Saturday, May 30, 2020


A few days ago I was walking home from the dentist's office when I passed by a park near my home. In my town, during the pandemic, the parks are open for people to use if they maintain social distancing. In the park, I saw a mother and her young daughter playing on a skateboard. The mother was walking, holding her daughter's hands, helping her to balance on the skateboard as it rolled along the ground. The mother and child were enjoying themselves, both were laughing.

It reminded me of how childhood can be happy, carefree, safe, fun, and full of love. I thought how unfortunate it is that growing up fills life with responsibility, worry, disappointment, and other unpleasant emotions. But as the sight of the mother and daughter reminded me of that carefree time of life, I felt the carefree feeling. For a moment it stopped all the mental activity that weighs one down as an adult: responsibility, worry, resentment, anger at life and other people.

Letting go of all those feelings was really the same thing as forgiving.

Oddly, seeing the mother and daughter showed me how to forgive.

Then I thought about how the presence of those feelings in me affected me and I felt regret over how those feelings affected other other people through my interactions with them. I thought about how gloominess might dampen the mother and daughter's enjoyment of the moment if its shadow fell over them. I wanted to stop casting that kind of shadow if I could.

Now I can still remember the sight of the mother and daughter and the feeling of carefree childhood that is really the feeling of forgiving. I can also remember the thought of how unpleasant emotions arising in me might spill over and spoil the moments of carefree innocence of other people. It motivates me to cultivate the spirit of forgiving as much as I can by recalling that carefree feeling to help me let go of unpleasant emotions. It produces a kind of freedom that only forgiving can grant.

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