We of the older population have had much exposure to the trials of life. Some of these encounters have harmed us or loved ones.
In today’s complex world, misunderstandings and lack of sufficient thoughtfulness can be very damaging. If not corrected immediately and clearly, serious and lasting damage can result.
There are occasions where we have not talked through the conflict with enough detail or concern to satisfy everyone involved. With the rapid growth of texting, email and social media, the art of face-to-face communication is being lost A large part of my life has been face-to-face where I have benefited from interpreting body language.
Today’s impersonal, rapid and often abbreviated communication is paying a high price in our lives.
Children are subject to bullying — with much of this type of electronic communication. This is of growing concern. Bitterness, wrath and anger are the fruits of grudges. Holding on to a grudge is a powerful poison, much like cancer, which can and does expand to consume our very lives. As it grows within us, it affects and influences our decisions about everything and everyone.
The reality is, holding on to anger can be like a sickness.
Many keep score of the perceived injustices committed against them. When lack of forgiveness has had time to find a home within one’s heart, they become cold and distant and others may not choose to associate with them. We need to realize that the permission we have given ourselves to judge others can weaken us all. There is only one cure for this illness, and that cure is to forgive.
Holding grudges is not an option if we desire to live life to its fullest. Christ died on the cross more than 2,000 years ago to forgive us of our sins, and that includes each others’ sins. With his ultimate sacrifice, no one has paid a higher price for us here on earth. We are commanded to forgive, regardless of the degree of pain we feel.
Needless to say, it is never easy to forgive; however, is the poison one may carry worth a cure? The mental anguish one can experience with lack of forgiveness has a great influence on your health and general well-being. In some cases, people basically end up separating themselves from former friends and the public entirely and become hermits.
Forgetting does not take the poison away, only forgiveness does. We were born with tender hearts, eager to learn and develop meaningful relationships that are meant to last.
We of the older generation have the knowledge and experience of life that can influence change into bringing back more face-to-face communication. Hopefully, our input will help reduce misunderstandings that are becoming real problems for the younger generation.
The fences that some have built around their hearts need to be torn down with the strong arm of forgiveness if we are to be obedient to our creator.
Dean McFarland is a board member for the Central Indiana Council on Aging.