You’ll have to forgive me, this post isn’t really very good. You see, I so much want to participate in this month’s 1000 Voices Speak for compassion, which is about forgiveness this month, but I can’t narrow the topic down enough to make a normal sized book, let alone a blog post.
At first I wanted to start from the view point of religion, even though I make it a point to never discuss religion on my blog. You see, I once read that while some religions say God can forgive all sins, others say God can only forgive those transgressions against God’s own laws, that if we hurt somebody it lays heavy on our soul until we get the person who we hurt’s forgiveness. That’s a great angle. I mean, we can all prostrate ourselves in front of an infinitely powerful being, but can we for our neighbor? Our friend? Our enemy? This also gives the victim a lot of power.
But no, I thought better of doing a religious angle. Even here I might have offended somebody, and I’m sure I would have if I would have kept in the original “God/Allah/Zeus/Odin/The-Supreme-Being/Whatever” instead of “God”. Although most religions talk about forgiveness, I’ve noticed that few people who consider themselves religious forgive any who they think slighted their religion.
I touched on a few things there that I could talk about without the religious angle. How about talking about how to ask for forgiveness? I mean, you have to really understand you are wrong, humble yourself, admit your mistake, apologize and then ask, “Can you forgive me?” Just going through these motions, if you really mean it, while deflating yourself, actually makes you grow in other, better ways. But no, I can’t really think of where I’d go from there without writing that ten volume set.
There is also the viewpoint of the one wronged, the forgiver. The power it gives the victim, the closure it can bring, the peace. If the one being forgiven didn’t ask for it, it gives the one doing the forgiving a moral superiority of types. It can return dignity. But what do you say about the parents who forgive the man who murdered their daughter but who never showed remorse? Or what do you say about the parents who don’t forgive that man, ever, even if shows remorse and cries for their forgiveness? I don’t know, it get’s complicated, particularly for a short blog post. There are just too many angles.
Of course there is a society level. There are people in this world who are still mad at things that happened hundreds, even thousands of years ago. They can’t let go. They can’t forgive. People hate other people over something their great-25-times-grandfathers did to each other in ninth century. They kill each other over it. How does that fit in? Forgive me, but I can’t even fathom how I’d even start on this.
Of course there is also the definition. What does this word really, truly mean? Forgiveness is at the peak of compassion, of empathy. It is looking the one who wronged you in the eyes and saying, “I see you and know you. You are human, just like me. You did wrong, perhaps even evil. And yet, you are human, after all, just like me. And I forgive you.” It is huge. How does a definition even begin to wrap around all that it implies?
Oh well, I can’t do it. I can’t. I can’t write a deep, meaningful post on the subject without going on for pages and pages, volumes and volumes. I just can’t, so please forgive me.
This post is part of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. I’ve had a personal vision of compassion that I’ve been sharing on most of my posts on the subject:
Empathy is the glue that holds society together and compassion is what makes a group of people a civilization. Without holding our hands out to our fellow humans we become savages. We are all in this together, in a closed system, so we must all help each other. How lonely life must be for those selfish people who don’t realize this simple truth! How lonely for anyone who doesn’t realize that all are our brothers and sisters! How lonely must the self-righteous be!
Find out more about this movement. See the 1000 Voices Speak blogsite and the Facebook page. And add your voice to our 1000 voices all speaking about compassion! To see more for this month or add your post, see the “Linky”