How do you forgive the guy who sells you fake tickets for a Justin Bieber concert in Johannesburg? After explaining to the children who arrive at the turnstile after a two hour wait – children whose ages range from 6 to 11 – that mommy somehow bought rubbish tickets from a con-man, you must stand outside with the children and watch everyone around you go into the stadium. What do you say to the broken smile of each child? That kind of cruelty to children cannot be forgiven. Not in any hurry. How senseless a human being do you have to be to know (and care less) that you are selling a non-experience to a child with stars in their eyes? It’s shocking. It is an outrage that people do such things in the name of money. Worse still, selling fake tickets for a meet-and-greet. Conscienceless. These people with no scruples should be named, and shamed. Then prosecuted. One by one.
Forgiveness is tricky at the best of times. I often wonder who we think we are that we give out forgiveness like God’s blessings bestowed. If someone has wronged you, I suppose it is your right to decide whether or not they deserve to be forgiven, but be careful that you are sure what is wrong and what is not. In this age I think it’s the feeling of forgiving that is wrong. I think too often we go about it in a self-righteous manner and self-righteousness is a dangerous game for anyone to play. Do not hand out forgiveness like alms. Be aware that it is serious – if you choose to forgive (which is advisable for your own peace of mind) then you must know you mean it. True forgiveness comes where you can coerce your heart into complying with your mind. If your heart cannot let go of a hurt, you cannot forgive. It is simple.
Forgive where you can. Remember it is destructive to hold on to a hurt for too long. The hurt stagnates, it becomes boring to think about and its persistent nag is a drain on your energy resources. Get over it. People hurt each other. That is what they do. Expect people to be unpredictable, perhaps thoughtless on occasion. Expect disappointment. We are all learning, that is important to remember, too. How can we get the best from one another if we aren’t allowed to make mistakes with our handling of each other along the way?