Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Ramadan and New Year’s are the most common holidays. During Christmas break, the streets, all over the world, are filled with gifts under decorated trees. At Halloween, haunted houses and bloody masks are musts and we dress up as someone else for a day. In Easter, we hide colourful eggs behind the trees. Valentine’s Day is for the lovers who seem to only remember each other on the 14th of February as they buy chocolates and roses. St. Patrick’s day is that one day where we all feel Irish. Fasting, praying and helping others are the rituals we do during Ramadan. And finally, we end 12 months filled with celebrations with New Year’s eve, where midnight matters. These holidays are major ones. However, how about the little holidays that no one knows about? How about the not-so-famous ones that could change the world? How about holidays that can turn our lives upside down?

August 3rd might not mean anything to you (unless you’re born on this day), but it is International Forgiveness Day. This holiday was conceived by the World Forgiveness Alliance, in the early 1990s, to encourage others to forgive those who have harmed them. It might not be easy to do, but it is definitely worth the try.

As Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” It takes courage to forgive others but imagine a world where we are able to do so. We would first of all, be able to live peacefully, we would also be able to create and offer more to our countries and finally, we would be capable of becoming great leaders and achievers.

“Forgive your enemies,” said Oscar Wilde, “nothing annoys them more.” Indeed, when you forgive those who have hurt you, you take away their power. You can’t move on with your life if you keep hatred in your heart. Forgive,  get well and move on.

Bernard Meltzer assured that “when you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” The American radio-host is right. When you forgive others, you are not necessarily giving them a second change, but giving yourself a thousand in order to create a brighter future as you let go of yesterday.

The International Forgiveness Day could change your life. If your mother is upset because she does not appreciate your partner, kiss her forehead and tell her it’s going to be okay. If you were bullied in high school, forgive the bullies. If you have been cheated on by your boyfriend, forgive him (but don’t date him ever again!). If your best friend backstabbed you, forgive him, no matter how bad he hurt you. I guess what I am trying to say is, forgive wisely. Forgiving, doesn’t mean forgetting. Forgive what they have done but don’t give them a second chance if they caused you harm. Forgive them, but use what they have done as an experience. And as John F. Kennedy said “Forgive your enemies. But never forget their names.”