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Forgiveness: Not Just For Fairytales

Forgiveness is a strong word. It is a necessary word if you want to live a full life. I have found at times it is a hard thing to give, but I am a better person when I do. How about you? Do you find it hard or is it easy to forgive? Sometimes lessons I have learned in life don’t really, truly sink in until I have read about someone else’s experience whether it is fiction or nonfiction. Following is one of those instances.

Recently, I read a retelling of the Cinderella story titled, Cinderella and the Colonel by K.M. Shea.  Cinderella is attempting to scratch out a living in the aftermath of a war and a hostile takeover. Of course the Colonel’s country was the victor and you can imagine all that they will have to overcome to have a fairytale ending. Through the Colonel’s courtship of Cinderella he helps her learn to forgive and this is what I found so appropriate for America today. He tells her “Hate cannot drive out hate. … If you can forgive us, you will set not only yourself free, but your countrymen as well. I want you to have the courage to forgive. I want you to be the person to save our countries.”

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America needs forgiveness

Here, in America, there is not a conquering country (or religion, yet) but two political parties who have become so polarized and hateful of each other. Friends and families are being torn apart by something that was meant to be a good thing. We are not a utopian society. We used to take pride in our differences and our ability to work around said differences.  I am not going to address my opinions on how we got here. After all, it isn’t about who our president is or our congressmen. This is a heart issue, a relationship issue, an issue that needs to be addressed in a personal way. Are we not a government that is of the people, for the people, by the people? Ultimately, this is about each of us and who we allow to shape our opinions, our words, our actions.

Forgiveness takes strength

I don’t have a very high opinion of mainstream media, I believe they are more about pushing propaganda than they are about giving us facts. I place part of the blame for the hatred in this country at their feet. We need to stop following blindly and we need to start actively seeking solutions to heal our country. In Cinderella and the Colonel, the Colonel states, “You can conquer a country with forgiveness.” He also shares this truth, “Forgiveness takes a great deal of personal strength. A weak person cannot forgive, and their actions will keep them captive and fester like an infected wound.”  I am not talking about the type of forgiveness that is followed with a but … I am talking about the type of forgiveness that involves conversation, learning each other’s point of view, sharing a coffee or tea and working from there. Don’t listen to the news or read an article on Facebook and share it along with the hatred that usually goes with it. Let love and forgiveness reign.  Let it conquer the hatred in our world. As the Colonel told Cinderella, “ Forgiveness, in the case of our country, is forging ahead together.”

One person at a time

I leave you with this thought, when Cinderella was overwhelmed with the idea that she should be responsible for healing her country she asks, “How can I change a country when my reach is only to Werra?” I have asked myself that question many times when I see the hurt and the pain and the hate in this world. How can I really have an effect, my circle is so small? Well, how many times have we said ‘it’s a small world’? Let’s change our small world. One friend, one family member at a time.