Forgiveness: Beyond Apologizing

Liliana - san antonio, Texas
Entered on January 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness
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I believe in the act of forgiving. Forgiveness is a genuinely blissful experience. I have created my strong belief of forgiveness from two main things: my grandmother and a recent personal experience.

Forgiveness was always a core value my grandmother believed in. She lived a wonderful life full of special experiences, both good and bad. After her husband died in a car accident, she was left with three young children. Needing a job, she decided to open a restaurant. She faced many hardships in her struggle to provide for her family, including an unfair property owner, having to start her business without any experience, and raising her children in America without knowing any English. Despite these difficulties, she received many benefits and blessings. She found trustworthy friends who stuck with her through hard times. As her restaurant successfully grew, my grandmother endured more unfortunate experiences. She faced several employees that stole from her and cheated her, but she never let any crime keep her from forgiving them. In her opinion, no crime her employees committed had been unforgivable. She knew that they had done something wrong and disrespected her by stealing, but she easily forgave them. Watching my grandmother go through tough experiences and learning from the way she handled such incidents taught me that there may be some bad in people, but there is also a lot of good. Everyone deserves to be forgiven and offered the chance to be relieved of their guilt.

One recent experience that my family and I have endured has greatly expanded my opinion and belief on forgiveness. Today when I think about forgiveness, one person instantly comes to mind: my grandmother’s former eighteen-year-old neighbor. This boy seemed like an ordinary teenager with a loving family; however, he was burdened by a horrible habit: drugs. So one night, low on cash, he decided to rob my grandmother, tragically ending her life in the process. After this awful and horrible experience, I was so angry and hurt. I couldn’t understand why anyone would kill my beautiful, perfect grandmother. Through our mourning and distress, my family and I thought about all of the good my grandmother did, even when it was undeserving. Putting aside feelings of hatred and anger towards this boy, whose own family was suffering as well, we forgave him. We had to accept the outcome of his mistake and learn to forgive the unforgivable.

When I gather together everything that I have learned from my grandmother and my own experiences, I realize that it can be both difficult and easy to respond to sin with love. Forgiveness is challenging but necessary. I believe that forgiveness requires the abandonment of anger and the commitment to see the good in life. To feel free of disappointment and grief, we must find liberation through the act of forgiving. I believe in forgiving in order to love and share with others the beauty of life.