I was struck recently by the holocaust victim, Eva Kor, who forgave Oskar Groening, a former guard at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, who was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews.
Two things struck me about what Eva said.
Firstly, in forgiving, she was able to move her life positively forward. Previously she had been so consumed by the past horrors that she was enveloped by negativity, hatred and the desire to see things put right. She became a tortured sole. By forgiving she released herself from guilt and negativity and for the first time was able to be positive and forward thinking. She was able to enjoy her life for the first time.
Secondly, she wanted Mr Groening not to be sentenced to prison but to be made to do community service where he could go and explain what happened to as many people as possible. Her view was that some in the world had grown weary and some even into a disbelieving stance of her messages and memories of events. These people could well have a different view of events if Mr Groening was simply made to tell his side of the story, of what he did and thus that these were real events which really happened.
When I served in Germany during my military days I visited Bergen Belsen in Germany, site of one of the holocaust camps. It was a very, very humbling and unique experience. I was struck by the complete silence in the area where the mass graves were situated. Total silence, not even the remotest sound from any birds in an open area surrounded by trees. Very unnerving.
This all happened only 70 years ago.
Is it time for you to forgive someone. Clearly nothing is likely to be on this scale but it brings into context how short life is and how too short it is to carry negativity. We all need to move forward positively.