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by Susan Kramer
Ma had a
special lesson on forgiveness to share with the twins, and decided that a
perfect time would be when she usually read them a bedtime story. It was about
both learning how to forgive others, and how to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes, or hurt someone's
That evening after Anneke and Hans were in their pajamas, Ma called them over to sit alongside her on the couch.
She began to read her highlighted excerpts: "Jan was on the school playground and fell over a wagon that Andrea left on the running track."
Ma continues: "It is better for Jan to forgive Andrea's forgetfulness, than to hold a grudge, and lose out on their friendship."
Ma then set the book aside and told the twins that all through life we also need to forgive ourselves for our errors in judgement, so we can go right on and try other ways of proceeding, and not get bogged down, or stuck in a groove of remorse.
She reminded the twins that saying "I'm sorry" is the way most of us know to ask for forgiveness, especially when we've hurt someone's feelings or accidentally broken another's toy.
"It feels better to say the words and preserve the friendship, than try to
hide from what we've done. We forgive ourselves for our mistakes by deciding to
improve our behavior in the future, and by realizing everyone makes mistakes
and it does not mean we are bad."
After listening to Ma talk about forgiveness, and then enjoying dessert – carefully dunking sugar cookies in milk – Anneke and Hans brushed their teeth and slowly trudged up the stairs to bed. Along the way they paused and reflected to each other that sure enough, forgiveness was a skill they needed to practice so it would become a good habit.
With that in mind, they decided to begin right then – Anneke's bedroom was on the second floor and Hans' room was one story up, under the eaves. As Anneke went into her room she turned out the hall light behind her, leaving Hans in the dark. Then after a couple of seconds, she turned it back on calling out to Hans that she was sorry to leave him in the dark while climbing the stairs.
He shouted back to her that he forgave her, and they both went into their rooms smiling, feeling like they had just learned a little bit about forgiveness firsthand.
Key words: forgiveness; forgiving; forgiving one's self.
children in this story live in my mind and heart.
The author, Susan Helene Kramer, has been teaching people of all ages and abilities meditation, yoga, and dance for more than 30 years.
and Hans went to school
Anneke and Hans Learn About Forgiveness copyright
© 2018 Susan Helene Kramer
Home Page http://www.susankramer.com
Dutch translation of other stories in the series