How would you react if, after many years, someone decided to apologize to you?
Michael Goodman was reading about a local bagel shop on the social media website Facebook. While scanning the article, a named popped off the page: Claude Soffel. More than thirty years prior, Goodman had stolen Soffel’s bus pass from him outside New York City’s Museum of Natural History.
Although Goodman was arrested immediately after the incident, it plagued him with guilt. He decided to write to Soffel with an apology. “Anyway, I have never forgotten the incident or your name (it has sort of haunted me throughout my life),” wrote Goodman to Soffel in a Facebook message.
Facebook correspondence between Goodman and Soffel
Goodman’s heartfelt apology ended with, “So once again I am truly sorry for taking your bus pass back then – forgive me & thanks again for reading this ‘strange’ & very long message! Peace & love to you my brother!”
Soffel didn’t reply straight away, but eventually he did post a reply to the message, “Michael A. Goodman, clearly your a ‘bigger man’ today. wow. […] So, apology accepted. Interestingly, I have dedicated my life to helping other men be the man they have always wanted to be.”
Forgiveness may not always be the easiest of tasks, but not only will it take a weight off the transgressor’s shoulders, but our own as well. We have been taught and shown through an amazing example that forgiveness is possible no matter what the situation is, and that it is love that ultimately fuels our forgiveness.
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