Our Youth

Youth Insight: Always Able to Forgive

By Frank Cesare

At Christ the King H.S., Middle Village, we talked about the tremendous forgiveness Joseph of Egypt showed towards his brothers. Then, we were asked to reflect on a time in our lives when we were faced with a similar decision.

A time in my life when I was hurt by someone and was faced with having to forgive that person occurred several years ago when I was in grade school and fell victim to bullying by a classmate.

I was always the “different kid” in school. I was always the quiet one, and the one who didn’t seem to fit in with all of the other kids.

Perhaps that was why I was the “target” for this one particular kid who incessantly picked on me, called me names and ridiculed me, in front of my peers, to the point of tears.

When a person hurts you in such a way, the last thing on your mind is forgiveness, especially when all you feel is humiliation. I certainly never forgot it.

However, now that I am older, I realize that it is important to forgive people not because they necessarily deserve it, but because I deserve it. If I don’t allow myself to forgive, then each time I think about the way I felt then, I will only allow myself to feel angry all over again, and that is not to my benefit. The bully will win again.

In fact, I saw him many years later and I approached him and shook his hand. The fact that he also extended his hand to mine proves to me that perhaps, at that point, we were both better persons. I was able to forgive him.

Maturity proves that forgiveness is a road better traveled than bitterness.

Forgiveness is important because it allows us to heal from within. It is not the same as forgetting because if you forget what a person does to you, then you haven’t learned anything from the experience.

Forgiving is a way to free yourself from whatever or whoever has hurt you so that you are not stuck in the same place. One of my mottos is: “Although you can’t always forget, you can always forgive.”

Cesare is a junior at Christ the King H.S., Middle Village.

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