“There is one only defect in forgiving persons, and not another; that defect is that people take a forgiving person to be weak. That defect, however, should not be taken into consideration, for forgiveness is a great power. Forgiveness is a virtue of the weak, and an ornament of the strong. Forgiveness subdues all in this world; what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve? What can a wicked person do unto him who carries the saber of forgiveness in his hand? Fire falling on a grassless ground is extinguished of itself. And unforgiving individual defiles himself with many enormities. Righteousness is the one highest good, and forgiveness is the one supreme peace; knowledge is one supreme contentment; and benevolence, one sole happiness.”Vidura speaking in Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata (Parva 5 Chapter 33)
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
-Jonathan Lockwood Hule
Being angry at someone will definitely hurt you whether it does or does not lead to a consequence for the other person. Letting go of your anger, can benefit your health by getting rid of negative emotions. In this context, forgiving does not mean forgetting, but rather coming to accept the fact that it happened.
जो तोको काँटा बुवे ताहे बोव तू फूल |
तोहे फूल को फूल है ताहे है तिरसूल ||
Jo toko kaanta buve,taahe bov tu phool
Tohe phool ko phool hai, taahe hai tirsool
For those who sow thorns for you, you should sow a flower
For you flower’s a flower but, for them it’s a trident
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
One should not just tolerate insults and harsh words but also forgive with peaceful mind.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Martin Luther King
The Taoists have a famous teaching about an empty boat that rams into your boat in the middle of a river. While you probably would not be angry at an empty boat, you might well become enraged if someone were at its helm.
The point of the story is that the parents who did not see you, the other kids who teased you as a child, the driver who aggressively tailgated you yesterday – are all in fact empty, rudderless boats. They were compulsively driven to act as they did by their own wounds, therefore they did not know what they were doing and had little control over it.
Just as an empty boat that rams into us is not targeting us, so too people who act unkindly are driven along by the unconscious force of their own wounding and pain.
Until we realize this, we will remain prisoners of our grievance, our past, and our victim identity, all of which keep us from opening to the more powerful currents of life and love that are always flowing through the present moment.
Unforgiveness is the poison you drink every day hoping that the other person will die.