Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
I have found that in order for me to be the most at peace with my mind, I have to forgive. I need to forgive my friends, family, and even people I don’t know in order for me to be at peace with myself. In The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Dantes, the main character does not forgive his enemies and instead seeks vengeance on them until he is at peace with himself. It takes him over a decade to be at peace when he just could have said “you know what? this is what I have right now and I’ll just roll with it and see where it takes me.” Instead he swears to wrong the people who had once wronged him, causing many deaths and devastation along the way. Dantes swears that the vengeance is necessary and feels no guilt but for me personally, I couldn’t fathom putting another person through what he did. But people have their different perspectives. It also shows strength when you forgive because it is saying that “these past things which have happened to me are in the past and I am not going to let them affect my future anymore.” Although you may be welled up with anger and you feel like revenge is the only necessary action to take, breathe for a minute and ask yourself “Is this really worth my time? Will hurting someone because of past actions help me with my peace of mind?” For me, it’s not. Forgiving shows that you respect yourself, too. Like the quote above says, forgive for selfish reasons and save yourself the trouble that revenge brings with it. Don’t expel your energy on someone who doesn’t even deserve a second. In the future you will thank yourself for it.