“Don’t carry a grudge.

While you’re carrying the grudge the other guy’s out dancing.”

Buddy Hackett, comedian


Permit me to quote my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Schiff, who one afternoon made this promise to our class.

“You will be tricked, trapped, and bamboozled.”

Forty-six years after graduating from high school, I’ll be the first to tell you Mrs. Schiff was right.

I did get tricked.

I did get trapped.

I did get bamboozled.

Not just once but a whole bunch of times.

Life is not fair. Read the paper, watch television, or listen to the radio news – it’s no secret that we humans are pretty good at doing some terrible things to each other. You might as well paint a target on the seat of your pants because people are going to kick you in the pants. Mrs. Schiff told us the truth, but I’m only going to give her a grade of B- because she didn’t tell the whole truth.

Forgiveness is necessary every time you get tricked, trapped, and bamboozled. That’s the part she left out. Maybe she didn’t tell us that part because the lesson had to be learned at the famous “School of Hard Knocks.”

I have been hurt and needed to forgive people.

I have also been the one who did the hurting and needed to be forgiven.

Reminding myself of the “Need to Be” has made the “Need To” easier.

Forgiveness in no way justifies the cruel things people do to each other. You may never get the answer to, “Why me?” or “Why this?”

You will, however, always have the answer to, “What now?”

Hate or heal.

During the early stages of World War II, the Japanese invaded the Philippine Islands. At a place called The Bataan Peninsula, they took 76,000 Philippine and American prisoners. During what became known as, “The Bataan Death March” the Japanese tortured these men in unspeakable ways. Over a third of them never survived the ordeal.

I know of two who did. A friend told me that his father had been one of the soldiers who had endured this living Hell. Although he lived to be 65, a day never passed that he didn’t vocalize his hate for the Japanese. Until his last breath, bitterness ruled his day.

On the other hand, I read in the newspaper about another man who lived through that same Hell. In what had to be the ultimate act of forgiveness, he was now the proud owner of a Toyota dealership – selling cars made by the Japanese.

Now here’s a travel tip for your lie’s journey. The luggage labeled hate, resentment, and anger is too heavy to carry. Do whatever it takes, be it help from a social worker or group – leave it behind. Take along the suitcase marked FORGIVENESS and you stand a much better chance of enjoying the trip.


“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will forgive you.”

 Matthew 6:14

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