• 04 FEB 18
    • 0
    The Thing About Forgiveness

    The Thing About Forgiveness

    A man and his cousin worked together at their grandfather’s engineering firm for 34 years. The firm was very important to their family and it was on its last leg. Both individuals were the last hope for any recovery; especially since they had trained to be engineers all their lives.

    In the initial years, both the man and his cousin had a great working relationship; no issues, shared responsibilities equally and remained cordial. Until one day, the man’s cousin decided his skills were of more value to the firm than the man’s. The cousin in question, believed since he was older and was next in line to inherit the firm’s assets, deserved more respect; especially from a family member. As a result of his thinking, the cousin became terribly harsh and difficult to contend with. He would call the man names, delay his paychecks, and write up a query for even the slightest of errors. This behavior became so unbearable, that the man began regretting working in the firm.

    Every day the man came home from work he would be irritable, angry and sad. He argued with his wife over the littlest of things and even began to neglect his children. When in the midst of his friends; he solemnly interacted with them and when asked about work, he would angrily dismiss the topic or just leave the company of his friends. The more his cousin frustrated him, the more he transferred his aggression to his family and friends. His personal life became so miserable that his wife and close friends had to trick him into seeing a psychologist.

    During the course of his psych sessions, the man began to realize that even years after he left his grandfather’s engineering firm (he was terminated by his cousin for unjust reasons), He held onto the resentment and bitterness. He had transferred so much of his grief to his loved ones that it nearly cost him his marriage, his friends, and his sanity.

    In one of his sessions, the psychologist asked the man why he couldn’t just forgive and let the past remain in the past; his response was “DO YOU THINK I WOULD GO TO WORK EVERYDAY IF I HAD NOT FORGIVEN MY COUSIN?” The psychologist smiled and said “If truly you had forgiven him, you would be a lot lighter in heart and your response right now would have sounded less aggravated. The session continued for the allotted time and the man went home. That night the man came to a crossroads;

    • To forgive from the depths of his heart: This means he would be letting go of all the hurt, the insults and the bitterness towards him from his cousin. Move on with a clear conscience; and live in peace and harmony with his wife, friends, and family.
    • To forgive but never forget: to Let go of all the hurt, the insults, and bitterness towards him from his cousin; but when even he sees his cousin he is reminded of all the others before
    • To hold on to the bitterness and anger: This simply means to be devoid of the anger and frustration he felt towards his cousin.

    Today he lives free in mind, body, and spirit. He is working on his relationship with his wife, children and close friends. He is grateful for their intervention and their patience with him. Most importantly, he has forgiven his cousin from the depth of his heart and wishes him well despite the damage his cousin caused.

    Now you have heard the scenario and its outcome; I want to hear your thoughts

    • How easy is it for you to forgive all those who have really hurt and offend you?
    • Do you believe that “you” are suffering because of the burden “you” carry?


    • Do you think your view of forgiveness has affected your interaction with your loved ones?

    Let’s talk in the comments below.

    Tosin Obaja

    Psychologist/Social Worker

    Carib Health Team

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