Forgiveness Can Go a Long Way

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Forgiving in the world today is frequently found very difficult, and some people avoid it at all costs. However, forgiving somebody for an injustice they committed can aid or even create a relationship in several ways. One should not overlook a situation, or just try to “sweep it under the rug”. Some people can easily feel offended or criticized by your actions or words. On the other hand, you could be on the contrary side of the situation, where somebody does something hurtful to you. Of course, we know that both of those dilemmas are never fun to be a part of, and they can leave permanent marks on someone’s soul, unless you forgive them.


I belong to a pool club each summer, where everybody knows each other. I have been going there for about six years now, and I have made many friendships and spent countless summer days enjoying activities like swimming, ping-pong, tennis, basketball, board games, or just watching the grass grow on a hot summer day. I usually get to the pool club in the morning around 10 and stay until about 4 or 5 o’clock, as do most of my friends. We normally buy lunch together from the snack bar around noon or later.


One ordinary, casual day of sitting by the pool, only a few of my friends came to hang out. I had a tennis lesson at 2 o’clock, so I figured I would eat lunch after tennis rather than right before. I was running a bit late, so I threw my five-dollar bill inside my open backpack, grabbed my tennis racket, headed off to the courts and didn’t think anything of it.


After an hour of tennis in the blistering sun, I left the courts. It was very warm that day, and I was looking forward to getting an ice-cold lemonade and fries from the snack bar. I walked back to my bag to grab my five dollars. I reached into my bag without hesitation and was astonished to not find my money. I looked inside, and all I saw was a towel, my cell phone, and a change of clothes. I double-checked my entire bag. No sign of it. Walking back to the snack bar, I was in disbelief, wondering where and why my money had vanished.


On my way out that day, I asked a friend of mine if he had seen a five-dollar bill anywhere. He said that he found a five-dollar bill on the ground earlier and spent it already. That’s a coincidence, I thought. “Are you sure it was on the ground?” I asked. “ Uh, I think so…” He replied, without making direct eye contact, and he hurried away without delay. His bag had been next to mine, so it was pretty clear that he was the culprit. I went home that day filled with resentment and disappointment since I didn’t buy lunch that day. As the night went on, I tried not to remind myself on what had happened earlier in the day.


With hardly any recollection of my friend stealing my money from that day, I woke up the next morning feeling excited and motivated to start another summer day.. When I got to the pool club, my friend who had stole my money came up to me. “I am sorry I took your money yesterday and lied about it. It was definitely wrong”, he said in a morose tone. This quickly reminded me about the situation from past day. I thought about how mad I was at the time. “Don’t worry about it. I forgive you,” I said. A look of relief was cast upon his face. “Thank you so much. I promise I won’t do it again.”


He later explained to me how horrible he felt about taking my money. I could imagine the tension he must have felt all that time, thinking I was intolerably mad at him. He said thought that when I forgave him, he felt much better and had much less stress, and it was good to have closure. Looking back at the situation, I realize how little five dollars really is, and that later in life, it won’t matter too much. Although I never ended up getting my money back, I still felt better about forgiving him than holding a grudge against him that whole time. In the end, it felt good to forgive him, and he was very glad he was forgiven.





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