A distinguishing characteristic of a person who lives with God is his forgiving nature. Has someone wronged him, exploited him? If so, he forgives even before forgiveness is asked. And he lives a life of beauty and blessedness. Such a person is indeed rich. I was reading about the Niagara Falls. A bridge had to be built across the falls. For this, they needed to fix a rope across the river to start the suspension bridge. The waters of the river were too swift and turbulent to take the rope across in a boat. What did they do? They flew a kite across the river. When it reached the other side, a cord was tied to its string. Finally, a rope was tied to the cord. That was the beginning of the suspension bridge that spans the Niagara Falls.
Have I fallen out with someone and been separated from him by a gulf so wide that it cannot be bridged? Let me fly a kite to him, of loving thoughts and forgiveness. A telephone wire can be the string of the kite - and a bridge of reconciliation built by a mere phone call. Forgiveness is the precious lubricant which keeps all our relationships smooth and friction-free.
A house in which a man and his 10-year old daughter lived was attacked by outlaws. The father died in the scuffle. The outlaws spared the life of the girl, Melanie, but blinded her. Ten years later, Melanie was sitting by the roadside, when she heard footsteps and a voice which frightened her. "Who is it?" she called out, "Be careful, because I am blind."I know who you are," replied one of the outlaws. "I am the man who killed your father and blinded you. I just tried to hold up a passer-by and he shot me. I am going to die. I beg you to forgive me."
Melanie shuddered with anger but controlled herself, forgave the criminal and exhorted him to repent. When the man was dead, she groped for his eyes and gently closed them like a loving daughter.
The 'F' of Forgiveness is Freedom. Forgiveness sets us free from the hurts, which otherwise would continue to prick us, for as long as memory lasts. Observe a moment of calm; think thoughts of forgiveness towards everyone.
(Dada J.P. Vaswani is humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.)