International Forgiveness Day

International Forgiveness Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in August.  This year it fell on August 6.  Certainly, most of us may not be aware of this celebration.  All of the wars, persecutions, prejudices, and neglect over the centuries warrant that we ought to consider paying  more attention!

We cannot atone for World War I and II, yet perhaps we can be gentler, kinder, and more loving in our daily interchanges with business partners, competitors, and colleagues.  We must not let the U. S. bombing of Japan which effectively ended World War II disappear from our consciousness.  Every time that we criticize other nations, we must consider our own culpability.

Bringing this closer to home, forgiveness is also important among business partners and colleagues.  Not one of us is perfect!  Sometimes, we say or do things that may be misunderstood. Before we criticize others, it is important to look within and then give ‘the tie to the runner.’  As business people, seeking the best for our own business while doing business with others in an ethical and sympathetic way is a strong foundation for success.  There can be no room for back stabbing or making disparaging remarks!   We are each charged with “taking the high road.”

What do we do, however, when we make a mistake, say something we didn’t mean, affecting others? That is the real question. Because we want to be forgiven for our mistakes, so do our colleagues, friends and family.

Consider reflecting on your personal International Forgiveness Day, letting it be a special time to let your customers and colleagues know that you care about them.   Send a card, make a phone call, or treat a business friend to coffee.  Each small kindness can lead to another.   Maybe in the future, we won’t need an International Forgiveness Day.

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