“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
There are times in my life where I fail to extend understanding and forgiveness to others. This is especially bothersome when it happens with people I love deeply. Yet when I am able to be a man of character, and allow myself to walk a mile in their shoes, I often find that their perspectives are exactly aligned with my own. I like to refer to this as having grace, and that is exactly what Dale is talking about here, “putting ourselves in other’s shoes.”
Do you practice grace in your interactions? We often vent our frustrations out on others. Most times, we fail to try to understand others perspective or others feelings, let alone trying to forgive others for their momentary forgetfulness. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have failed to do something I have committed myself to doing, or the number of times I have simply forget about something. Perhaps if I had taken Dale’s advice, I would have found understanding and forgiveness for those I love, and would have let them know that it is ok, I too make mistakes each day of my life.
As Patricia Briggs said, “When life doesn’t meet your expectations, it is important to take it with grace.” Do we offer grace, sympathy, understanding, forgiveness, and love to those we care about in life? Do we take the time to imagine being that person–having their job, working with their co-workers, dealing with children who get into trouble, recovering from loss or abuse, getting over a painful divorce, getting laid off of work? If we desire to truly help others in life, then we must be understanding and forgiving even to those who do not seem to need our understanding or forgiveness.
Offer understanding and forgiveness to others today.
Questions to consider:
Can you think of someone with whom you are at odds who may need your understanding? What would that understanding do for you?
Can you imagine yourself living through someone else’s situation for a day? For a week?
How often to you share forgiveness with those in your life?
For further thought:
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer