Ron Goch
The Telios Group
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Lesson in Forgiveness

March 5th 2007

I picked up the newspaper this past weekend at an airport and the top headline read: “Pain, Loss and Hope.” The sub-head read: “’I refuse to harbor anger,’ says shooting victim who lost her teenage daughter.”

I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m not sure how I could forgive someone if they shot and killed my daughter.”

The forgiving words above are from a mother, who along with her daughter, were shot at close range while shopping on Feb 12 for Valentine’s Day cards at a Utah mall.

Her 15-year-old daughter died as a result of the shooting and the mother remains in the hospital recuperating from her wounds sustained from a gunman who was shot and killed by a SWAT team after he killed five and wounded four in less than seven minutes.

One of the mother’s quotes in the article really hit home for me, and I imagine it did for many other people who put off until tomorrow what we should enjoy today.

Here’s what she said: “Everyone thinks they can put things off, they’ll have more time. Don’t think someday you’ll get there. You might not.”

She’s right and what a difference she and her daughter have made, and will continue to make, in other people’s lives. “She’d want us to be happy, to use this experience to help other people,” said the mother of her daughter.

They are making a difference.  People as far away as New Zealand and France have been touched by what happened and have written letters.

One message that is displayed in the mother’s hospital room reads: “You made a difference for the good of the world.”

It’s a very powerful lesson in forgiveness.  I can’t imagine losing one of our children as this mother lost her daughter, and to forgive as she has is quite amazing.

Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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