I watched the film ‘The Railway Man’ on Sunday with my son and my mother. I have to say that this is one of the most powerful films I have seen for a very long time. The film concludes with Eric Lomax revisiting the place where he was so brutally tortured and meeting the man who had tortured him. On meeting, he said the words of my title above. Put simply: he forgave him.
Unforgiveness is a baggage and a huge issue for so many people. It holds us back. Often delivering what we perceive to be just retribution is not the answer. I still remember one of the finest school assemblies I ever heard where a teacher shared some woeful stories about his childhood and what was done to him. He then became a policeman and was able to gain access to his perpetrators. This enabled him to deliver what he felt was appropriate retribution. He finished the assembly by saying that this was simply not the answer and had not made him feel any better in the long run. We need to find it in our hearts, as Eric Lomax did, to forgive and move on.
I wonder how many of us have incidents in our past that are hidden and slowly becoming toxic within our inner person – let’s get them out there and deal with the problem!