Wednesday, April 6, 2011
A Good Teacher
One day I was talking to Rob about Maggie, our beautiful silver tabby. I was saying how much she has taught me about forgiveness--because we were very cruel to her in the beginning and she hasn’t held that against us.
Let me explain. Several years ago, when we first met Maggie, she was a stray cat wandering our country neighborhood. She was truly on the brink of starvation and she would come begging for food, begging us in her little raspy voice. And we would ignore her because we already had four cats and we didn't think we could handle another. She was truly suffering, but we turned her away.
And then, in 2009, we started taking care of her. We got her spayed, and we adopted her. And she was always very kind and sweet, always. She never held back her love. There was never any caution or hesitation on her part, despite our past behavior.
I said to Rob, “Maggie is so forgiving. How can she be so forgiving of us? We were so callous.”
And Rob said, “Well, you know how they say ‘Forgive and forget.’ Well, I think it should really be ‘Forget and forgive.’ Because I think the forgetting comes first. I really do. I think Maggie forgot and that’s how she forgives us.”
I thought about that, what Rob said, for a while, and I realized it offered a good lesson to me, since I have a tendency to hold onto resentments, to dredge up old slights, to dwell on my most painful memories. I shouldn't do that, of course. I should just forget them, let them go. That's what Maggie, wise Maggie, would do.