At the heart of every wrong done to us, there are two ways we can respond—forgiveness or unforgiveness. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Maybe you have also heard the saying, “Unforgiveness is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.” When we face being wronged by someone, we ALWAYS have a choice.
I have often, wondered during these hard and uncertain times, how I would respond if someone wronged me. I have let fearful thoughts dictate my responses to other people’s actions. I have let my perceptions of others be tainted by my own feelings of lack and uncertainty. I am certain the feelings of doubt, anxiety, instability and fear, have been the biggest enemies of the human race during these unprecedented times.
For one individual in The Colony, Texas, these feelings were countered with generosity and kindness. Chamal Kahanawta’s Marco’s Pizza store was robbed and Chamal decided to return darkness with light. He chose to see the real enemy in a tough situation was perhaps not a thief, but desperation. So, instead of letting anger rule his actions, Chamal responded unexpectedly. Chamal posted a note to the community on social media reading:
“In the coming months, if you find yourself in a situation unable to put food on the table for your family, please stop by our store. There is no need to be shy or embarrassed. Just speak with the manager and quietly let us know you’ve seen this post.”
Chamal continues, “We will make sure your family gets a meal. We are here because of our community and these are very challenging times for all of us. We will do our best to help as long as we can.”
“Take care, keep washing those hands and keep moving on!”
Chamal went on to say later, “The people who came and robbed me could have asked for food and would have got more value than what they were able to steal.”
May we all follow Chamal’s example in the uncertain days ahead. When met with hardship, may we respond in kindness, love and generosity. May others be blessed through our struggles and touched by our selfless act of forgiveness. And may we also take Chamal’s advice and “keep moving on!”