For I know not who you are

To the man that ran into me on the subway causing me to stumble into the support bar and bruise my arm, I forgive you. I didn’t realize you just received a text from your child’s school saying she was sick and needed someone to get her, and you needed desperately to switch trains and go back.

To the waitress that didn’t serve my food with a smile or say anything remotely friendly at any point during my stay, I forgive you. How was I supposed to know you just got a voicemail from your boyfriend saying he was leaving you and threw your things outside of the house?

To the bully back in grade school that would tease me or steal my things, I forgive you. I didn’t know your father was an alcoholic and would take his work stress out on you and your mother.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

To the girlfriend that I really thought I felt a strong connection with and broke up with me, I forgive you. I didn’t realize my neediness and lack of ability to find happiness within myself was subtly pushing you away when in retrospect that relationship served as a stepping stone to a deeper sense of self understanding. It only took years to realize it.

To that person that did that thing that I thought really affected me but it was only my own brittle ego that was damaged, I forgive you. Without seeing past the 5 feet in front of myself, how am I supposed to know all that affects others when we can only judge from what we know and see from our own experiences.

But most of all I forgive myself for being so naïve to the complexities of you and humankind. Who am I to say that my problems or my being are more important than another’s that we look past the other dimensions of a situation and only focus on how it impacts us?

Photo by Nathan Cowley on

I no longer choose to let the stress of years of menial situations bear down on me from dwelling on a single side of the coin. Your side is just as important and I am aware that you are as you are; a known unknown in a sea of people with bustling lives and moments of happiness, sadness, anger, and mistakes.

It is up to each of us to be mindful of each other and progress as a humanity to forgive the past and live in the moment of now with love in our hearts and optimism toward tomorrow.

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