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"About a year ago, I was leaving a restaurant at lunch and I got held up at gunpoint," says Harold, an Oprah Show audience member. Then, he says, the assailant had him kneel down in the parking lot and put the gun by his head. "I thought for many seconds there, 'I don't know if I'm going to make it to see my family tonight,'" Harold says. "All I could think about was I've got to make it to be with them at home tonight."

Harold says that the mugger then took his wallet and phone and demanded his watch. "I looked at him, and for some reason, I saw there was a human being there," he says. "And even though I was very afraid because he had sworn to me he'd shoot me about 10 seconds before, I told him, 'My dad gave me this watch before he died.' He looked at me and he said, 'You can keep the watch, man.'"

When he finally returned safely to his family, Harold said his son asked what he'd do if he encountered the thief again. Wouldn't he want to get revenge?

"I said I would tell him, 'I forgive you and I thank you for having a little bit of humanity with something that meant a lot. I thank you for not trying to cover your tracks by shooting me and letting me continue on and be with my family.' … And it has not troubled me since then," Harold says. "I feel lucky that I'm here today. I feel lucky that I've had every day since that day."
FROM: Why I Forgave the Man Who Shot Me
Published on January 01, 2006


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