We sometimes hear of forgiveness stories regarding bullying. But how easy can it be to forgive people who helped perpetuate cruelty on others? We grow up being taught to practice cooperation, kindness, decency, compassion and compromise. If someone has shown us disrespect and cruelty, we find it hard to forgive unless they are truly sorry and want to change. We only forgive remorseful bullies. Forgiving and releasing the grudge liberates us from the heaviness of heart involved with being bullied.

Bullies are aggressors who use the illusion of power when they have the opportunity just to prove that they are superior. Understanding the bully can help make us decide how to deal with them. We say it’s hard to understand how making people suffer can be satisfying to a bully and ask ourselves how can someone inflict pain on others just because the victims are vulnerable and there is an opportunity to humiliate or hurt them? How can inflicting pain give satisfaction to anybody? Often we don’t realize the bully is hurting too, and is often a victim in another way, seeking to relieve their own struggles by projecting them onto others.

Forgiveness stories show an example of overcoming good with evil. When we forgive a repentant wrongdoer, it frees us from the burden of having to carry ill-feelings as much as it frees the offender of guilt. If we don’t understand the bully, it is hard to learn to forgive him. Forgiveness stories do not only involve forgiving the aggressor. Victims should also forgive themselves for the weakness and shame they felt as victims.

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