March 18, 2011: Happiness, friendship require forgiveness, by Makaila Peltier

What is forgiveness? Robert Miller once said, “To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return you will receive untold peace and happiness.” I believe that’s true.

Can you truly be happy without forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a unique thing because it doesn’t happen just because someone says you are forgiven; instead, it happens within you — somehow your heart is just able to know. Whenever you want somebody to forgive you, it feels as though you have weight on your shoulders. And when your heart is relieved of this burden, it is like the weight has been lifted off and replaced with a comforting blanket of peace.

Looking at ourselves, we know that no one is perfect. Mistakes are a part of life. You might think that what this person did was unforgivable, but in reality if you think about it, each and everyone one of us has made mistakes before. We have all made someone else upset, and when this happens, all we want is to be forgiven.

On the other side, when you know someone needs forgiveness, put yourself in their shoes. Forgiveness is not forgetting that it happened; it does not mean that what they did was right. But sometimes you just need to realize that the right thing to do is forgive them. No one wants to be burdened with anger.

When you walk down the hallways of Concordia Junior High School, there is a sign that reads, “Determine what is right, instead of who is right.” Instead of thinking that you are right and that the other person needs to be punished for wrongdoing, you should think, “Maybe this could have gone down a better way.” The next time you are in this situation ask yourself,  “Do I want to stay mad?” If your answer is no, forgive that person.

Personally, I know for a fact I have made mistakes. I also know that my friends have made mistakes. I am good about forgiving, because I honestly hate the feeling of being angry at others. One thing I have also learned is to have a true friendship between friends, family or classmates, there must be forgiveness.

I had one friend who never really forgave anyone. Instead, she just basically thought that no one should make mistakes. But she needs to learn to forgive, because she is not a very valuable friend otherwise.

Everyone should make it a goal not to hold grudges, and to forgive quickly. By releasing the anger, I believe this would create a chain reaction of peace. So I encourage you to try to forgive.

And remember: “Forgiveness does not change the past – but it will enlarge the future.”

— Makaila Peltier is an eighth grader at Concordia Junior High School. She is the daughter of Greg and Tami Peltier.

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