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The power of Forgiveness


 

 

“We seek the divine creator to forgive our greatest sins, and he forgives. Then who are we not to forgive those who wrong us?” – Anonymous

Aren’t we too quick to point fingers and tell people where they are going wrong? Often we appoint ourselves as the authority on what is right. But we seldom would accept, acknowledge or seek to find our own wrong doings and blunders in our lives. Many of us are afraid to face the disgust of our own mistakes and sins. Yet we are always ready to make others feel disgusted of theirs.

We aren’t perfect nor is the world we live in. We are all wrong doers and often many of us are much more worse than we would like to accept. We do several immoral things in our own personal lives and chose to forget it or be secretive about it, but we will never give up a chance to blame others of their immoral actions or tarnish their character based on their share of mistakes and sins.

But there are times when we do realize and repent. Our conscience shakes us and our guilt consumes our pride and we set out to repent for our wrong doings. And when we set out with such honest guilt and sincerity we solely seek for forgiveness. Forgiveness from those we have done wrong to or from a divine source we place our faith in. But this is just perfect for us, our inner peace and our own emotional balance and health. Even if we do not get the forgiveness we seek, we find solace in the fact that we have repented in enough in terms of undoing our wrong and perhaps going above and beyond by being extra nice.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Alas we learn to forgive others we seek forgiveness from others when we do wrong. The petty mindedness of us fuels our pride and arrogance to stand against basic decency and humanity and hold grudges and anger against others. A very convenient position to hold that blinds our logic and sensibilities and stops us from realizing how we ourselves would feel if we were put in a similar position. When we are wrong we rightfully expect others and even God to forgive us of our mistakes and sins. But when the same is asked of us and life provides us a chance to reciprocate, we soon turn our arrogance and petty mindedness without any shame.

Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always make you less than you are.

Malcolm Forbes

Several people spend a life time holding such grudges and refuse to forgive others. They choose to dwell in their hatred, anger and smallness rather than to understand life and reality, forgive and become greater human beings and move ahead into a much more peaceful and respectable life. We strain and loose several valuable years and time of good relationships in this one short life of ours. We estrange ourselves and let our anger and arrogance separate ourselves from our own blood and friends due to their mistakes and our inability to be mature and forgive. We lose our ability logically discuss, heal, understand, let go, and forgive in an effort to keep relationships. Instead we chose to forget all the goodness and good times we enjoyed from that person and judge the person with their one big mistake. Yet we will die of hurt when someone dies the same to us.

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~Mark Twain

Forgiveness: According to the Merriam Webster dictionary to forgive is A) to give up resentment of, or claim to requital for B): to grant relief from payment of 2) : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : PARDON intransitive senses : to grant forgiveness.

Even though many people may say they have forgiven someone who has offended them, it nevertheless takes a long time to free themselves of the hatred and anger in their hearts. Their behaviour tends to betray that anger. On the other hand, the forgiveness is required to be sincere. Because we need to realize the fact that as human beings each one of us are tried and tested in every step of our lives and we engage in a continuous process of failing and learning from our mistakes. Thus it is imperative for each one of to learn to be tolerant and compassionate as we will eventually expect the same from others.

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. ~Henry Ward Beecher

So why is it important to learn to forgive? Here is one scientific reason: According to recent research, American scientists established that those capable of forgiveness are healthier in both mind and body. The team of scientists and health psychologists studied 259 people. The scientists invited the subjects to attend six one-and-a-half-hour sessions, and aimed to instruct the subjects in forgiveness during their conversations.

The subjects of the experiments stated that they suffered less after forgiving people who had wronged them. The research showed that people who learned to forgive feel much better, not only emotionally but also physically. For example, it was established that after the experiment psychological and physical symptoms such as stress-related backache, insomnia and stomach aches were significantly reduced in these individuals.

For those who claim to be religious or live in a constant pursuit to become a better human being based on their faith systems it is important for them to realize that forgives is a major part of all faith systems in the world. Most world religions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness, and many of these teachings provide an underlying basis for many varying modern day traditions and practices of forgiveness. Some religious doctrines or philosophies place greater emphasis on the need for humans to find some sort of divine forgiveness for their own shortcomings, others place greater emphasis on the need for humans to practice forgiveness of one another, yet others make little or no distinction between human and divine forgiveness.

Here are a few examples of some leading religions and their ideas and philosophies about forgiveness:

Judaism: If a person causes harm, but then they sincerely and honestly apologizes to the wronged individual and tries to rectify the wrong, the wronged individual is religiously required to grant forgiveness to this person.

Christianity: Jesus speaks of the importance of Christians forgiving or showing mercy towards others. A quote from Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Islam: One of the names for Allah in Islam is Al-Ghaffur- meaning The All Forgiving entity. Forgiveness often requires the repentance of those being forgiven. Depending on the type of wrong committed, forgiveness can come either directly from Allah, or from one’s fellow man who received the wrong. In the case of divine forgiveness, the asking for divine forgiveness via repentance is important. In the case of human forgiveness, it is important to both forgive, and to be forgiven. In fact it is believed that a practicing Muslims’ pilgrimage is not accepted if forgiveness is not sought from those they have wronged against.

Buddhism: Forgiveness is seen as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being. Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will shall leave a lasting effect on our minds and eventually shape our destiny.

Hinduism: The concept of performing atonement from one’s wrongdoing and asking for forgiveness is n essential part of the practice of Hinduism. Repentance is the lay of Karma. Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. The effects of those deeds and these deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain in others.

 

“Forgiveness is God’s invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply. He began by forgiving us. And he invites us all to forgive each other.”

Lewis B. Smedes – Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve

 

Doctors have proved that forgiveness and lettign go of grudges immediately and drastically improved your health and quality of life. Here are a few proven benefits of forgiveness:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

So, how do you go about making the change and becoming a mature, generous and progressive indidivual by learnign to forgive others? Well, it is a process of learning and understanding who you turly are and how do you want to grow towards becoming a better and greater person in life. It is easy to be like the rest of the petty minded people and dwell in your misery and hold grudges. But it takes a great heart and progressive thinking to learn, forgive and move ahead in life. Here are a few things suggested by the mayo clinic on how to go about forging people:

  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
  • Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being
  • When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you
  • Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

What stops you from becoming free of hatred and anger in life is often your ego and inflated pride. Which, we all are aware has never done any good to anyone in their life. The power of forgivness is greater than that of hate and anger.

 


Only ordinary people do extraordinary things and become greater beings. You are no different!


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If you conform to the world and its ways as you have been asked or told to, you will always live just as everyone else and be no different. The limitations, the constrains, the complexities, the hurdles, disappointments, and the balanced amount of happiness will all be limited only by the constrains of your willingness, thoughts and a set of beliefs you have acquired from others. But the wonderful truth about this is the fact that your life is not limited by your true abilities, capabilities, freedom of expression, dreams and desires. If you focus and act on these enabling factors as opposed to the factors that you believe limit you, you will achieve the extraordinary.

If you think of yourself as just another ordinary person, then remember that every great person in history and living was once considered to be ordinary as well just like you. They only became extraordinary because they identified and used their enabling factors of life and not their disabling circumstances. We are unknowingly often pushed towards progressive evolution. We only progress in life. If you think of your life a few years back, you will find that you have come only ahead in life. And you will thus only progress and grow better. But this is done by what you choose to do by realizing our potential and numerous capabilities.

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. ~Thomas Alva Edison

Every great person that we know of who have made the impossible and unthinkable possible were once just ordinary people like you. Their greatness came along and the shifted from being ordinary people into extraordinary ones by doing things that were different and against the comfort of conformity and helpless acceptance. They each stood their grounds, held on to their beliefs, used their skills, will and courage to realize what they believed in. They faced their share of criticism, swam against the tide, fought against the popular beliefs, challenged every single obstacle, failed, picked themselves up and achieved success with determination. Just as every ordinary people do almost in every life. Only they believed and set out to do things that were bigger, better and amazing. Some invented great things, some made movies, some developed technology, some discovered, some inspired people, some served humanity and some built amazing things. Collectively and individually they changed their lives, influenced other peoples lives and changed this world.

If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. ~Socrates

If you take the time to read about any such extraordinary people and their lives, you will quickly learn that many of them came from very humble beginnings and some from very hard and stifling backgrounds. Many of them were rejected and faced severe criticism. Yet they persevered and persistently pursued their dreams. Some did it with focused discipline while some made it by erratic behaviors but with sheer confidence and courage. You will also simultaneously learn that almost every one of them faced the same daily challenges that we do. They were cheated, let down, failed etc, but every one of them never gave up and succumbed to defeat. They each had this amazing will power and wisdom to pick themselves up, dust their defeat away, learn from it, became more humble and marched their way to success. None of them had super natural powers, or were born into a life of protection and immunity of life challenges. They were just as ordinary people as you and I.

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

– Michael Jordan

What makes you different from such great people is your goals and purpose in life. If you choose, you can change your world and make it amazing. If you choose you can achieve your desires no matter how small or big they are. And if you choose you can never learn and keep facing your life from one problem to another. Should you choose a higher purpose, dream big, desire for unthinkable success and do greater things in life, you will. But these can only be realized when you begin to take your first step towards achieving these with determination, will, courage and focus. And when you do so, you will find yourself doing these simple but effective things that all great people do:

  • Think differently and strive to do something different and big in life
  • Work hard towards your objectives and strive to accomplish them always
  • Never rest until you achieve every small goals in your journey towards success
  • Learn to see and work each problem you face as an unique opportunity you have been given to develop the solution for
  • Gain strength from each of your small successes and set higher goals
  • Learn from your mistakes and failures and try again with greater wisdom
  • Learn to be humble and not let your success stop your ability to grow further and do greater things
  • Develop and uphold high principles and values in life
  • Meet and learn from other great and successful people
  • Learn to see the positive in every person you meet and learn from them
  • Change and inspire everyone you meet and make them want to do great things too
  • Avoid petty thoughts and excessive indulgence in negativity and criticism of others and things
  • Learn to be tactful and smart in every things you do
  • Strive to be different and smarter than the ones you consider to be the best
  • Be compassionate and caring
  • Help others and be a hero to someone
  • Laugh and make others laugh

The beauty of each of these characteristics is that you, the ordinary person, can do it today and do it now. You have the skills, the ability, the courage, the strength and the freedom of choice. You can achieve each and every thing you dream. From winning over someone’s love, to being successful in your job, achieving your career goals, doing greater things in life, staring your own business, making more money to achieving things that can change this world are all things you can do just and many other ordinary people before you did and continue to do daily. Think about this: Would you have more respect and appreciation for a boxer who fought a worthy opponent over several rounds by withstanding every blow and punch and yet managed to win the bout after several hard rounds or a boxer who knocked out his weak opponent in the first few seconds? The hardships and troubles make the win and success worthy. And yet the winner gathers the humility and class to thank his loosing opponent for the fight and say a few words of appreciation.

Life is not about discovering our talents; it is about pushing our talents to the limit and discovering our genius. ~Robert Brault

It all begins when you realize that in only takes the ordinary you to do the extra ordinary things in life. And once you realize this, you take your first step now, and at this very moment. Not tomorrow, later or Monday! Now, this very second and do it with confidence.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~Author Unknown


Becoming a better man; inspiring a better world


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He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~Harold Wilson

I have always feared change. Change is something that I usually disagree with because it makes me get off my comfortable state and do something with my life that will not put be back into the former position.  But whether I agreed with change or not, I have been changed and I keep changing. And looking back, I cannot thank enough for these changes. When I was forced to change, it always pushed me into a better life, and when I didn’t, I realized how I was killing my own potential and destroying my life while the world around me progressed.

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress. ~Bruce Barton

The only thing that remains constant in our lives has been the changes that happened to the world, people and us. Amongst all the things that changed around us the most important is the change that happened to us. The changes to our personal progressive evolution into better human being, our perceptions, wisdom, knowledge, tolerance, opinions, and the ability to love, forgive, and perhaps become selfless. These endless collections of experiences that impacts us on a daily basis and that which helps us evolve into the people we eventually become is what life is all about. Similarly the process of this evolution is also enhanced or hindered by our choices and the resulting actions we take that helps carve our personalities and our personal world, in terms of family, lifestyle, character and image. Yet with all this progress and evolution of systems and people, we seem to be living in a more complex, tiring and unhappy world.

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have. ~Margaret Mead

One thing I learned early in my life was that I needed to evolve, change and continuously work hard to become better should I desire to accomplish a few things in life. Change is good, and positive change is absolutely necessary. Those who stifle their growth and advancement will one day be challenged to change, evolve and advance or be left behind. People are continuously moving ahead. Old methods are challenged, old fears have changed to aggression, silence has found a voice and oppressed compliance has changed into intelligent and courageous defiance. The recent political changes in the world shows that we no longer need to fight wars to over throw dictators or unjust oppressive governments. People have begun to exercise their rights and use democracy to their advantage. Traditionally countries that were considered to be poor are economic super powers now. The wealth of these countries diminishes the might of nuclear powers. Old belief systems are challenged if they haven’t progressively evolved with the times. People now increasingly need sensible and logical processes and systems to follow. The intelligent people today question age-old senseless rituals, old systems, stagnant status, cultural norms etc.  Such are the many signs of the struggle of progressive evolution of people. It is nevertheless a struggle. It is a struggle because many systems and people still happen to continue to sit at the opposite side of this progressive evolutionary spectrum. These are the people and systems that are yet to be challenged in our every changing world. But the struggling progression and evolution of people into better and sensible beings shall continue and soon the demands of positive change will come knocking at their door.

The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.  ~Japanese Proverb

However, this struggle can only thrive and gain momentum on clear, positive morals, peaceful intentions, values and principles that collectively benefits humanity. The struggle is also within every individual because such collective strength shall only stem from realizing the need for individual self-improvement. We as people are still required to evolve as individuals first. We cannot afford to hold on to our prejudice anymore, we can no longer choose to resent change, we cannot hide our limited and age-old beliefs, and we cannot afford to sacrifice humanity and personal peace for age-old rituals and blind faith. It is time and age for us to progress and not regress. WE have to make the change, and make it first within us. We need to self-analyze our everyday actions, behaviours, goals, objectives, words and character and list the changes we need to make and follow through. We cannot blame the world, the people, system, and change. We need to change, adopt, or inspire change. It has become more vital for our own existence and survival and for the future of our children. We can no longer blame the status quo and failing conditions of everything around us. It is now in our hands. WE need to make the change, and/or inspire change. It is our responsibility, our life, our world, and our choice. We are told things, educated, inspired, motivated, asked, and forced into learning things from other people’s’ experience, their opinions, and the existing ways. What we do with all that we know now, is our choice. It is our world and our move next.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.  ~Gandhi
 
A few simple things we can do to change our world for the better, starting today:
 
    1. Reflect a little on our speech and make small changes by using more positive words, kinder expressions and honesty.
    2. Think how you treat your loved ones regardless of what they do. Are you inspiring or loving in your behaviour?
    3. What you give is what you get. Do you give positivity, smiles and love to the world you share?
    4. When did you last give your mother or a wife a day off chores?
    5. Complment someone for doing something you liked.
    6. Ask yourself, what have you done lately to inspire positivity and goodness
    7. Opt for a salad today for a change, eat lesser calories today, chew longer and drink plenty of water.
    8. Forgive someone and let the hatred go. Give them a call, or write a note just to say “Hi”. You will feel much better.
    9. Share a joke to lighten the moment and see how the problems get resolved and  fades away.
    10. Take up a greater cause
    11. Praise someone for thier efforts and encourage them to carry on
    12. Put in some extra time and effort to change something for the better, be it at work or home
    13. Take up a creative project
    14. Learn something new or something you are not good at
    15. Spend time with your child and be silly for a while.
    16. If you appreciate someone tell them about it
    17. If you are guilty of something you did, or doing, stop it and walk up and apologize
    18. Do one right thing daily
    19. Make an effort to stop complaining about something, or being cynical about something daily
    20. Do one thing daily to change your personality and character for the better, be it appearance wise, or act, speach or behaviour.
 
 

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