On this day, let’s forgive

Are you’re holding a grudge against someone? If you’re angry with someone, if you feel like punching someone, today is a good day for a change of heart.

Actually, it’s a great day to forgive and forget.

Why today?

Simple. It’s the 11th annual Hawaii International Forgiveness Day, which will take place 2-5 p.m. at the outdoor Rotunda of the State Capitol of Hawaii.

“Queen Lili‘uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii, is being honored for her courage, steadfast visions of peace for her people, and her ability to stand as a model of forgiveness,” according to hawaiiforgivenessproject.org

“Representatives of the Estate and legacy of the Queen’s family, from the Queen Lili’uokalani Trust, will be on hand to personally accept the Heroine of Forgiveness Recognition Award, and to help people to better understand her life, words and actions.”

Helping to co-ordinate the event is Roger Epstein, local attorney at Cades-Schutte.

“This event is an opportunity to tell the Queen’s story once again, for new and broader audiences in Hawaii and around the world, so that people more deeply understand her life and her wisdom,” he said. “Next to ‘Iolani Palace, where she was imprisoned during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, we will have the correct historic setting in which to appreciate and discuss the Queen’s role in Hawai’s history.”

Aug. 4 is also International Forgiveness Day, which is celebrated in more than 80 countries, and the festival here in Hawaii is consistently one of the largest in the world.

“It is organized by a coalition of community groups, professionals, religious organizations, business and government people who support a lifestyle of forgiveness in Hawaii, based on the values of traditional Hawaiian culture and the spirit of aloha,” according to a press release.

No one ever said it’s easy to forgive. Perhaps it depends on the degree of the hurt. I know in my younger days, when I felt wronged, I would vow to never speak to that person again, even consider ways to get even, something nasty I could say next time we met.

Today, well, I’d like to say I’ve matured and never get upset with anyone, but it wouldn’t be true. Still, I try to just move on, to remind myself I do goofy things all the time. Staying angry just isn’t worth it – no matter what kind of victory you think you might have won by shutting someone out of your life.

In case you’re wondering why or how we should forgive, here’s a few tips, from our friends at tinybuddha.com:

• I remind myself that I forgive not for them but for me and that it’s easier to forgive than to hang on to so much anger, hurt and betrayal.

• I just acknowledge that we are humans, so we are allowed to make mistakes.

• Remember that we are all doing the best we can at the time

• Remind yourself of how much forgiveness would mean to you if it was your turn for a mistake!

• Because it takes less energy to love and forgive than it does to stay angry and hold a grudge. It brings peace to your life.

• Just look to the future instead of focusing on what’s past … think of creating new good memories to wipe away old bad ones.

• Just learn to smile and let things go.

• Every time you think of them send them love. After a while it gets easy.

And if you still don’t want to forgive, think of Queen Lili’uokalani and these words she spoke: “Behold not with malevolence. The sins of man, But forgive. And cleanse. And so, o Lord, Beneath your wings. Be our peace. Forever more.”

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