Why We Should Forgive
There is wisdom in forgiveness. Learn to let go of anything and everything.
Forgiveness is letting go of grudges and bitterness when you are hurt by someone. Forgiving is neither forgetting nor excusing the harm done to you. Instead of holding on to your anger, resentment, and thoughts of revenge, you now decide to embrace forgiveness and then move forward. In reality, you are actually embracing peace, hope, gratitude and joy—the fundamentals of human happiness.
Forgiveness can also lead to the understanding of empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness is a pathway to spirituality, and ultimately to human happiness.
In September 24, 2016, runner and cyclist Dean Otto was struck by a car driven by Will Huffman, a 27-year-old salesman, with his buddy on their way to a football game. The crash left Dean Otto paralyzed with his broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis, broken tailbone, a broken right leg, and several broken ribs.
After assessing Otto’s condition, Dr. Matt McGirt told the Otto family that Dean Otto was 99 percent likely going to spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair. It was sad and scary news for the Otto family.
But Otto was never scared—or even resentful. Instead, he said a private prayer and instantly forgave Will Huffman. “I knew if I didn’t, the resentment would eat me alive.”
After the surgery on his spine performed by Dr. Matt McGirt, Otto began his miraculous recovery. As a matter of fact, a few hours after the surgery, Otto was able to wiggle his toes.
Through Facebook, Will Huffman and his wife were finally able to contact Otto’s family, who welcomed them graciously with open arms.
Huffman was not surprised that Otto would forgive him, but he did not expect or imagine that they would become good friends afterwards. Huffman says, “I think most people would stop there and say, ‘Nice meeting you, but I’m done.’”
Dr. Matt McGirt was also inspired by their close friendship, and he earnestly believed that it was Otto’s attitude, forgiveness, and loving-kindness that had brought about his phenomenal recovery. The doctor also remarks: “He not only turned lemons into lemonade, but he’s selling that lemonade, too.” Otto raised $11,000 for Carolinas Rehabilitation’s LIFE Program for spinal cord injury patients.
On July 22, 2017, Otto, Huffman, and Dr. McGirt reunited and participated in a half-marathon race.
If I were Dean Otto, would I have forgiven Will Huffman instantly and completely?
Would I have continued the friendship with someone who drastically changed my life?
Has forgiveness really made Dean Otto happier?
Copyright© by Stephen Lau