To Err is Human

Nikki - Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Entered on February 24, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness

The action of forgiving is such a hard thing for most people to do. However, if you really step back and think about it, who are you hurting when you do not forgive? Is the person who you are not forgiving really the one missing out? Do they carry that hatred with them, or is it on you? Who are you really hurting?

There is a saying that, “to forgive is divine,” but I disagree. I think forgiving is just a part of life and something we should all do. I have forgiven many people in my life, but there is one act of forgiveness, that stands out to me.

When I was just 16 months old, my mother took my three year old brother and me to the mall to visit the Easter Bunny. Soon after we started standing in line, I fell asleep in my stroller. My mother decided the picture would be lousy with me asleep, so she started to push my brother and me out of the mall in our duo-stroller. As we made our way to the exit a Vietnamese woman appeared to be casually walking by, when she turned and attacked our little pod. She made a large gash in my brother’s left cheek, cut my mother’s arms and gauged my left eye. Where she cut my brother, was just inches away from his jugular and had she hit her target, he would have surely died. My mother’s lacerations were not as serious as my brother’s and mine, but they were still grave. The puncture she made with her scissors into my eye blinded my left eye permanently. However as odd as it seems, I was fortunate to be stabbed where I was. If she had stabbed me a tiny bit to the left I would have permanent brain damage and a little bit to the right and I would have been blind in both eyes. This tragedy has left me with a better perspective on what is truly important in life, and I have forgiven the woman who did this to my family.

I have been asked before how I can forgive her and I wonder how could I not? The woman who attacked us was a paranoid schizophrenic and she really was unable to control this attack. Sure, she should have been taking medication to help her illness, but she was not and that is reality.

What would be the point in hating this woman? Yes it was a terrible, terrible event, but what have I not been able to do. I go to school every day, jus t like everyone else, I play sports with just as much intensity and ability as everyone else. I am just like everyone else. But the fact that the actions in my life have not been altered significantly is not the only reason I am forgiving towards this woman. Even if I was entirely blind I would not hold a grudge. You cannot move on with your life if you are dwelling in the past.