“ For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” God
“A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” God
A mature person knows how to let go.
Some things are eternal. Love is eternal. I recall going to the funeral of a friend’s father. His son had never met me before, he had no idea who I was. Yet my friend told his son that we would be friends forever.
I have observed that most people with mental illness have suffered to an extreme. I understand that all people suffer but not all people were bullied, or raped, or burnt and tortured by their parents as some of my fellow patients have been. Being subjected to these adversities alters the mental makeup of a human being. Defense systems kick in for survival. Think of a plant in the shade where the sun shines from one angle for a limited period of time. The plant will warp itself to grow towards the sunshine, it will do what it needs to survive.
It is healthy for anybody to learn both to forgive and forget. We all have wronged people and people have all wronged us. Just like I want to be forgiven for my offenses I should be generous enough to forgive others. For all those bad things in my past that have happened, I simply have to move on. Not that those things bad things are nil. But rather they are experiences from which I can learn wisdom from.
Forgiveness works well for both the offender and the offended. Forgiveness is not allowing more abuse. Nor is forgiveness the forsaking of some form of justice. Rather forgiveness is accepting and recognizing the wrong that has been done. Then after the acknowledgment, it is a release. If somebody really forgives another then the wrong has been put in the past. Best of all not only have the wrong been put into the past but the hurt, pain, and anger as well. Forgiveness is essential to a healthy sense. If I carried hatred and anger for every wrong done to me I would be consumed by it. Rather, in all honesty, only one or two people upset me, in times of weakness, and both of these are not from my youth.
If there is one lesson of my misspent youth it is to be kind to everyone. That is a fundamental lesson in life, the golden rule, do unto others as you would have done to yourself. Showing genuine kindness will disarm one’s enemy. What most people do not understand is that this principle of kindness must be both all extensive and all-inclusive. That is it must go beyond your own neighborhood and into the whole world. One must love not only their neighbor as well but also love their enemy.
This world we live in is a powderkeg. It is one spark away from blowing up. While we have made progress in some areas we have clearly failed in others. In honest observation, the state of the African American citizen has improved from Jim Crow. But there are forces working to take a reactionary turn. Certainly with a large number of African American men being gunned down or killed by the police must come to an end. There are far too many to name. In truth, to some extent, the color of the lyncher’s uniform has turned from white to blue. I do not believe that Sandra Bland committed suicide in jail. I do not believe that Eric Gardner needed to be choked to death when there was over half a dozen armed police surrounding him. I can go on and on and on.
To express these things is not being anti-American but rather patriotic. If we cannot turn an honest eye to our society to self-evaluate ourself then we are doomed to fall into the ditch. Pointing out police brutality and murder, and wanting to bring it to an end, in fact, helps the police. If a person being pulled over by the police feels that he will be killed it escalates the situation. But if citizens (not civilians) have confidence in their ‘public servants’ then it works out better on both sides.
And what about others marginalized in our communities, the Native American, the illegal alien, the sex worker, the runaway, how do we treat them. To the ‘Christians’ must I remind you Christ’s words “Whatever ye have done to the least of them ye have done unto me.”
Likewise, the United States reigns as the sole world power. As such the United States is actively engaged in a worldwide conquest. Between the military and covert CIA action, many countries have experienced the malevolent effects of our country. The United States is provoking Russia, China, and Iran among others. If nothing is done to stop the mad lust and stealing of resources violence is sure to erupt.
Where is the connection here? We need to let go. We need to abandon the way that we are on to a higher road of love and compassion. We must invest in peace with the fervor we are investing in war. If not we are going to be facing riots on the streets and World War 3. Furthermore, the way to achieve these high and lofty ideals is by incorporating them into our daily lives. An act of kindness to your fellow man goes a very long way, in fact sometimes it changes a life.
Please check out my unique book “Letting It Out” https://www.amazon.com/Letting-Out-Poetry-Poetic-Observations/dp/1986980308/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Photos by Neville Wootton Photography,