Say that two cars are coming from opposite directions along a narrow road. If both the drivers refuse to stop and give way, neither of them will be able to move forward. If, however, just one of them is prepared to back up and move aside, both can proceed.
The one who is forgiven, as well as the one who forgives, are able to advance. This is why it is said that to forgive is to advance. Forgiveness uplifts both the giver and the receiver. We should understand the practical side of everything and act accordingly. The ego can never be anything but an obstacle to real progress.
God is only compassionate towards us. He constantly bestows his grace upon us, even more than we deserve by our actions. God is not a judge who rewards us for our good deeds or punishes us for our bad actions. God is the fountainhead of compassion.
He forgives us for our mistakes and showers His compassion on us. But God can save us only if there is some positive effort on our part. If that effort is lacking, we cannot receive His grace. So it isn’t God’s fault — it is our fault.
We are not isolated islands, but are all connected, like links of the same chain. We are part of the chain of life. Our every action, whether deliberate or not, affects everyone. It isn’t right to think that we will become good only when everyone else has changed.
Most people have this attitude. We should be willing to change even if others refuse to do so. Thinking that we will change for the better only after those around us have changed, is like hoping to enter the sea after all the waves have subsided.
So instead of waiting for others to improve, we should make an effort to improve ourselves. When we do this, we will behold a change in others as well. When we cultivate only goodness within us, we will see only the essential goodness everywhere. So we have to be alert in our every thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions.