Straight talk from straight kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 1999

MONIQUE MICHEL / L’Observateur / December 8, 1999

‘Tis the season to shop for the perfect Christmas gift for family and friends. Many of us will be filling the mall, standing in long lines andhanding over lots of money to buy gifts that may soon be forgotten.

It’s been said that the best things in life are free. How about giving thegift of forgiveness this year? It’s something that you really give to yourself.

I received a story recently and though you might like it.

One of my teachers had each one of us bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person we’d refuse to forgive in our life experience,we were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date and put it in the plastic bag.

Some of our bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy. We were then toldto carry this bag with us everywhere for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work.

The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear what a weight we were carrying spiritually. We had to pay attention to it all the time andnot forget or leave it in embarrassing places.

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. Thiswas a great metaphor for the price we pay of keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and it clearly is for ourselves! So the next time you decide you can’t forgive someone, ask yourself, “Isn’t my bag heavy enough?” Why not make a Christmas list for yourself right now? List the people that you have not forgiven, then make a decision to forgive them. Go ahead,just do it. Have a wonderful Christmas!If you have any questions or comments, write to me at or P.O. Box 1493, LaPlace, La. 70069.

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