Forgiveness Learned Early
by Adam Zack — November 2, 2022
“So word on the street is that ur a really good writer, and I was hoping u could take a look at my world literature essay and proofread it? It’s due tmrw, but it’s only two pages long 😅”. I got this text from my ninth grade nephew this past Sunday afternoon. I wondered what street he had been hanging out on to hear “the word”? Nerd street? Dork alley? He’s definitely not the type to be hanging on the streets looking for hookers and blow, so that was out. And I wondered, and asked him, “Does it have a lot of abbreviations like ur txt?!”. He assured me that it didn’t. “Lmao no wayyyyy 😂😂😂”
Of course I was happy to help him. I sincerely care about my nephews and nieces. Family is important to me. The essay I read was a very well written analysis of Alan Paton’s novel Cry the Beloved Country, and was titled ‘Forgiveness…Amen!” It went on to examine the relationship between two main characters in the book and explained how forgiveness, of both others and themselves, made them grow to be better men. Wow, this is a kid that gets it. Most 9th graders don’t give much thought to forgiveness, dealing with petty jealousies and wrongs with grudges and revenge. Some of them never grow out of it. I made my minor grammatical corrections and suggestions to his paper, and sent it back to him, explaining my personal feelings on forgiveness:
Here you go, Lunch Pail. [His nickname]. Forgiveness is one of my favorite topics. Too often people get obsessed with the things and people that wronged them. Whether it’s actually wrong or not does not matter. The choice to forgive does not mean that the wrong done is OK. It just releases you from carrying the burden of not forgiving. To me, it’s like holding a heavy rock. Once you forgive, you give yourself permission to move on from the negative thoughts and emotions of holding onto negative feelings and allowing yourself to be positive and loving. Forgiveness is a great personal character trait and one I struggle with and at the same time strive for every day.
I love you.
Uncle Lunch Box [My nickname]
He responded by text: “Thanks again. Also I read your email, and I loveee what you have to say about forgiveness 🤩🤩”
Wow, a 15 year old that gets it. Great job, Lunch Pail!
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