It is forgiveness season all across the globe, and do you want to know why? Where have you been?
Anyway, the world is that way at this point in time because of two significant events; one that happened quite recently, and another that is just around the corner. That said, why should it take the passing of an icon, or the looming prospect of a merry X-mas day before we all assume the role of vocal advocates of forgiveness, that noble quality that has made Madiba seem like he was a personal buddy or ‘best friend’ to you and everybody else?
And by “you”, I mean you who have now added one of Madiba’s names to your own on social media. Yes, I mean you that are busy churning out quote after wise quote that was ever attributed to him, and disseminating it To Whom It May Concern. I mean you that has now replaced your heavily photo shopped Facebook profile picture with that of a gently smiling, graying Madiba.
Yes, I’m talking of you who has been wagging your finger and directing naked insults at your own leaders or leaders of other otherwise sovereign countries for the sole crime of not being ‘as great as Madiba!“
When we publically insult or condemn our presidents and leaders for not being exact duplicates of Nelson Mandela, we make it seem as though the standard of values for which he stood only applies to politicians. On the contrary, politicians should not be the only ones to take the blame for not living up to Madiba’s high standards, especially as regards forgiveness, a quality for which he is most remembered.
Yes, you and me should take some of that blame because, like the politicians we have been bashing for being un-Mandela-like, you and me are also un-Mandela-like in as far as forgiveness is concerned. Are you forgiving yourself? If so, just how forgiving?
Now that I’ve challenged your morality to the core, it’s time that I led by example. I just preached to you about the virtue of forgiveness, so it’s time I backed the sermon with action.
Forgiveness is two way; you either appeal for it, or you forgive yourself. I will start by appealing for it, and my first plea for forgiveness goes to my boss, against whom I’ve committed many offences that comfortably fit the “crimes against humanity” tag. Those crimes I won’t disclose here because who says it’s for public consumption?
But you too need to seek forgiveness. Yes, from that shop attendant who recently returned you Rwf 2,000 instead of 1,500. Because of the relative similarity in appearance between the new Rwf 500 note and that of 1,000, many people mix up the two, and end up giving out the 1,000 note thinking it’s 500 and vice-versa.
Finally, I ask for forgiveness from everybody and anybody that I’ve ever wronged. See, the major problem with un-forgivingness is that, I may be there, investing calories of hatred against you, but when for you, you are free of that useless excess baggage!