In the recent past, I have read one book and watched a movie, both of which have one common beginning; however, the reactions of the leading characters to this beginning are worlds apart. In the movie, a husband loses his wife and kid by the hands of a bank robber. That bank robber was running from the police and needed a vehicle, so he takes the car from wife at gunpoint. Then he throws the kid out of the car and shoots the wife. This tragedy converts a normal serviceman into a killer. He begins murdering people to reach to the killer of his wife and kid. He rapes the killer’s girlfriend and begins plotting ways to torment him. There remains no evident difference between that killer and this new one. How the movie ends is quite bizarre, but manages to deliver a strong message that violent acts of revenge do not have the ability to provide peace to a hurting heart. Anyway, this was the plot of the movie, and the acts of the husband resonate with most of us. If somebody hurts our loved one, we demand their head. Whether getting that head could prevail peace in our hearts is the thought that we think of after messing it all up.
The plot of the book, however, provides a different perspective. In fact, this book is based on a true story. One day, a teenage girl’s boyfriend shoots her. As expected, her parents are devastated on hearing about this catastrophe. But, they take a unique road towards justice. They choose to forgive the murderer. They meet with the guy inside the cell and share all the beautiful stories of their daughter. They share with him the work of charity that their daughter wished to pursue and tell him that he will need to continue her work of welfare of animals. Their act of kindness broke that guy’s heart, and he began regretting his instant attack of anger that forced him to take a beautiful person’s life. Of course, the legal system sentenced him to serve a long time in prison for his act, but unlike other criminals, this criminal had seen the power of kindness. There is something to it. The author reflects on her journey of forgiveness and makes a very valid point. She says that most of the criminals do not know the dreams, hopes, and life of the person whose life they destroyed. I am not saying that every criminal has a soul, but they are humans. Probably, some of them have simply lost touch with their humanity. You see, unlike the husband of the movie, the parents of the murdered daughter found peace by their act of forgiveness.
You know if I walk in the shoes of that husband and parents, I shiver with rage. I do not think that the concept of forgiving a murderer is beyond me. Although I have read the power of forgiveness, implementing it in our character is a different case altogether. So, you see, hatred is easy; it’s love that is difficult. People, who perform difficult acts with ease and perfection, are known to be strong. Only the weak surrender to their rage and perform ugly acts. Come to think of it, forgiving people are far more stronger than the ones who make a lot of noise and murder others. In fact, I might go on to say that the people, who perform under the influence of their hatred or anger or lust, are weak. Murdering, raping, or hitting an innocent and helpless person is always easy. What’s difficult is spreading love and forgiveness. So, the pompous and arrogant crowd, who feeds on the blood and innocence of helpless, consists of the weakest souls of our society; whereas, real saints, helping, and good humans are the strongest people. These strong men and women are the reason that our world has not self destructed itself. They are balancing the evil with the goodness residing in their hearts. The #FridayReflections propmt rightly reminds us,
‘Anyone can slay a dragon’, he told me, ‘but try waking up every morning and loving the world again. That’s what takes a real hero’. – Brian Andreas
Let’s defeat the ugliness with the goodness of our hearts and defend the dignity of humanity with love. Slaying the dragon with your bare hands to protect the human race is an act of respect, but doing it just to show that you can is a sign of your weak and shallow existence. The innocent whom you torment is weak only for those moments of torture, but these ugly actions of yours establish you as a weak person for an eternity.
P.S. This post is in response to the amazing #FridayReflections prompt of this week.