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A child teaches a lesson of forgiveness

Jonathan Fiedler / Columnist

A few weeks ago, five-year-old Kai Leigh Harriott, who lives near Boston,  was accidently shot by a bullet by 29-year-old Anthony Warren.

It was a stray bullet that entered her spine, leaving her paralyzed.

The family, however, stayed strong and positive. Harriott's mother, Tonya David, said the phone has not stopped ringing about the story.

"We live in a world today that seems to want people to be bitter, angry," David said. "But I don't want bitterness and anger in my life, and I don't want that for Kai Leigh. I tried very hard from the depths of my soul to hate Anthony, but it wouldn't come out."

Initially, Warren denied the claim, but he later changed his plea to guilty in court and apologized to the child.

Harriott, with the sweet, innocent voice of a child, replied to Warren in court, "What you did was wrong, but I forgive you."

Later, Harriott's mother and Warren embraced after the guilty conviction and left on good terms.

Even the police officer was crying in the courtroom. It was a grand occasion.

I think this story teaches us all a great lesson. No matter how terrible the crime, there is always room for peace and forgiveness in our hearts.

As the great Mahatma Gandhi claimed, "An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind."

How great would it be if when you were driving and someone cut you off, the offending driver rolled down his window and said "I am so sorry," and you said, "No problem Buck-o."

How about this radical thought: next time a country gets bombed by another country, the other country responded by sending the country that was bombed some free food and water.

Contact Jonathan Fiedler at pendulum@elon.edu or 278-7247.