Forgiveness

Have you ever thought about how many things that are considered righteous and pious are contradictory to the principle of evolution? We humans reached the top of all the living beings on Earth by practicing all instinctual things. But as time passed and cultures developed the very core of out flourishing became taboo. Many things that were the heart of the reward mechanism of our brains became associated with divine prohibitions. Nevertheless, it worked out and those prohibitions shaped our society as it is today, but that is the topic for another day.



Forgiving, for instance, is something we learned is nobler. If someone hurts you, be it anyway physical or emotional, the person who forgives is having an upper-hand in the conflict. Forgiveness has the capacity to assuage the mind of the hurt person. It just gives this awesome feeling of closure even in the absence of apologies. I agree with the stance that forgiving can be sometimes good deed. Moreover, It is obviously instinctual that as time passes and anger subsides and we eventually forgive the person who did us wrong.  Nevertheless, it will be quite ludicrous and childish to never -ever forgive. To err is human, to forgive is divine. Yadda yadda yadda ...

That said, I beg to bring in another point of view in the forgiving scenario.  I would say it is not always the best case to forgive. To forgive is often considered to be the most healthy alternative, but it's not! You are permitted to be bitter and you are permitted to be furious at the person who did you wrong. It is NOT healthy to suck your emotions in because it is noble to be forgiving. Placing this more popular belief on forgiveness above your own feelings of resentment is an act of self-harm. You are allowed to feel and register the betrayal for as long as you need to. Being treated badly by someone is a very fair reason to be pissed at them.

More than often we find people saying "I forgive you" to an unapologetic wrongdoer. If that satisfies them, good for them. However to practice altruism at the cost of your own mental wellbeing is not a good idea. Frankly for me even if someone apologizes I am not obliged to forgive them until I feel they are fit for my pardon.



Apologies should not be obscure. Sorry, is just another word if it doesn't manifest the understanding of hurting and makes a promise to not violate the equilibrium of trust again. It lies in the hands of the wrongdoer to demonstrate that they understand what they did was wrong. Moreover, for the wrongdoers, it's never too late to learn the golden rule "Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Act with compassion and empathy."

Be it the forgiveness for a what-so-ever reason, namely for the nobler one or over time by subsidence of anger, It should not by default mean you are to give them the same position as before. One example of such case is a cheating spouse or partner. If someone is cheated on and their partner apologizes and is forgiven ... A let bygones be bygones kind of situation almost every time leads to a series of cheatings. The thing is after every act of cheating the person's sense of guilt is subsided as they face no repercussions for their actions. Here goes the saying, once a cheater always a cheater. The responsibility of making amendments is with the guilty person and not otherwise.

If you forgive and the wrongdoer don't face any consequences of their actions how does this improves the situation? So if one find peace in forgiving one should not act in self-harm by giving the offender same privileges as before. Forgive eventually, but don't place the knife in their hands to stab you again. rather move on. I understand it can be difficult if the offender is someone you love...



With that thought, I would like to get back on evolution side of the issue. Had we forgiven the predators, back in hunters and gatherer era, you would not have been reading this post, nor I would be writing it. Homo sapiens would have been eradicated. If one is wronged, forgiveness and inviting the wrongdoer back is not noble but silly in the evolutionary sense of the way. We learned to protect ourselves from being hurt. We apply what we learn by our instincts for future dealings. If it was natural to accommodate forgiveness as it is taught to be divine, the rattling of a rattlesnake would not have been registered as a warning sign for rest of the animals.

For me personally, as a typical INFJ, my most typical reaction to betrayal and hurt is cutting them off from my life. #FriendshipOver. I don't give much thought to them after that. (but as my physics teacher would say, exceptions are always there. ) The resentment is wholly justified as taking offense in your own mistreatment is an act of self-respect. I have enough self-esteem to understand that being a part of my life is a prerogative, not a default.



Sum and Substance: No one owes a place in someone else's life. They have to earn it and work for it. If someone doesn't work for a place in your life they shouldn't have one.  If they hurt you or mistreat you it is your right to protect yourself even by the means of cutting someone out off your life completely. You are not to be told to forgive someone and feel "divine".

What is your opinion on forgiveness? Do you forgive people who hurt you or hurt someone you love with no exceptions? What popular moral codes do you find to be misaligned with your principles in life? Let me know in the comment section below



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Comments

Tina Basu said…
Well said, an apology shouldn't be hard when it's required.
Frozen Banana Ice-Cream
Freedom in Life
Simran said…
I only forgive if I really want to.
Thoughtful post. Many say they forgive but never forget...
Years ago, one of my friend´s brothers was killed. As her family worked through their grief, they all agreed that forgiving the killer was the first step in moving forward. I am not sure if I could start with forgiveness in that case.

I forgive fairly quickly if someone seems remorseful and I believe that the risk of repeat is low. Also, if it will help me to move on, I will forgive without their apology.

Emily | AtoZ | My Life In Ecuador
Julie said…
I agree! Forgiveness should be earned, not just randomly given out because it's supposedly divine. I have chosen NOT to forgive some people in my life because, frankly, they didn't seem very remorseful and/or because what they did wasn't forgivable to me. Some people say that I'm only hurting myself by 'holding a grudge'. I disagree. I'd be hurting myself by allowing those people back into a position where they could hurt me again.

Fantastic Fiction
Kim Richardson said…
Forgiveness does not come easily to me at all. When someone hurts me, I want them to acknowledge the wrong they did but more importantly I want them to demonstrate that they truly understand how hurtful their actions are and seek to show through actions that they are truly sorry. "Sorry" can be such a meaningless word, uttered and not meant. Actions speak far louder. So while I may be willing to offer my forgiveness in order to salvage and retain a connection with someone that I deem has more good qualities than bad ... I don't do it lightly, I don't forget the damage they did and I expect that in offering forgiveness they will meet me half way with actions that show they wish to make amends.
Kim
www.ramblingsofk.wordpress.com
I also wrote about Forgiveness today. My post is all about my personal experience though... things I learnt about forgiveness. Do check it out sometime. Would love to hear your take on it.
Happy AtoZing!
Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com
Tamara Gerber said…
I'm certainly conflicted about forgiveness. I am a generous and peaceful person, which doesn't mean people should take advantage of me. There are less than a handful of individuals who did wrong by me, not once but several times, and I don't feel a need to forgive them. For all I care they should face their Karma ;-)))

https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/2017/04/a-z-blogging-challenge-fats-fun.html
Nilanjana Bose said…
Here from the A-Z, enjoyed your take on F. My own is that forgiveness rather than being divine is a human tool to move on, otherwise grudges can fester and ruin one's life. Forgive, but don't forget the lesson - is my general strategy.

Best wishes,
Nilanjana
Madly-in-Verse
Sayanti Deb said…
You have seen the forgiveness from a different perspective. In the case of injustice, it's fine. But, sometimes, some situations come where you don't have an option other than forgiving the misdeeds.And that time forgiveness makes you free from the extra load of mind. Today, I have also written a post on forgiveness where I have stated a different perspective from yours.
Enjoyed your views on forgiveness, Have a nice day.
-Sayanti from http://sayantideb.com/atozchallenge-forgiveness/
jaish_vats said…
I think the meaning of the word itself is a little complex....simply speaking its not an action you do and its something you feel and hence cannot be enforced.. But i think it means that sometimes feelings of bitterness can blind us.... Get us to overreact.... By holding grudges we become grumpy and resentful which is not healthy for us ... Its not always easy to put ourselves in the other persons shoes and think as well....the thought that none of us is perfect is sometimes helpful in understanding others imperfections...
You have very rightly said that forgiveness is divine. But at the same time, there are people who do not deserve to be forgiven cz they are never remorseful. They never feel that they have done anything wrong since an air of superiority always surrounds them.

I find it hard to forgive such people. But again, at the end of the day, it is my own peace of mind that i would forgive someone for and not accept the person ever in my life again.

http://dipanwita.com/
I think it all depends on what is being forgiven and why. Sometimes to forgive is the only way to gain peace of mine, sometimes you are right, it just causes more grief. Sometimes it is also better not to forgive and forget, but to forgive and remember. It all depends on the situation.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves
Some things are more easily forgiven then others. And forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. Apologies should be heartfelt. For some people, saying I'm sorry is harder than for others. Thanks for sharing. Find me here LINK
Decibelmemos said…
Forgiveness is tough! Definitely something that is more for your own peace than for the person being forgiven. I enjoyed your post today....
Heidi visiting from the A to Z Challenge at, Decibel Memos (Perspectives absent of sound)
Pat Holloway said…
Interesting topic. I think I can forgive but I have my guard up so the offending person does not get close enough to hurt me again. Just saying "sorry " isn't enough. I expect actions to show changes. I think that person may think the effort required to be in my life is not worth it and I live with the loss. I also think if you don't forget, you really haven't forgiven. And yet I don't consider that as holding a grudge.
Kira Elise said…
Nice read. I am the kind of person where I cut myself off from people who hurt me to avoid experiencing the same thing again. I've had someone claim that they can change and do better but that's not what I'm looking for. If you're not willing to change for yourself and because you realized on your own you were wrong, I don't want you to change for me. For people who've committed less severe hurt, I forgive but I often still leery around that person for quite some time. I think I pull back emotionally for those people. As someone of faith, I was raised to be aware of how important forgiveness is, but it is something I still grapple with.

Kira Elise
F-Fickle
Jz said…
Now, I'm not claiming to be good at this myself, but...
I think forgiveness is necessary for me, in order that I not carry the pain and bitterness around with me.
However, I rarely give a rat's ass if the offender knows that I've forgiven them. I'm not doing it so they can feel better, I'm doing it so *I* can.
Geraint Isitt said…
I will forgive in certain circumstances. But if it becomes habit in the other's part, I will draw the line. There's only so many times something can be said or done in gest.

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