An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Forgiveness: Your choice bitter or better

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kenny Lynch
  • 451st AEW Chaplain Office
Last week I went to my friend's pod to get a haircut, while I was there he put on the movie 'Faster'. As I sat there getting my haircut and watching this movie, I was wondering why Dewayne Johnson had so much anger. Without telling you what the movie was about, all I can say is some people do some very bad things to Dewayne and he wanted revenge! I imagine many of us in the military have some things in common with Dewayne. Either we have had superiors or disgruntled customer service oriented personnel treat us poorly. Whatever the case, forgiveness is a must. A person cannot become a good leader or mentor by harboring ill feelings because of something someone said or did to them in the past. You can't move forward with excess weight.

The first step to forgiveness is to release the anger and emotions. Of course, this is much easier said than done. Each of us must try to accept that it happened in the past and it should remain in the past. You can't move forward while living in the past and harboring ill feelings. Many of us can relate to the stress caused by a person bringing old baggage/issues into a new duty section. This normally disrupts harmony and breaks down team cohesiveness.

The second step to forgiveness is to forgive the offending person. Forgiveness is never easy. It is especially difficult when the offended person has to do the forgiving. This goes against our human emotion and sometimes the things we are taught. This arguably is the hardest step in the forgiving process. Strong leadership holds the key to effectively reconciling an office or squadron.

The third and most important step in the forgiveness process is to combine all of the steps together and move forward to complete the mission. When a person effectively combines these steps together to complete the mission, it demonstrates maturity and effective problem solving. It takes mature individuals and leaders to put past hurts behind them carry the team forward to mission success.