Tag: pardon

Apologizing is an amazing gesture

Among the most difficult choices one has to occasionally make, apologizing perhaps ranks pretty high on most people’s list. As honest, good and objective individuals we would unhesitatingly state that if we are on the wrong we will always offer an apology. The reality though is quite different.

Here are 4 reasons why we find it hard to offer a simple unconditional apology when required.

We find it hard to accept our mistake. E.g.  Despite a frantic search you are unable to locate your set of keys at home. You are in a rush as you are getting late for office. You have in your anger and frustration also accused all and sundry at home that they could have possibly had a hand in the disappearance of the keys. On reaching office you see the set of keys lying in the office drawer. You sheepishly think of apologizing to those at home but then let it pass for it would then mean accepting your mistakes; first of being responsible for the problem; for blaming those at home; for creating a scene etc.

We tend to play down the happenings and attempt to justify/ rationalize it. E.g. in an examination you have strategically placed you answer paper to let the candidate seated behind you copy from it. The invigilator who notices this tactical but unethical arrangement warns both the candidate behind you and you of stern action. You remonstrate that it is the person behind who is copying and that you are blameless.

We mistakenly believe that an apology is equivalent to admitting a fault. E.g. As children we have often squabbled with our siblings or playmates. When the situations got unruly the elders intervened and then there was a blame game that was never ending with no one wanting to apologize. The genesis is the mistaken notion that an apology immediately implies our guilt.

We pamper our ego and forget the importance of relationships. E.g.  We have under a mistaken notion launched a tirade against a subordinate who for fear of more drastic retribution meekly submits to the barraging. Later when we get the facts fully and realize our mistake find it ‘humiliating ‘ to admit our fault and worse still ‘apologize’ to a subordinate.

Here are 3 ways to smoothly embrace an apology as a mature decision.

Remember that saying sorry is the simplest form of apology. Sorry forms part of the trio of Please and Thank you which are the 3 magical words in English that smoothen life.

An apology often helps us start gain with a clean slate. While some scars may remain, the wound is by and large healed and ‘all is well that ends well’ since an apology puts an end to the hurt, resentment and anger that may have been in the air.

An apology at the appropriate time, to the right person in the right manner for the right reason, is a test of your character, a critical component of leadership and a reflection of your personality.

Here let me offer my apologies to…

You my reader for the long delayed post which was actually written 10 days ago. Unfortunately due an oversight I didn’t save the same and I lost the entire file when the computer crashed. What you are reading now is a completely new post than what was originally written.

I need to apologize to my immediate family members who had to bear the brunt of my wrath for the post that was lost to the computer crash. The fault was entirely mine, but in my human weakness I raved and ranted and unburdened myself on all those who unwittingly crossed my path in the immediate aftermath of my disaster.

My apologizes to a couple of well meaning friends who politely inquired about my posts but had to bear  the brunt of my ire for I  had been rather curt and brusque to them when narrating what happened. I think I was also selfish enough to expect more sympathy from them and perhaps that aggravated my irrational behavior at their well intentioned and polite inquires.

Try this:

  1. Name 3 people who deserve an apology from you. Pick up courage to apologize to them even if a lot of time has elapsed since the original event happened.
  2. Can you identify with some of these situations when you felt apologetic about your own response to the situation
  • You did not make enough efforts to cast your vote
  • You told a deliberate lie for fear of the consequences
  • You harbored ill will against someone who wronged you
  • You shielded someone from being justly punished/ reprimanded simply because you shared a close relationship or friendship with him/ her

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Forgiveness is sweet revenge

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. Isaac Friedmann

On the face of it, the very thought of forgiveness being sweet sounds like a sugar coated pill bitter inside but sweet on the outside. When we add the word revenge the whole meaning changes and now it has become as effective as chemotherapy with side effects, for the cure is almost as bad as the disease but then it cures. The reality though is that forgiveness is very tough for it requires a very large heart, a bigger attitude and tremendous courage of self belief. This is mainly because, we cannot forgive when our ego is hurt, if the hurt and bitterness is very painful , if our trust has been betrayed and if our anger has never subsided. Even worse is a situation where we are convinced that an eye for an eye is the best policy to be followed in life.

However if we pause to have a relook at forgiveness, we would realize that in the long run forgiveness heals us more than anyone else. When we carry our hurt, we are spreading a slow poison inside us, the guilt gnaws at our conscious from time to time, the need to extract revenge pricks our ego very often and a good part of our life is spend in bitterness and frustration.  Instead if we made up our mind to forgive, we would be happy in the realization that a big load is off our chest and very ironically, our enemy who is forgiven suddenly has the burden of living with his conscious. It is in transferring our burden to our enemy by forgiving him /her that we extract sweet revenge.

In forgiving we are taking a conscious decision to let bygones be bygones and to exonerate those who have wronged us. For many of us this is a very painful and heart wrenching decision because we may have suffered immensely, there is social pressure on us to prove ourselves by extracting revenge and  psychologically it becomes painful to hate someone whom we have forgiven but we find it very hard to both forget and love those whom we forgive. Yet in this one life changing moment when we forgive, there is a peace that nestles in ourselves that we have overcome the barrier of hate, bypassed the need for revenge and made our oppressor a victim of our magnanimity. In that final twist in the tale we taste the sweet revenge that is embedded in forgiveness.

Remember: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

Try this:

  1. Think of a couple of people who may have hurt you in some deep and painful manner either by abusing you/ insulting you/ ignoring you/ lying to you/ gossiping about you/ etc. Ask yourself if you still are carrying the hurt with you long after the episode is over. Try to forgive those who were hurtful to you. If possible ensure they are made aware else just let your mind be free of their injustice. See the difference in your life thereafter.
  2. Look back and see if others have asked your pardon and you have refused to forgive them. This is the right time to reach out and forgive them. It could be someone who accidentally put you in trouble, some who lied to you, a person who refused to obey orders, a person who misunderstood you etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Pardon is a test of character

Any man can seek revenge; it takes a king or prince to grant a pardon. Arthur J. Rehrat

When we are wronged or we perceive ourselves to have been wronged, our immediate reaction is one of anger and possibly we also harbor intentions of paying back in the same coins. When the urge to get even and if possible inflict punishment on those who wronged us becomes obsessive, we are actually actively contemplating revenge. Revenge in simple terms is an eye for an eye policy and we are all guilty of at least fleetingly entertaining the idea o revenge at some point in our life. That we may have rarely or never got our revenge could partly be attributed to us not having the courage for it or because with time our original hurt was healed.

With age and maturity all of us slowly realize the futility of extracting revenge but we fail to forget the hurt caused to us. In our psyche we do not really excuse the preparatory of the hurt and we make all attempts to possibly avoid, shun or ignore him or her. In effect what we are doing is neither forgetting nor forgiving the person who has hurt us. This attitude actually affects us more because we are constantly resurrecting unpleasant memoires, subtly carrying the hurt and pretending to be in a state of happiness and bliss. The most horrible part of this behavior is that we are in denial about our metal state, overburdened and stressed with the excess baggage of past memories and move around like the walking wounded.

If we had the character and temperament to be both rational and pragmatic we would not only forget the hurt but also forgive the culprit. Not very many can take a high moral ground and let bygones be bygones. One needs to develop the imposing and powerful personality of a King or prince if one has to really be both magnanimous and dignified and take that significant step of pardoning a person who we believe has hurt us. When one pardons we actually forgive the person and ideally we must also forget the hurt caused. Those who we accused of hurting us now stand exonerated of their crimes and we accept them our own with no remote threat of any form of retribution. This requires a large heart, the courage of conviction and the power over our emotions; qualities that are found only in people who have a kingly stature.

When we pardon another we actually set our mind free. Free from the burden of harboring negative emotions of revenge; free from the element of self doubt about our character and free from the possibility that we have a fragile temperament.  We also elevate ourselves in our own eyes for we have acted with restrain, maintained our dignity and will have no regrets for our actions. More than anything else we have successfully put to rest any possibilities of misadventures in the form of revenge thus leaving us with a peace of mind that was disturbed from the day we were hurt or felt hurt.

Remember: “Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong.”  Maxim Gorky

Try this:

  1. Make a list of people whom you find hard to forgive. If there are none then make a list of people who you dislike. For people on both lists write down 2 positive qualities that you can appreciate in them.
  2. Read the well know story from the Bible called The Prodigal Son and see the commentary at the end to see how message of the story is relevant to each one of us. http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/prodigalson.htm

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Forgive self

They may not deserve forgiveness, but I do. Anon

At first glance the quote is both confusing and perplexing. Our initial reaction is of shock and disbelief that someone can dare to point a finger at others but absolve himself/ herself of the same crime. It is only on a closer second reading and introspection that the true meaning of the quote becomes apparent and deeply insightful. Read the quote again before you read further.

In fact the crux of forgiveness is deeply embedded in the quote. One needs to forgive another not because he/ she deserves forgiveness but because you want to be forgiven and absolved of any ill feelings, anger, guilt and vengeance that you may have felt in your heart. It is quite natural and human to be aggrieved when some wrong has been perpetrated or perceived to perpetrated either on us or anyone close to us or on humanity in general. The resultant emotions of anger, shock, haplessness and revenge instantly come to the fore and  we are possessed by it for quite a while. More demonic thoughts like taking an eye for an eye can creep into our thoughts and in extreme cases we might even contemplate elimination of those who we see as not worthy of any sympathy let alone forgiveness.

It is against such a backdrop that we need to revisit the above quote. If we can control all our negative impulses and allow ourselves to be more rationale it is possible that over time our original angst and anguish will subside and we may possibly look back at the events as a bad nightmare. However it is tougher for us to completely forget the incident and the mental trauma one goes through. It is toughest for an average person to get over the fact that some extremely evil and vile thoughts had crossed our mind with revenge as central to those thoughts. It is then that we search for a way to clear our fragile conscience and realization dawns on us that forgiveness is the only pacifier available; suddenly it dawns on us that They may not deserve forgiveness, but I do.

The only way one can live life in a carefree and oblivious manner is to ensure that we carry no traces of rancor or ill will for another. Forgiving even those who do not deserve it, opens our heart to the power of love, the spirit of giving and the bliss of peace.

Remember:  “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smede

Try this:

  1. Read this article and perhaps you will realize that you empathize with the writer. You will also discover that it is easy to blame another and very tough to forgive them for their acts but it is best that we forgive for maybe we are guilty too. http://in.yfittopostblog.com/2010/07/26/remembering-kevin-carter/
  2. Make a list of people whom you find hard to forget or forgive for the pain they inflicted on you. It could be teachers from school and college days, it could be a parent or a relative, it could be a colleague or a boss or maybe it is former friend or spouse.  Ask yourself if you can attempt to forgive them now and convey it to them too if they are alive?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Forgivness heals us

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself. Harriet Uts Nelson

It is always a tough call to forgive anyone who has harmed you in any way; be it in deeds, words or indifference. We often end up nursing a grudge and heart of heart seek some sort of revenge failing which we hope the other party gets some divine retribution. In fact should the other party have some unfortunate misery descend upon them, we take a perverse pleasure in their plight and rationalize it as ‘they deserving their punishment.’ Surprisingly what we somehow do not realize is that in the whole process we are the ones who have suffered more for our hearts were filled with the pain of the injury, our mind never letting go of ill will for the other party and life burdened with the challenge of getting even by hook or by crook.

Many a time, we tell ourselves that we have pardoned the wrong doer. Secretly we take a moral high ground that we have done a magnanimous deed. Often our pardon is more out of societal pressures, counsel of elders or a compromise so as to ensure the problem is not escalated. Pardon in most cases is just an expression used to elevate ourselves on a higher pedestal of virtue and perhaps to soothe our own mental turmoil and anguish. A pardon is not really perfect unless forgiveness is central to the process. Pardon is merely forgiveness without love where as forgiveness is pardon plus love.

Forgiveness in essence not only enables us to pardon a person, but it goes a long way in rehabilitating ourselves from the guilt that we still have to take revenge. Forgiveness cleanses us from within, removing all traces of ill will against another, suppresses our ego, seeks redemption of the wrong doer and frees us of the burden of scheming plotting and extracting revenge. Once we forgive, there is a big load off us and we suddenly begin to see our life in new light. We experience joy within and happiness all around. We have no axe to grind, no questions of ourselves and no fear or doubts that remain a Damocles sword over out head.

If we really reflect revenge and forgiveness are human traits never seen in the animal kingdom. Perhaps the fact that the human being is born with an ego that needs to be placated at all times is the reason for us getting caught up in the mire of seeking revenge and wishing ill to another. No sooner we forgive; we attain peace and experience tranquility for we are have now discovered our real self. If forgiveness can give us such bliss we need to practice forgiveness more and enjoy the fruits every moment of our life.

Remember: “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”  Bryant H. McGill

Try this:

  1. There are many times we can’t forgive ourselves for simple lapses like not meeting up with someone who was on death bed and who has now died or not taking the effort to keep in touch with close friends who have moved away or you have moved away from them.  How about forgiving yourself now, by writing a letter to the loved ones of the deceased appreciating the deceased. You can also write to long lost friends and if possible pay them a surprise visit.
  2. Make it a point to also read the earlier posts on Forgiveness by clicking on this link https://actspot.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/forgiveness/ There are more posts related to forgiveness that you can access in this blog by clicking on the word Forgiveness on the tags on the right of the blog page.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The weak can never forgive

The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  Mahatma Gandhi

It takes a lot of inner strength to forgive simply because it is human nature to seek revenge. Even as I write this post, the verdict on the 26/11 accused Kasab has been delivered and he has been sentenced to death. The TV channels have extensive coverage going on and interviews with next of kin or friends of the victims are passé. The overwhelming majority of those airing their views are satisfied with the verdict while a miniscule lot maintain that it is life sentence that is more appropriate mainly because they are opposed to the death penalty on grounds of extreme cruelty and not at all on grounds of mercy or forgiveness. In this context many of you reading this post will be asking how one can condone such a dastardly act and forgive the perpetrators.

In my view as long as we have a robust and fair judicial system, as is the case in India, the system must be left to take care of the matters of law and justice. More importantly forgiveness should not be confused with pardon; forgiveness is not holding a grudge and ‘not seeking revenge’ as in an eye for an eye, whereas pardon is ‘condoning the crime and the culprit’. As Gerald Jampolsky says Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Quite often we are so obsessed with the crime that we let it eat up our life. When we can’t forgive, we are actually torturing ourselves for we try to rewind the past and pretend to live in the present and in the process end up neither living nor being realistic.

Often the hurt is deep because the incident is too personal, the act could have been deliberate and premeditated and the logic or reason for the crime too trivial to rationalize. It is but natural for most mortals to feel cheated, brutalized and terrible pained by the event and then forgiveness becomes a very tough choice to exercise. When our spirits are drooping, our pain too numbing and anger seething we are extremely vulnerable to irrational ideas and revenge is one of the immediate ideas that comes to mind. Forgiveness demands that we sacrifice this idea of revenge but then unless we are strong enough to put up with the pressures of societal pressures and our inner turmoil, we can’t ever forgive those who have brought pain, suffering and misery to us.

True forgiveness is in making peace with ourselves. It demands equanimity, resolve and above all self belief. This implies that we reconcile to the new change that is thrust upon us, being pragmatic that the past cannot be relived and that we need to put the past firmly behind us and proceed ahead with hope,  faith and charity. Hope in the future, faith in ourselves and charity for the sinner.

Remember: To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” Robert Muller

Try these:

  1. The best therapy for a guilt ridden person is a good confession. While Catholics can go to a priest for confession, the non Catholics have to rely on a good counselor or confidant or on your honest self to list out your sins. When you acknowledge your vices and sins and unburden your  heart, and feel truly repentant you will find your heart feeling a lot lighter, your conscience clean as fresh page and a song on your lips. Begin by forgiving yourself.
  2. Click on the link ‘Forgiveness’ on the right of your screen. Go through the various posts listed there and attempt the various Try These mentioned therein.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Purity

The one thing worth living for is to keep one’s soul pure. Marcus Aurelius

An oft quoted line is ‘To err is human, to forgive divine’. How true and how applicable to me will be the immediate thought that comes to mind. As human beings, we have been given the gift of discernment that is the power to choose. Unfortunately, this power comes with choices that are tough to accept, challenging and apparently not too rewarding, while the alternatives are tempting, alluring and quite devilishly pleasurable. This leads us to a quandary and the decision making is then based on immediate gratification; but fraught with risks of illegality, moral turpitude and guilt.

 Very often our choices in life are dictated by compulsions of weak morals, peer pressure, our personal failings, lust for power, money and material wealth. While we all have ideals, quite often we mould our ideals to suit our selfishness and justify our choices in life and pacify our conscience. The niggling feeling that all is not well, keeps nagging us; but thick skinned as we are, we ignore it and resort to bargaining with the almighty. The techniques of bargaining are bizarre and insane but by making ridiculous offerings (monetarily a pittance of the gigantic ill gotten wealth), participating in rituals with a fervor the gods would be envious of or by going on pilgrimages to the holy shrines (all in 5 star comfort), these devotees hope to make their conduct pure and buy back their peace of mind.

 On the other extreme, are the genuinely devout; they who seem to radiate love, peace and happiness. Some are rich beyond compare, yet soft spoken, well mannered and modest. Others are poor in material wealth but rich in faith, hope and strong in their belief in a just eternal reward. Yet the vast majority of us fall somewhere in between. Does this mean that we have no hope of salvation or that our earthly life is in vain? Fortunately for us, we are also blessed with the option of seeking forgiveness and we can begin with a clean slate. While the Catholics have the sacrament of confession, the Hindus believe that a bath in the sacred Ganges will suffice and the Muslims perform the Haj with a similar hope and a new beginning.  If you are prepared to trust yourself and err less, you will never need divine intervention for a pure soul has but one goal – peace of mind! What more does anyone want?

Remember: The sick do not ask if the hand that smoothes their pillow is pure, nor the dying care if the lips that touch their brow have known the kiss of sin.  Oscar Wilde

 Try these:

  1.  Outline the actions/ thoughts/ expressions of the last month, which make you embarrassed, guilty and /or apologetic. Could you have handled matters differently then? What prevented you from doing so then? Do you still worry about some of these deeds even now?
  2.  Are there people whom you have hurt and feel the need to apologize? What has prevented you from apologizing; is it your ego, fear of the other person’s reactions, embarrassment to you or your belief that the other person deserved it?

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are welcome to visit our weekly inspirational and motivational blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Forgiveness

Forgiveness means letting go of the past.
Gerald Jampolsky
Forgiveness is a tough act because of the following :
  • Our egos wont permit us to excuse a wrong doer.
  • Our so called rational mind tells us that every mistake must be punished
  • We get a psychological high in extracting our pound of flesh for the drop of blood we lost

What we forget is that, often in our self centered pursuit of awarding punishment to what we perceive as a serious infringement of our rights by another party, we miss out on opportunities to rise above our pettiness and to enjoy the moment. Once we realise this, it is easier for us to visualize forgiveness as an honourable, dignified and self satisfying method of curing our inner hurt.

Too often tho we rationalise that we can forgive but we cannot forget – alas that is when forgiveness is only symbolic and  peripheral for the hurt of original act remains like scar on our minds marring what can always be an otherwise carefree life of contentment and rejoicing. It is only when we forgive and forget that we really let go of the past and LIVE the MOMENTS.

Remember : “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Try these :

  • List out the people whom you are not fond of or dislike immensely. Then ask yourself if they have hurt you in some manner and you have been unable to forgive them?  ( You will be surprised by the answer)
  • List out people whom you have hurt knowingly or unknowingly. (Dont forget that most people are hurt by your words rather than by actions.) Do you think you can meet up and apologise or write to them and seek forgiveness?
  • List out those actions or words of your, that irritate and annoy others the  most and outline steps you will take to reduce or marginalize these.

Igniting your thoughts – Encouraging you to ACT SPOnTaneously

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