Children are forgiving souls, aren’t they? Yesterday two little boys came upstairs looking for Mrs. Keating. The boy who was hurt showed me a scrape and said that he tripped. The other boy reminded his friend that he was “pushed” and then tripped. The first boy had no interest in pursuing that course. He was ready to get an icepack and get back outside to play.
Teachers sometimes bring children to my office because they have been “fighting” or “arguing” in the classroom or outside. Once they get here, though, they just want the whole thing over with. They are happy to acknowledge that they are still friends, grab some M & M’s, and move on.
I find it harder to forgive, and I’m pretty sure most adults would agree that they struggle with forgiveness. I wonder when that happened? Is it because we think adults should know better, and kids recognize that they are all still learning how things work? Is it because we get frustrated when people don’t do things the way that we think they should be done? Is it because I’m in such a rush all the time that I don’t take the time to listen or wonder why someone acted the way they did – instead I just jump in and criticize?
My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t learn to forgive others, the sack of grudges I carried on my back would get so heavy that it would eventually make it impossible for me to move on. That visual comes to mind when I encounter someone who has gotten on my last nerve, someone who has hurt my feelings, or someone who appears to have purposely done something to make my life more difficult. I try hard to remember that we are all still figuring life out, - to empty my sack periodically, and just let things go. When I do, I find that my mother was right (she never heard me say that out loud – too bad), and I feel better and freer to move on.
“It is not possible to live without forgiveness, or at least you cannot live well, especially in the family. Every day we wrong each other. We must take account of these errors that we make due to our fragility and our selfishness. However, what is required of us is to heal the wounds we make straight away, to immediately weave again the threads we have broken. If we wait too long, it all becomes more difficult. And there is a simple secret for healing wounds and undoing accusations: never let the day finish without apologizing. … If we learn to say we are sorry immediately and to offer mutual forgiveness, the wounds are healed, the marriage is strengthened, and the family becomes an increasingly solid home, that resists the shocks of our evils, great and small.” Pope Francis
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Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.