This week I watched the television coverage of Alaska’s governor and one time vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin pardoning one lucky turkey, rescuing the poor fowl from a certain fate of guest of honor at some Alaskan family’s Thanksgiving spread.
But I have to say, what had me captivated – if I can use the word loosely here – or perhaps I should say what kept me mesmerized was what was going on behind the scenes, or in this case, right behind the Governor.
Horrified, I watched as a number of not so fortunate turkeys received their walking papers. I know! I wanted to turn away, I wished that I could say that this footage would make me a vegetarian for life but hey, I like turkey as well as any other American.
Watching this spectacle on one channel after the other made me appreciate the process of the pardon even more, I guess. Made me think of a number of turkeys that perhaps I should extend the same goodwill to in the spirit of the holiday.
Forgiveness or pardoning another for doing you wrong is not the easiest thing for me, I wish I could take the high road and say that it was. I know as well as the next person that when someone does me wrong, I get mad and somebody has to pay.
In the Holy Bible, Jesus in his infinite wisdom said that we should forgive the wrongdoer seventy times seven times. Four hundred and ninety times? What? In this world, this becomes a tricky proposition, if the same person were to wrong me 490 times in a single day, I would be the first in line to give them a swift kick on the backside to encourage a “modification” of their behavior.
It’s not like I have the time to walk around with a little calculator saying, “alright, sister, you’re up to 489, one more and I’m kicking you to the curb!” Keeping track of all of it is just too much work, besides, I get so busy that I lose track and I would have to start all over again. Back to one, and who has time for that?
I know, I know, I hear you, I just don’t know about all of the turkeys that have wronged you. It was not your fault, you would not believe what they said to me, what she did to me, how she made me feel, she started it, and on and on and on.
Occasionally there will arise the scenario where the person who committed the dastardly deed does not know why you are upset with them. In fact, they are wondering what is wrong with you!
Demonstrate your strength. Enact your own set of pardons. Pardon the turkeys who have wronged you. Boss walks past you, all caught up in his own little world? Pardon the turkey. Coworker steals the idea that you have slaved over and presents it as her own? Pardon the turkey – if only for today.
Moody teenager walks around in a perpetual funk? Pardon the turkey. Other driver neglects to yield when you clearly have the right of way? Pardon the turkey. Mother-in-law complains that the stuffing is too dry, the corn is too salty and the rolls are too brown? Smile and pardon that turkey.
So, I am trying to learn how to forgive daily, true forgiveness brings healing and is a lot less maintenance. However, I have to keep in mind that when I pardon others, I am loving myself. I am letting go of the anger, the spite, and the pettiness that threatens to keep me small. And so will you.
So, pardon a turkey today, it will make you big and strong.
This is 29
4 weeks ago