Rickson Gracie and his younger brother Royler once left the gym and went to the beach in search of some good waves. Their boards on the roof of the car, they took off to take on some bad traffic. Forty years later, to this day Rickson perfectly remembers the bumpy ride. And Royler perhaps even more so.
At one point Rickson got distracted and inadvertently cut off a cab driver. The cabbie, not knowing who was in the old car, started honking like crazy before getting beside them and firing off the worst curse words available in the Portuguese language.
What then transpired in the Gracies' car was this:
“I'm sorry, man; it wasn't on purpose. Forgive me, brother,” said Rickson, and the yellow car went on its way.
“Wait a second, Rickson. The guy called you a bunch of names. Why did you apologize to him?”
“Royler, can you imagine the hell that is this guy's job? Working amid the crazy traffic of Rio de Janeiro, living far away, going around the city…”
“But he can't talk like that!”
“You and I are going surfing, after a wonderful day of training against tough guys. What do you think I'm gonna gain from throwing down with him? Dude's old, out of shape, fat. Do you sincerely think it's worthwhile to fight a guy like that just because he called me a bunch of names? Nothing better than forgiving him. Let's leave him alone. Let him fight with life, not with me. Forgive the man.”
Royler turned inward, and later the waves were excellent and the ocean relaxing. A long time later, he admitted to his older brother:
“Rickson, remember that day in the car when the cab driver showed up? That message from you hit me right in the heart. I learned right there that we don't need to prove anything to others or ourselves. I know I can easily punish some guy who comes up and offends me. But staying calm, in the end, is the true victory.”
How about you? Have you learned to forgive like Rickson and Royler, after many years of jiujitsu?