I believe in forgiveness.
I was in 5th grade at the time. Like all little boys, I participated in all the recreational sports teams, but this particular year my soccer team was extremely good. In fact, we were the best. We won it all. I remember how excited we were to know that we would be getting one of those huge plastic trophies. That is the dream of all little boys – to own one of those trophies.
Well, it just so happened that my grandpa died. Of course the funeral was scheduled for the morning of my award ceremony, and I could only make the very end of it. Yet what a better way to raise my spirits during such a hard time than to take home a huge, shiny symbol of my team’s excellence? The thing was half my height. I have to admit I was a little more spirited than I should have been at the time.
I got home and the first thing I did was run to my room to find the perfect spot for my new trophy. Meanwhile, my mom checked the answered machine. My best friend had called. He was unable to attend the award ceremony and wanted to know if I could pick up his trophy for him. It was a little late for that. I had not gotten his message in time and I really just shrugged it off.
Monday in school I saw him in class. “Do you have my trophy,” he asked, even before your typical “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?” You have to remember that, like me, he was just a little boy and this trophy meant the world to him. “Umm, I don’t have it. Sorry, I didn’t get your message in time,” I replied.
He was crushed. I didn’t know what to say. “Sorry,” I repeated. But he turned around and walked away. At that moment, I felt so horrible about everything that happened. I didn’t want my trophy any more. I was a jerk. My grandpa had died and all I cared about was a piece of plastic. Worse than that was knowing I let my friend down.
The next day he came up to me. I immediately tried to explain why I didn’t have his trophy. Very calmly, he just said, “It’s all right. I know you would have gotten it for me if you could have.” And that was it. Forgive and forget. That’s what we did, except I never forgot.
I felt so relieved that my friend had accepted my apology. Everyone makes mistakes in life. Forgiveness is the first step to building stronger bonds with others. We all deserve a second chance. This I believe.