DEAR ABBY: I have just returned from a visit with my older brother. It was the first time we had seen each other in years. Thank God he had the integrity to call me as soon as he realized how much he had hurt and offended me during our last meeting. An aunt had told him how I felt after I cried on her shoulder.
He called, told me how sorry he was, and thanked me for taking the call. When we got together, I discovered that he, too, was angry about something I had completely forgotten. I didn't even remember what it was that he had said or done that angered me; I just knew I was angry. We lost many years because of our lack of communication.
Abby, please tell your readers to pick up the phone and call the one with whom they are angry and talk about it. Start with, "I am sorry and I miss you."
It doesn't matter who did or said what to whom. If you love the person with whom you are angry, make the call and work it out. -- CASSIDY IN VENTURA, CALIF.
DEAR CASSIDY: I agree. One should never hesitate to make the call to mend fences with a loved one. Communication, coupled with love, is the beginning of forgiveness.
This week is International Forgiveness Week, and I urge all my readers to be forgiving. It's not as hard as it seems if you're willing to put your pride aside and make that call.
Robert Muller said it very well. Read on:
DECIDE TO FORGIVE
Decide to forgive
For resentment is negative
Resentment is poisonous
And devours the self.
Be the first to forgive,
To smile and to take the first step,
And you will see happiness bloom
On the face of your human brother or sister.
Be always the first.
Do not wait for others to forgive
For by forgiving
You become the master of fate
The fashioner of life
The doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
Readers, I offer a "schedule" for achieving a forgiving heart:
SUNDAY: Forgive yourself.
MONDAY: Forgive your family.
TUESDAY: Forgive your friends and associates.
WEDNESDAY: Forgive across economic lines within your own nation.
THURSDAY: Forgive across cultural lines within your own nation.
FRIDAY: Forgive across political lines within your own nation.
SATURDAY: Forgive other nations.
Only the brave know how to forgive. A coward never forgives. It is not his nature.
A final thought -- and a favorite quotation of mine. It's a line from George Roemisch's poem "Forgiveness": "Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet which still clings fast to the heel that crushed it."