This I Believe

Leslie - Alto, Michigan
Entered on May 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness

“Will you forgive me?”

The other day as I sat in the library I was struck by a conversation I

overheard between two young men. One approached the other regarding

an earlier conversation they had apparently had, debating some topic

or another. The one man explained that he was afraid something he had

said may have been a little harsh and asked, “Will you forgive me?”

I must say, I very much admired the man’s humble and peace-making

gesture. How often do you see a person approach another of their own

free will to ask for forgiveness? It occurred to me how uncommon this

type of situation is, and it seems sad to me that it doesn’t happen

more often. As I considered the alternatives, I realized how often

people must simply hold grudges because of a lack of asking

forgiveness. Is it because of pride? Bitterness? I don’t know. But

I do know that in friendships, in marriages, and in life in general,

many situations would be turned around by people sincerely seeking


In the library instance I witnessed, there was tension between the two

at first, but as the one man humbled himself to ask forgiveness, the

other softened and replied, “Ok. I understand.” What simple, yet

wonderful words those are! I thought back to so many instances where

it would have been a comfort to have exchanged such words.I believe

asking forgiveness is an under-used action. I know from now on, that

as the man in the library demonstrated to me, I will more readily ask,

“Will you forgive me?”