“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
When I was a very young theater manager, we had a member of our company who was extraordinarily difficult. He was constantly disrespectful to many people in the country, especially to my boss at the time. In front of the entire company, they had a huge confrontation and this difficult person swore at my boss and stormed out of the room. I was shocked, and angry.
A few hours later that company member came into our office and apologized to my boss. He was sincere in his apology, though I had no expectation that my boss would let him off the hook after his horrible behavior and public display. My boss shook his hand and accepted his apology. When the company member left, I turned to my boss and asked how he could so easily accept an apology after he had been so terribly treated only hours before. My boss turned to me and gave me one of the greatest lessons of my life.
“Christa, if someone has the courage to sincerely ask for my forgiveness, then the least I can do is have the courage to forgive him. Asking for forgiveness is the hardest thing we can ever do. Granting forgiveness to someone who’s hurt us is the second hardest.”
That was almost 15 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten that incident, nor the lesson that it taught me. Forgiveness, on both sides, is the domain of the strong. Let’s be strong. Let’s forgive.