The month of Ramadan is coming up this May, and with it comes a time for remembrance of the Quran and charity for Muslims worldwide. Along with food and drink, followers of the Islamic faith are required to let go of their inhibitions and carnal desires in order to fully immerse themselves in spiritual fasting and prayer. In the spirit of this holy month, I decided to write this article to reflect upon one of our most powerful human virtues— forgiveness. Whether we are Muslim or not, we are all human, and so I ask that this month, we (first and foremost myself) learn to forgive.

Forgive yourself, and forgive those who have wronged you.

Forgive yourself for not living up to your own expectations, for falling short of your goals and for not being able to achieve what you were striving for. You are only human, and it is only human for us to fall short sometimes. That does not make us any less of a person, nor does it make you any less likely to continue to succeed— indeed, it is these moments of failure that show us how strong we really are, that we can rise above our own self-doubt and insecurities and conquer that which we would never have thought possible.

Forgive those who have wronged you, because they are human too and they did not think through how much they could hurt you. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything and everyone (there are some actions that are beyond forgiveness, and that is absolutely okay), but being able to forgive those who wrong us shows us the value of our own hearts and how much love we are capable of. If we cannot forgive, then at least we can make peace with ourselves and try to move forward from the experience as better human beings. Forgiving those who have wronged us proves that better part of our humanity is inherent in our ability to love.