How often do you forgive others?

Today is November 3 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you forgive others?” One of the more challenges aspects of navigating the chaos involves forgiving others. Rest assured, people will, either consciously or subconsciously try to derail your path as you put in the daily grind required to translate your dreams into reality. Forgiving those who wrong us is difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, but it is an effective strategy to navigate the chaos. Former professional football player John Dorenbos knows all too well the power of forgiving others.

On August 2, 1992, when John Dorenbos was 12, his father killed his mother. His father was charged with and convicted of second-degree murder, and sentenced to 13 years and eight months in prison. Dorenbos was sent to a foster home. After a legal battle, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle. It was during those years that Dorenbos began practicing magic as a way to distract him from the tragedy.

Dorenbos originally attended Golden West College but transferred to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) after his friend, Paul Tessier, called to ask if he would like to be the long snapper for UTEP. Dorenbos learned the position, transferred schools, and played for three years. He would eventually graduate with a business degree from UTEP.

After college, Dorenbos was signed as a long snapper by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent following the 2003 NFL Draft. He played in all 16 games for the Bills in 2003. He played in the first 13 games of the 2004 season before damaging knee ligaments and being placed on the injured reserve list, ending his season. After training camp in 2005, Dorenbos was waived on September 6 during final roster cuts.

After being cut by the Bills, Dorenbos was signed by the Tennessee Titans on October 26, 2005, the same day he worked out for the team. He played in the last nine games of the 2005 season. He was not signed for training camp in 2006 but was re-signed on October 13 by the Titans for an October 15 game against the Washington Redskins. He was released on October 25.

Dorenbos was then signed to a two-year contract by the Philadelphia Eagles on November 29, 2006. He would eventually play ten years in Philadelphia and finished his NFL career tied with Harold Carmichael for most consecutive games played for the Eagles. He was placed on injured reserve on December 12, 2016 following surgery for an injured wrist. On August 28, 2017, the Eagles traded Dorenbos to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a 2019 seventh-round draft pick.

On September 8, it was revealed that Dorenbos was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm, which required immediate heart surgery. He was released by the Saints the next day and forced to retire from professional football. On February 4, 2018, the Eagles won Super Bowl LII; Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie promised after the game that Dorenbos would receive a Super Bowl ring alongside the rest of the organization.

"My fate was what it was," Dorenbos said. "I'm just happy to be around guys I played with for so long." On February 16, 2018, Hollywood producer and Philly native Mike Tollin announced that he was making a movie about Dorenbos’ life. Magic brought peace and laughter during some rather difficult times as a kid, and the biggest reason he loves to perform to this day is to bring peace and laughter to others.

“Magic saved my life,” he told a national TV audience, “And there have been plenty of times when I was lost, and I didn’t have the answers and I didn’t know where to go. So, what I did is I turned to magic, and it helped me find myself. It simply taught me do not hate, do not blame and to forgive. I’ve learned to forgive, and when that happens, we find ourselves.”

How often are you able to forgive others?