Everyone is doing the best he or she can do at the moment. Everyone. Whatever it is that someone did, at the time, he or she was doing the best he could. It doesn't matter if he knew better, for, in that moment, he did the best he could. It may have been in a moment of weakness, yet, at that moment, that was the best he could muster.
You must remember this with your children as well. Five minutes from now, your child can do better, but at another moment, he was doing the best he could.
One who commits a crime is doing the best he can do at that moment. Whatever motivation he might have had or not had, that's all he could do. He may even have thought he made the choice, and, of course, ultimately he did, and, yet, that may have been all he could do at that moment.
What configuration of events brought him to this, he may think he knows. You may think you know, and, yet, in that particular frame of time, that was the best you could do and that was all you could do.
This is not to excuse choices that hurt others or yourself. This is so that you will understand that sometimes things, emotions, thoughts, foolishness, cruelty etc. get out of hand. You do not have to like an act that another performs, and yet you also have transgressed, in one degree or another, and you did that which you knew better than to do, and you paid for it. We could say that your infractions have been slight where someone else's were heavy, and, yet, just the same, from another perspective, you and another are the same.
You may regret, and another may not regret, yet, whatever deed was done, it was done, and from that point of view, you are equal.
You may have stepped on a line playing hopscotch, and another may have pushed someone to his death, purposefully or accidentally. Regardless, the deed was done, and the outcome was the outcome.
You may have cheated on an exam. The reason, whatever justification you may give, comes down to cowardice. You may think you were smart to cheat, and, yet, it is not very smart to follow cowardice. That you got an A on the test matters not. Nothing is hidden, beloveds, and there is somewhere within you that knows it was cowardly to cheat. What is cowardice but a lack of taking responsibility?
It is for you to take responsibility for what you do or do not do, yet you cannot attach responsibility to another.
Now is for you to deal with, not the past. Forgive yourself the past, and you will leap past it. Whatever harrowing act was yours, it is not yours now. When you can forgive, when you can let your past go, then you can let another's past go.
Forgive your child for flunking a science test, and forgive someone else's child for stealing, and forgive your child for lying, and forgive someone else's child for drunk driving. Forgiving is a very practical act. It is not noble. It has to be done, or there will be no end to it. From your vantage point, there is no evening things out on Earth, yet you do have to even out your heart.
The hardest one to forgive is yourself. Once you can do that, really do that, you can forgive anyone, and it is necessary for you to forgive everyone, those you know, and those you don't know. Forgive.
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