Clark Is Published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul”
Thursday, November 7, 2019
The road to forgiveness is often a difficult one to travel. The process can take time
as one learns to look beyond the hurt and move forward.
Anthony Clark, Ph.D., professor of economics at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood, understands this process all too well. Recently, he detailed his path to forgiveness in the story, “The Text.” This piece is featured in the 2019 edition of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Forgiveness Fix - 101 Stories about Putting the Past in the Past & Moving Forward,” by Amy Newmark.
Clark’s story begins with an explanation of his tumultuous relationship with his father. While he doesn’t delve into the specifics, he writes, “My father was a hard man to love, but I loved him nonetheless. He’d always had a bad temper, and he took out his frustrations on me when I was a boy.”
Despite a lifetime of hurt, and a series of highs and lows in their relationship, Clark wanted to resolve their issues. He just wasn’t in a rush to start. That is, until he received some unexpected news.
He writes: “(My dad) knew I was angry with him. He had to have known. I never responded to his texts. I ignored Father’s Day. Ditto for his birthday…I’d been pretending he didn’t exist. I’d been pretending I didn’t even have a dad…One day, it occurred to me that my dad was never going to apologize. He wasn’t ever going to take responsibility for any of the harsh things he’d said or done. He just wasn’t that kind of person. But I still had a deep need to forgive him.”
While Clark acknowledges that it can be hard to process the past and leave it behind, he and the other writers featured in this book found a way to peace and happiness.
In reflecting on his story in this book, he said, “It took a lifetime to live and 10 minutes to write. From all of this, I’ve learned that there isn’t a quick fix to forgiveness. It’s a process, and for me, it wouldn’t have been possible had I not used the power of self-forgiveness to move forward.”