21 virtues



John Brocas, a spiritual coach and teacher — known for his work and direct approach to spiritual matters — has gained respect around the world. He recently recorded a podcast for listeners on the subject of forgiveness. John began the podcast by refuting the position of a very famous person regarded as a top life coach and thought leader (not named). This unnamed leader recently stated that forgiveness is a tool — a tool that you get better with the more you practice it. In other words, this individual leader considers forgiving as a skill which you keep improving at by practising, just like a basketball player improves his skills at scoring by repeatedly aiming at the hoop in a practice session. However, this premise is far from the reality of what forgiveness truly means.



John has a clear problem with this position, and states, quite rightly too, that forgiveness is not a skill or a tool. It is instead a divine power that rises from within the individual. He maintains the position that a skill is temporary. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is more like a divine law that lasts an eternity. When somebody has wronged you, you can choose to release the power of forgiveness by pardoning them without as much as seeking an apology.

There is a fundamental problem with viewing forgiveness as a skill: baseline consistency. If you score at least thrice in each of five consecutive basketball games, you’ll be expected to score at least thrice in your sixth game too. But with forgiveness, each instance requires you to make a separate judgement and decide whether to release the power of forgiveness from within you. It is possible that you could forgive somebody for a grave offence against you one day, and then refuse to forgive somebody else for a petty offence the next day


John has a very practical term for an act of forgiving: ‘let it go’. The power to let it go resides within each of us, and each of us has to forgive somebody or the other at some time in our lives. By seeking to be a forgiving person, you are seeking to let it go more often than other people do. Each time you choose to accept the wrong that has been made on your soul — and thus forgives the offender, you are releasing yourself from the choices that often imprison our souls.

John further has a word of caution about our common perception of spiritual people. He opines that it does not matter whether the world sees you as a spiritual person, because very often the people who could be expected to be least spiritual — tramps, for instance – often turn out to be the most spiritual folks among us. The other side of the story is spiritual gurus may not be as spiritual as the world deems them to be. It indirectly follows from John’s sayings that if you aspire to be a spiritual person, you must first aspire to be a forgiving person.

Forgiveness is a subject that every individual is aware of because every individual practice forgiveness at his or her own conscious level, sometimes not even being aware that they are doing so. Although everyone thinks they know what it means to forgive, even the most reputed spiritual leaders can at times have a mistaken notion of what forgiveness really means, and whether forgiveness is an act or something else.

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