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.