:: Forgiveness: A gift to ourselves ::

A teacher told each of her students to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to school. The teacher suggested to her pupils that for every person they had refused to forgive in their life's experience, they were to take a potato, and write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag.

The teacher then told each of her students to carry this bag with them over their shoulders and on their backs everywhere they went for one week -- keeping the bag next to them at all times even beside their beds at night and by their desk throughout the school day, basically 24-hours a day!!! Some of her students complained that the plastic bags were too heavy to lug around.
The hassle of physically lugging these heavy plastic bags around with them made it clear to the students what their teacher was trying to convey to them about the value of friendship and forgiveness. The students realised what a weight they were carrying spiritually!

This is a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, but it clearly is for ourselves.

Of all the things we can give other people in life, forgiveness is one of those that require the most effort. This phrase seems to make the process of forgiving easier for me: "To bear a grudge against someone is like burning down your house to get rid of a rat."

Forgiveness is something we "give other people", but forgiveness, really, is a gift to ourselves. When we wreak vengeance on people whom we think have done us an injustice, we invariably end up bitter and resentful. Worse still, if our vindictiveness provokes retaliation, we might start a cycle of vengeance. And when you bear hatred within your heart, what you're essentially doing is destroying your own state of mind and potential to be happy.

Each day yields opportunities for us to let go of or hold on to grudges, although the severity of each situation may vary. Are you better off holding on to them, or letting go?


Forgive him who wrongs you;
 join him who cuts you off;
 do good to him who does evil to you;
 and speak the truth even if it be against yourself.

- Inscribed on the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)'s sword


Kalonji Balm