There is something heartwarming about a person who has every right to be angry and bitter deciding instead to forgive the one who wronged them.
This is what Sirpa Lajunen has decided to do. The former Hawke's Bay cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries after she and her partner were hit by a vehicle on a rural road near Taupo seven months ago. The driver of the vehicle, 18-year-old Jordan Lee Dobbyn, was this week sentenced in the Taupo District Court to five months' community detention with a daily curfew, 100 hours' community service and disqualification from driving for 18 months.
Ms Lajunen said outside court that she had been "pretty angry" after the crash, but "I know he is very sorry and has been distraught about what happened".
I don't think many people would have begrudged Ms Lajunen for feeling some anger and bitterness towards Dobbyn, but often those feelings tend to have more of an impact on the person feeling them than on their target.
The feelings just become more pronounced and eventually they start eating away at you. It may be hard to come to grips with the concept, but in the long run it is better to let it go.
Ms Lajunen did that by meeting Dobbyn and says it brought closure for her.
You have to admire her for this and it probably has made her a stronger person. She survived a horrific accident and now has chosen to forgive the person who injured her. That shows remarkable strength of character.
Hopefully Dobbyn, who is still a young man, has learnt his lesson and can serve his sentence and move on with his life. He probably will look back on the way he handled the court case and realise that, while his early guilty plea to the careless driving causing injury charge was admirable, he probably should not have pleaded not guilty to the charge of driving while his licence was revoked. This prolonged the agony for Ms Lajunen and her partner David Joyce (who four years ago owned Revolution Bikes in Havelock North). Dobbyn is lucky Ms Lajunen is so forgiving.