who finds yourself alone, it could be a testament of your unforgiveness. Forgive yourself and do something about the ills of your own life before it’s too late.
*This was just a random thought I wish to share. I know we all make mistakes and do things we shouldn’t, but if we want to be forgiven, why not start by forgiving others, including ourselves.*
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