Forgiveness, A National Pain Reliever
It is often said that, “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” To forgive simply means to “Let go of wrong or offence done against you at one time or the other”
According to Oxford advanced learners dictionary, “Forgiveness is the act of avoiding being angry willingly to somebody.”
There are times, in our lives, when, regardless of the magnitude of the offence, we are expected to just let go and move on rather than nurse a grudge against someone to express an exercise. It is a process that requires you to make decisions, and the conscious decision is followed by an act of will. Until you make your mind to forgive, forgiveness may become elusive.
It is no understatement, however, that Nigeria, once a peaceful nation together in harmony, accommodating different ethnic and religious leanings now battles with incessant bomb attacks and unrests thus, leaving so much to be desired.
Today, the nation is faced between two walls, as those from the Eastern part of the nation now find it difficult travelling to other parts of the country. This cannot promote the development which attracts foreign investments in Nigeria.
“Things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold,” if we do not learn to be our brothers’s keeper and tolerate ourselves irrespective of our differences, Nigeria will remain static the way it is.
Let us shun terrorism and embrace forgiveness because it replaces wrongdoing with goodness. It creates benevolence through goodwill and generosity.
It is obvious that it is very hard to imagine putting aside thoughts of anger or revenge and replacing them with the gift of love and mercy immediately.
The recent Boko Haram issue in Nigeria has placed her in an ugly light. Those behind the attacks should remember that “united we stand, divided we fall.” We should not allow the pain of the past to become a permanent crutch in our lives. Let us realise that it is our responsibilities to heal ourselves. Nobody else can do it for us. Being unforgiving saps our energy and causes a lot of damage to precious lives and properties which cannot be regained. Unforgiveness is an energy vampire, but forgiveness heals our nation and thereby eliminates toxic thoughts and anger that will make us perpetuate evil.
To ensure a better Nigeria, let us learn how to forgive and bury the hatchet and let the sleeping dog lie, because nothing good comes out of revenge, rather it complicates issues by making people kill their fellow brothers without having a rethink.
I used to think that by withholding forgiveness from my offenders they would suffer. I later realised that I was the one suffering when I finally understood the power of forgiveness, it was truly enlightening. I discovered that I have a lot more freedom, felt happier and focused.
There is no gain in bomb blasts rather it creates fear and scares people away from a particular area. Today, people have relocated to their aboriginal homes, abandoning their properties and business to begin a new life in a ‘strange’ land. No wonder, Nigeria remains underdeveloped up till now.
I realised that forgiveness is a balm to our wounds. Sometimes, the person you are holding grudges against may be a ladder to your success. Have you noticed that forgiveness includes the word ‘give’? By forgiving, we give ourselves a gift; we choose to let go of the past in the hope that by doing so, we will make a better life in the nearest future.
Just this year, a lot of setbacks have been recorded ranging from bombing of churches, media organisations, institutions of higher learning as well as market places among others. All these losses can hardly be recovered except through the grace of God.
It is said that everything in life happens for a purpose even though sometimes the circumstances will be so painful that reasoning seems out of question. Don’t allow the pains of the past to become a permanent crutch in your life. Do not forget that it is our responsibility to develop our nation and we should always remember the slogan we are known for. “Nigeria, good people, great nation.”
It is obvious that in every 12 disciples, there must be a “Judas.” In a population of over 140 million people, there must be a lot of “Judases.” But I am optimistic that good Nigerians can influence the “bad eggs” in our midst.
Let us refuse to be used by evil-minded individuals who find it very difficult to forgive, because none of the religious books encourages it. It is time to give peace a chance and be ready to resolve our differences.
Nigeria should go back to the days of “united we stand, divided we fall.” Let us be one and eat from the same dish for that is what we are known for and we should encourage inter-ethnic marriages to preach against revenge, so that we can embrace love and forgiveness.
Let us remove thoughts of revenge from our hearts and begin to love unconditionally; it heals our relationship and lives. Think of forgiveness, not so much as an act, but as a lifestyle. Try to forgive and forget, let by-gone be by-gone. Enough is enough of bomb blasts and terrorism in our beloved country, Nigeria.
Peter Salawu is a student of Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State.Share