According to the Free Dictionary, Forgive means 1. To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon. 2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
Forgiveness is hard. There is nothing easy about forgiving people. Every day I hear about how we need to forgive people and that it is the right thing to do. Yet, it is another thing to actually do it.
There are many wrongs that happen in the educational system, in the schools, and even in the classroom. But I know I need to forgive people for these wrongs. Why? Because that is what I need to do to move forward.
The Legislature - Whether on the state level or the national level, I can only hope they are doing the best that they can even if I don’t agree with them. They are making decisions from the information they are given by either their aides, lobbyists, or their constituents. Some of these people speak louder than others. In order to fight back, I need to get past the personal level and forgive them for making decisions that I don’t agree with. I need to not take their poor decision making personally and work out ways to change their minds. As long as I hold a grudge and only focus on their wrong decisions, I don’t make room in my brain for ways to help them see that other options are available.
Schools - Many times the principal will make a decision that impacts the most people at one time. Unfortunately this may not be the best decision for me, my class, or even my department. I need to forgive the principal for doing his/her job and not feel like this decision was made to disrupt my life personally. I need to understand that sometimes I won’t understand why the decision was made but I need to do my job from that point forward. If I continually blame the principal for all the wrongs that are happening, I’m expending way too much energy blaming rather than focusing on what can be done.
In the classroom - Many times my students may act inappropriately or refuse to act at all. I need to forgive them for being this way because I might not realize what is going on in their lives. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes that may motivate them to act this way. Sometimes my students are unable to control their actions and lash out. I need to forgive them and look for ways to reach them. As long as I focus on their bad behavior and refuse to forgive them, I will be unable to find positive ways to interact with them.
At no time am I saying that I need to forget anything but instead I need to use these things as building blocks for the future. I need to learn from what others have done and brainstorm ways to overcome these obstacles. Forgiving clears the mind and by not forgiving, it clogs the mind. I want to be a teacher with a clear mind. I don’t want to waste brain space by holding grudges for things that are in the past. I need to use what I learned to be better prepared for the future in case history repeats itself. I need to turn this negative situation into a positive opportunity.
How do you handle forgiveness in the workplace? Please share.