Monday, December 30, 2013

Forgiveness

I have been thinking of this as a topic for a post for a while now.

In my personal life I have had to ask for forgiveness many times.

I have also had to forgive.

In a world that sometimes feels completely filled with hatred and unkindness, with violence, judgement and just plain meanness, being able to forgive or ask for forgiveness can be huge.

I often write about one of my main purposes with this blog: to make this world a better, safer pace for all living beings. That is more difficult to do if I am filled with negativity towards someone, or is I have treated someone in a manner that was unkind in any way.

In a past blog post, one about being kind, I wrote "We do not need to meet hate with hate or unkindness with unkindness." I truly believe this. Just because someone is unkind to me doesn't mean I need to be unkind to them.

Easy? Not really.

Worth it? Totally.

Several years ago I planned a veg fest here in Denver called the Denver Veg Fest. My first event of this type and I had a blast. The great thing was to see a diverse crowd of people, a couple of thousand plus, all there to learn a little about veganism and animal rights (and to try some great vegan food!). Successful in many ways, mainly in that I felt we had created something that was a loud voice for the animals.

In the end, it also became an amazing fundraiser, with me being able to donate thousands of dollars to local and national animal groups.

When I decided to not plan another veg fest, I began to hear that some people were saying, behind my back, that I had "stolen" money from the fest. The fest was my deal, and there were a handful of folks who helped with it who also had a say in the money we raised and where it should be donated.  The people saying negative things about me personally had nothing to do with the all of the hard work it took to put on the fest. I was completely caught off guard by this. The whole idea of what was being said was incredibly hurtful to me. Words definitely hurt.

It took me awhile, but I had to forgive. It was not going to do me or the voiceless I try to be a voice for every day any good if I allowed myself to hold onto anything negative about these folks. All I could do is simply put out there what I did and why, which I did, and then let it go.

And of course there have been many times when I have had to apologize and ask for forgiveness. I try my best to make those times as few as possible.

With so much suffering in the world, with so much hatred, there is just no reason to use our energy in holding onto grudges or being mean to others.

Forgive. Let go. Move on. Build a bridge and get over it.

Then get busy. The animals need you. The poor need you. The activists in prison need. The voiceless need you.

Thanks for reading!



5 comments:

  1. The Denver Veg fest was awesome! I loved being there and meeting amazing people. I'm sorry there was a dark side to it. I never knew that and it makes me sad. More of the "infighting" that is weighing all of this movement down. Love you Dan & Michael!

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    1. Thanks Pippi. We love you too! So much!

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  2. I have always believed in the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is liberating although it may be challenging at times. Often, forgiveness takes time...it is not immediate. Like grief, we need to go through stages before we can forgive someone. I truly wish for more forgiveness in our world...it would be a much kinder and gentler place. Thanks so much for the reminder to let go and move on.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading our blog and for your kind comment!

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  3. It is nice to see another gay vegan couple. Even nicer to see you managed to help people feel more comfortable with the vegan life and donate to animal causes.

    It is hard not to invest in people who say such things negatively. I struggle with that myself. There is also a lot of mistrust out there and it's not the first time I've heard organisers of events accused of lining pockets. Not sure much can practically be done about it.

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