The longer you’ve nursed a grudge, the stronger it becomes. Some people take a portion of their lives to wollow in grudgery. I have never fully understood these people or their rationale especially when they claim to be Christian or hold a religious faith. It sends a mixed message about themselves and the lessons of forgiveness throughout scripture. Yes, I have gotten mad or angered out of situations in my lifetime. I am not perfect, and I won’t be wasting time holding a grudge. Years ago I adopted a self-policy of attempting to find the right qualities about those I hold in disagreement or find uncomfortable to talk about. Perhaps this is my way of releasing the consumption of hate, greed, contempt and other scorn of my neighbors. I don’t want to sound religious or preachy. What I do want to convey is that people have differing perspectives and sometimes seek out the darkest retribution rather than hoping for a positive outcome.
Have you ever noticed in relationships or friendships when there is disagreement that the people most harmed from fallout are the friends and relatives from both sides? They are the ones walking on eggshells in a carefully orchestrated support as to avoid the proverbial landmines set by people with grudges. Recently I overheard a relative conversation discussing her church and prayer group. She was very proud of the good work for the community they had done and mentioned how they pray for everyone. Someone jokingly mentioned an ex-boyfriend and her demeanor changed as she said, “except for that person. I hope he rots in hell.” An uncomfortable laughter filled the room. But she was dead serious. I wanted to speak up and say something to question how can one pray for everyone yet exclude based on a grudge. Apparently, the lessons of religion are failing in today’s society and will continue to fail if we allow hate to continue to be a part of our lives.
Yesterday I was standing in line at Walmart only to pick up some sodas on sale. While standing in line, I watched a woman in the 20 items or less will a filled shopping cart push an elderly lady out of line. Nobody would say or do anything. I allowed the older woman to stand in front of me. She was only holding a small bag of cranberries. I was holding two cola bottles. We watched as the other woman complained to the cashier about incorrect prices and demanded someone immediately correct it. You could sense that the woman was shopping at the last second for Christmas. The line was backing up quickly, and the boiling point of other people in line was starting to show. Finally, the woman left with her full basket. The senior woman was next in line and the clerk scanned her cranberries. I said to the cashier, “I’m paying for her cranberries after the way she was treated.” Both women looked shocked. She turned and said, “are you sure?” I said, “yes” and never discussed anything else. It wasn’t just a random act of kindness it was more than that. It was doing unto others and releasing a grudge that I may accidentally carry based on the careless actions of others. Before I left the store, the older woman walked up to me and gave me a hug. It felt good and also felt good to do something simple to keep the spirit alive about doing unto others.
Sometimes I hear people mentioning to set aside grudges almost as if it is temporary. I ask that in the spirit of the holiday season that we end our grudges or whatever consumes us and move on. Bury the hatchet or whatever you want to call it – it’s time to put a stop to all forms of barriers that keep us from being at our best and staying active in ours and others lives. Yes, it’s hard to mitigate what life throws at us. But that is part of the lessons learned as to be mindful how to improve ourselves in the worst of times rather than continually dragging it along with our journey.
I certainly hope that you, and I mean all of you, have a wonderful holiday season and prosperous New Year. Just remember to “Be kind, don’t judge, and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place. The point is to teach this to the next generation.”