If Super Glue Doesn't Work, Try Forgiveness
By Donovan Grant
"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free" ~ Catherine Ponder
The little boy reached out his hand to receive the special toy. As soon as he took hold of it, the toy broke into several pieces. The boy was instantly upset, then angry and started crying. He had been warned to be very careful.
This happened to be part of an experiment being carried at University of Iowa a few years back to assess the reaction of toddlers. The toy was set up to break and the child was set up to be monitored for 60 seconds just to see how he would react to the trauma. Would the child feel guilty? Yes, he did.
I could understand how the child must have felt!
A couple of weeks back I returned to my desk after a couple of days on the road to find my recently awarded glass trophy was broken. Someone must have used my desk while I was out and did the damage.
What’s worse is that it had been propped up to look as though it was not broken. There was no note to say “sorry”, no note to say “it was me”; all that remained were two pieces of glass.
My first reaction is unprintable! Upset! Angry! Very hard done by! The award was still it’s honeymoon period with only three weeks gone by. This was bad.
With the initial rant over, the culprit had to be found. The person who occupied my desk on the day before looked surprised “it wasn’t me Don, I didn’t even notice the trophy at all.” Of course I didn’t believe him.
What could I do? I was not going to go round all 200 people on our floor. Instead a post it not was stuck on the glass with a suitable message.
“Thanks to the person who broke my trophy and didn’t have the decency to leave a note of acknowledgement!” It was placed in the middle of the desk for all to see.
Playing the angry victim was easy
After two days with no culprit coming forward, the post it note was taken down. The initial shock to the system had worn off and the note was not doing it’s job. It wasn’t making things better it was making them worse. The daily sight of the ‘post it’ note had been like torture and it was time to move on before it really set in.
Have you ever played the victim before?
My mind went back to a teaching that I once heard from the Unstoppable Cynthia Kersey…
“When you have a big problem in your life, then find a bigger cause to fight for”.
Have you ever found that your mind has a way of pointing you in the right direction, just when you need it most?
What was need was a two step solution:
- Quit playing the victim and find something more inspiring to do by helping someone else.
- Forgive the perpetrator and forgive yourself.
What is the big cause? The trophy was awarded for the five months life changing work shops that we ran for 15 & 16 year olds at Westminster Academy. The cause was development of the children to become all that they can be; confident great leaders with excellent communication skills. There are still more children to inspire. When you forgive, everybody wins and you feel like a massive weight is removed from your shoulders.
Somehow, the broken trophy was not an issue anymore.
When you take yourself out of the picture frame, you get to see the whole picture and you remember what is important.
Remember this- we all have things in our lives which get us angry and take us into victim mode. We are emotional beings, and we sometimes say and do things out of our own pain or fear and we may end up regretting them later.
It is vital that we forgive ourselves and even those who go against us if we are to move forward in life.
Let’s also keep in mind that our children are vulnerable too and they will make mistakes. It’s not fair or right to brand them with negative labels. We need to lead them to know that they deserve and need to feel good about themselves.
Question: Has you child got you upset recently?
If so, take five minutes to forgive your children of any stress they may have caused you, and forgive yourself for any brief lapses that you may have had towards them.
Let’s keep the development of the child at the top of the agenda!
Ps. The little boy in the experiment, was given a brand new toy to keep after the 60 seconds experiment and that toy was a genuine one.
I believe in you and your dreams.
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Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play.