Clara Barton (founder and president of the American Red Cross), who never bore grudges, was once reminded by a friend of a wrong done to her some years earlier. "Don't you remember?" asked her friend. "No," replied Barton firmly, "I distinctly remember forgetting that." Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes.
When I was a youngster, I read a biography of Clara Barton, Civil War era nurse ("I Was There With Clara Barton"....remember that old series?!) and she became one of my heroes. I marvel how fortunate I was to come across such a gentle soul when I was young and impressionable. Grudges are such nasty things, stirring up anger and spitefulness sometimes even into the next generations. The thing is, we can easily justify them. We can get our friends and even the courts to agree we've been wronged. And there are certainly times when wrongs need to be righted. But the hanging on part of them is the problem, the poison that turns us bitter. Have you ever noticed the eyes of a bitter person, full of spite? There is angst and sorrow behind the flashing anger. I've often wondered what that poison is doing to the body, to the soul. Best to 'distinctly remember forgetting" it! - Beth Almond Ford