We’re in the season of life when people are quick to cool off at the expense of others. It’s like we’re all sitting on a keg of gun power of vicious outburst and anyone who crosses us, we take no chances at unleashing our frustration on them. Have you ever been a victim of such outburst of frustration? Have a total stranger engaged you war of words as a result of some unforeseen vexation. Well I have because my city is a peculiar one teeming with multitude of humans with different psyche.
I live in Lagos and I can say it’s not been easy but this discourse is not about contending for offenses, rather our focus is on something we easily don’t consider- How many of us forgive these strangers who annoy us, insult us or even provoke us to be like them?
We forgive our families, friends and colleagues even when we might not feel the need to, because one way or the other we know we can’t hold on to our pain forever. We just look beyond their fault because we care about our relationships with them. The same cannot be said of a random stranger who happens to come our way by chance or not.
We all remember that wicked driver that left with our money leaving us transfixed (we even wept in our hearts, such evil in man), what about the man who had hit us by the side while on the pedestrian walkway and even played the victim, the bad driver that kept bumping into our car on the road, that market woman who threw the tomatoes water with careless abandon almost ruining our dress and asks if we were blind, the fellow commuter who annoyed us in the bus, train etc, the list goes on and on, from one city to another. One thing is always clear; we are either the victim or the villain.
The pain or after-pain of a stranger’s attack is known to be more hurtful if you are the victim. The feeling ranges from anger, self-pity, revenge, the desire for a time travel into the past to revisit the so-called stranger and trash them real good, huh. Who wouldn’t want to?
Most time, we feel our dignity insulted, our goodwill taken for granted, our intent abused and we go on to bear the grudges against this stranger even after decades. Without our consent or maybe with our subconscious consent, these bitterness get settled in our system and at any slight provocation, we unleash on the next stranger. And so the circle goes on and on in a karma order but this shouldn’t be.
What does it take to forgive a stranger and why is it so hard to forgive one who has offended us? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves because until we learn how to, the hurt won’t stop at one or two, three, four or five. It will continue in a vicious circle.
Speaking from a personal point of view, I would say it takes knowing that strangers too are humans like us with their faults. It will definitely hurt when we are the victim but we can look at it as a way to put ourselves accountable in such a way we don’t pass the hate to others. This might seem impossible but the better we try at it, the better we become at forgiving offending strangers. If it hurts to be hurt, then try by every means not to hurt another.
We can’t have the best of ideas, so we’re asking “What does it take to forgive a stranger?” Have you bothered to ask yourself?
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© SL Kreativez, 2017.