Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. – John F. Kennedy

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

John F. Kennedy

Life moves in only one direction – ahead. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep ourselves down with a whole lot of emotional baggage, especially one that isn’t ours to carry.

Mistakes are part and parcel of life. There is hardly anyone who hasn’t messed up an opportunity or a relationship. What matters more is if we can draw the right lessons from these slip-ups and course-correct going forward. Likewise, it is important to know whom we can trust and whom we need to keep a safe distance from.

Over the course of our lives, we all run into people who masquerade as our friends but end up doing more harm than good to us. Eventually, their presence in our lives begins to have a toxic impact on our personal and professional growth and, sometimes, parting ways with them might be the best option. This is easier said than done, for the distrust resulting from heartbreak can quickly turn into a lifelong bitterness. It goes without saying that this is far from being the right way of dealing with betrayal, for this resentment only serves to make us more negative in our outlook on life. And this cynical attitude further hampers our growth. That is why it is important to forgive people who have wronged us.

However, life being life, one can never rule out the possibility that our path won’t cross with theirs. This is where it becomes important to draw the line. As important as it is to forgive people who stabbed us in the back in the past, it is almost criminal to place our trust back in them. This isn’t the same as saying that we should completely avoid them, or start giving them the cold shoulder. All this means is that you shouldn’t let your guard down with them. Remember, when kept in check and dealt with from a safe distance, our enemies can teach us more about ourselves than any friend ever could.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, often referred to as JFK, was the thirty-fifth president of the United States of America. An accomplished diplomat, Kennedy once remarked: “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”