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The Importance of Forgiving Others

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Rachel Chen from Secondary 3B shared about the importance of forgiving others. She decided to speak on this topic as she recognised that many of us often focus on the negative emotions when we face challenges in our interaction with others. Rachel shared, “Forgiveness is an important topic that is not addressed properly, which is why I would like to demonstrate the value of forgiveness through my speech.” (This speech was delivered in September 2020 during morning assembly.)

Rachel’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, Teachers and fellow Fairsians. I am Rachel Chen from Secondary 3B. I will be sharing on the importance of forgiving others. Most of us would have heard of the saying ‘to forgive and forget’, but how many of us truly know what it means or how to do it?

To me, forgiveness is about the willingness to let go of unpleasant emotions as a result of someone else’s actions against you. It involves a series of emotions such as anger, pain and fear. It is also these feelings of negativity that will continue to shape our views and choices unless we learn to process them. The act of forgiveness is more intentional than saying “I forgive you”. Please allow me to suggest how we can take steps to truly forgive the person who has wronged us. 

Firstly, we can acknowledge that the person who hurt us is affecting us. We should not avoid the issue. Instead, we should deal with it appropriately so that we do not feel resentful and bitter. We should not let such past wounds continue to hurt us.

Secondly, we need to forgive the person. This step is very important. We should think through this very carefully and commit ourselves to forgive the other party. We should tell ourselves that we have the power and responsibility to make wise decisions so that we can live without regrets. 

Thirdly, we should express how we feel. This does not mean that we should aggressively confront the person. Rather, we need to approach them with the intention of processing and reasoning about whatever that had happened. We should explain why we feel angry or aggrieved.

Lastly, we must look forward to a better future. Forgiveness may not be achieved overnight but these steps can guide us towards a brighter future where we feel at ease with the people around us and with ourselves. 

Allow me to share a personal experience with you. A few years back, my friend and I had a misunderstanding. I was so upset that I refused to speak to her for months. However, it bugged me as she was an important friend to me. I spoke to my parents and they advised me to forgive her using the four steps mentioned earlier. It took me some time to forgive her but eventually I did. I'm really glad I did so as I feel so much better now. Thus I would recommend you to try these steps when you want to forgive someone.

In conclusion, forgiveness is a virtue. As we forgive others, we also learn to forgive ourselves. I would like to leave you with this quote by Lewis B. Smedes, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” 

Thank you for listening!