Today I decided to forgive everybody. All of you, for whatever crime, misdemeanor or altercation – an across-the-board amnesty for the entire human race.
I realised the following: that storing up anger about people, and reminding myself over and over that I should be annoyed at person X because of what person X had once done to me…well, it just absorbs energy and gives none back. Life’s just too short for that crap.
There is a quote I have in mind, something like: “When we forgive others we really forgive ourselves.” And that’s the point – by forgiving, you clean your own internal slate and make space to go on. You release yourself from having to care. Everybody becomes a sparkling new person, and nothing that their previous selves have done can make any difference any more.
So you’re all forgiven. That teacher who slapped me with a wooden ruler in 1975; the teenagers who called me mean names and made my school days miserable; the guy who broke my nose in a nightclub in 1988. All off the hook.
Pete the crazy flatmate; that other crazy flatmate, the Chinese one; girls who didn’t want me to show them affection; other girls who dumped me cruelly by e-mail; publishing houses who demanded that I send the whole manuscript of a novel at a cost of 30 Euro and rejected it anyway; even my kid’s mother who still secretly believes that most everything that went wrong between us was my fault – all packed away, wiped off and forgiven.
That’s not to say that I forgive everybody everything, only what was done to me personally – polluters, politicians and lazy peolple are still in the black books. And it doesn’t mean either that I won’t start chalking up new enemies tomorrow; you get one chance people, but if you screw up again, I can’t guarantee you the same kindness.
But as of this moment, this one golden instant, I officially love all of my fellow humans. Hey, why the hell not – it’s soon my birthday (note to loyal readers – it’s soon my birthday). Until of course the dogs of humanity shit on my pavement, or my fellow glowing beings park their fucking cars on my bike lane and, one by one, the new list starts to swell.
So enjoy it while it lasts. And did I mention the thing about my birthday..?