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forgiveness

Maia Monasterios Maia Monasterios compassionate producer. loving daughter. wisdom seeker.

Maia Monasterios is an award-winning director, producer, and writer of such projects as PBS History Detectives stories including: Vietnam Diary, Titanic Luxury Liner Picture Frame, Clint Black's Rogue Book and The Beatles Autographs. [http://www.indiegogo.com/Vietnam-Veterans-Forgive-and-Heal]

maia_monasterios_feature

Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on forgiveness, making amends, and connecting with family. We get so busy with work and planning for tomorrow that we forget to live in the moment and appreciate time. We don’t think about it on a daily basis, but every minute of life is so precious. We don’t know when our last day is or when we’ll lose the ones we love.

I worked on a story for PBS recently about the journey of Bob, a Vietnam War veteran trying to return the diary of a North Vietnamese soldier. Bob found the diary after a battle during the war. Though he couldn’t make out what it said, inside was a photo of two young girls.

While attempting to have the diary translated, Bob connected with a woman named Marjorie whose brother had died during the Vietnam War. When Marjorie heard the story of the diary, she didn’t think of the North Vietnamese soldier as the enemy. Instead, she realized such a diary could have belonged to her brother and had a photo of her in it. Immediately, she knew the diary needed to get back to the North Vietnamese soldier’s family.

Bob and Marjorie’s ability to forgive led them on an incredible journey. With the help of PBS, the diary was translated. Then, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta returned the diary to Vietnam’s Minister of Defense. In exchange, Panetta received the letters of a fallen American soldier. The occasion was a gesture toward continued healing and improved relationships between the two countries.

During the making of this PBS show, what really got to me was the ability of so many people to humanize and forgive an enemy. It reminded me that life is too short and too precious to hold a grudge.

After my parents divorced, years ago, my relationships with my mother and father were strained. Marjorie helped me realize how important it is for me to rebuild and strengthen those relationships. Real love and the closeness of family are unconditional. There’s no mistake that’s unforgivable. Of course, that’s easy to say, but often hard to live.

Sometimes we focus too much on the need to be right. Sometimes we’re caught up in waiting for the other person to apologize. We forget that when we hold a grudge we’re only hurting ourselves. We’re the ones carrying around the pain.

Instead of focusing on something someone has done against you, remember the positive difference they’ve made in your life and the lessons you’ve learned. When we live our lives from that place, when we focus on gratitude and live from the heart, we find forgiveness. When we forgive, we live our lives really and truly at peace.

Maia Monasterios

 

The mentioned PBS program can be viewed at:

http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/video/2278232039/

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