My extended family was enjoying lunch at a local pizza buffet when I noticed my sister loading up a plate with dessert pizza. Thinking I would tease her a bit I snuck up behind her, leaned over her shoulder and whispered, “Leave some for everybody else.”
She whipped around and it turned out that was NOT MY SISTER.
To make a bad situation worse, I was so mortified by what I’d done that I burst into tears. I caused such a scene attempting to apologize that the woman I’d just insulted ended up consoling me in the middle of the restaurant.
The woman could have reacted in any number of ways. She could have dumped her dessert plate on me. (I wouldn’t have blamed her if she did.) She could have gotten angry and made a cutting remark in return. (Wouldn’t have blamed her if she did.) She could have stormed off to her table and left me there mortified.
Instead, she took a moment before reacting and realized it was an innocent social blunder–and laughed.
She told me it was okay. Then she went back to her table and told her lunch party what happened, and they had a good laugh about it, too.
One definition of FORGIVENESS is to cease to feel resentment against an offender.
Was I an offender? Oh yes. Did she have every right to feel resentment toward me? Heck yeah.
Yet this woman forgave me and moved on with her day. That woman set an example for me on how to forgive others. It isn’t always easy but giving other people the benefit of the doubt certainly makes life more pleasant–for everyone.
It’s certainly the smarter route. Studies show that when a person seeks revenge on another, it increases stress, lowers immunity and impairs that person’s health. Or perhaps, as Oscar Wilde stated, ‘Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much’
And where was my real sister while all of this was going on? Over by the mashed potatoes, laughing herself silly.
She saw me sneaking up on that woman and knew exactly what was going to happen but did she stop me? Of course not! Because she’s my sister and she knew we were about to have a heck of a story to tell for years to come. I don’t resent her for it. I would have done exactly the same thing.
Wishing you strength and resilience as you face the challenges in your own life.