WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 1.
It is Suppose to be one of the Most "HUMANE" Acts one Person can do for another. That no Matter How Much you have been hurt by SOMEONE ELSE, be it MENTAL , PHYSICAL, OR BOTH, TO "FORGIVE" THE ACTIONS AGAINST YOU IS CONSIDERED TO BE NOBLE AND VIRTUOUS.
Yet, at the same Time, even though "FORGIVENESS" IS SUPPOSE TO BE A VOLUNTARY DECISION BY THE "VICTIM," IF IT IS NOT OFFERED, THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN HARMED IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE COMMITTED A MORAL TRANSGRESSION AGAINST THE ONE WHO VICTIMIZED THEM.
It is a Fascinating example of how Some People Believe that taking the "HIGH ROAD," especially if They are Talking about someone elses Victimization, must be part of the ROAD TO RECOVERY IN OVERCOMING THE PAIN AND ANGUISH THAT HAS BEEN INFLICTED ON THEM.
HOWEVER, JUST WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE ANOTHER? Does it Mean the Same Thing to Everyone, or DOES THE DEFINITION OF "FORGIVENESS" CHANGE DEPENDING ON THOSE INVOLVED, OR PERHAPS THE SITUATION/EVENT THAT LED UP TO SUCH A DECISION POSSIBLY BEING MADE.
Lets Create a Basic Example.
- An Individual Decides to Act in a Way that is considered a FREE CHOICE.
- This Action may result in the Direct Harming of Another, and it is
a possibility that any Reasonable Person would be aware of.
- Ignoring the Possible Consequences, the Individual Acts, and Harm
comes to someone else, who in no way contributed to the NEGATIVE
RESULT that has been Inflicted on Them.
STOPPING HERE, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES OR DEVELOPMENTS WOULD YOU CONSIDER "FORGIVENESS" AS A JUSTIFIED EXPECTATIONOF THE "TRANSGRESSOR," AND A MORAL REQUIREMENT OF THE "VICTIM?" IF SO, WHAT WOULD "FORGIVENESS" CONSIST OF.
END OF PART 1.
I Ended Part 1 with an example, and a "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" Question. However, You may have noticed that Answering such a Challenge isn't easy. Nor should it be. "FORGIVENESS" is not the Simplistic Concept Many would have you believe, for it contains Different Elements and Levels that are Unique to each Situation.
Those who believe that Short and Quick Resolutions are the Answer to Resolving Conflicts, sometime begin Their Advice with words like the following;
- "He's really sorry for what he did, you should forgive him."
- "She's not like that usually, it won't happen again, don't worry about it."
- "You pushed the Wrong Buttons, you know how they are. Watch it
THIRD PARTY INDIVIDUALS are usually the ones to offer such "ADVICE." Either by Design, Ignorance or Fear, They seek to place the BURDEN OF RESOLVING THE SITUATION ON THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED, OFTEN WITHOUT ANY SANCTIONS AGAINST THOSE WHO HAVE CAUSED THE SUFFERING.
It is just another CASE OF BLAMING THE VICTIM.
So where do We Start? How and When should "FORGIVENESS" BE OFFERED, AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES?
How about Defining "FORGIVE."
THIS IS THE DEFINITION TAKEN FROM THE MERRIAM- WEBSTER DICTIONARY.
: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)
THIS IS TAKEN FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA- BERKELEY "GREATER GOOD." THE SCIENCE OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE, WEBSITE.
What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
These Definitions are fairly close to others I came across, and all have Basically the same things in common.
HOWEVER, THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT THINGS THAT SHOULD BE NOTICED:
- BOTH DEFINITIONS REQUIRE NOTHING FROM THE INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO HAVE CAUSED THE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL TRAUMA.
- BOTH USE THE TERM "FEELINGS," AS A NEGATIVE DESCRIPTION REGARDING HOW THE VICTIM CONTINUES TO PERCEIVE THE PERSON AND ACTIONS THAT HAVE HURT THEM.
THIS LEADS US TO THE FOLLOWING:
IS "FORGIVENESS" JUST ANOTHER FORM OF "ACCEPTANCE," SINCE NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE "VICTIM" AND THE "PERPETRATOR?"
WHY IS CONTINUING TO JUDGE THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED YOU SOMETHING THAT MUST BE OVERCOME, IF THE INDIVIDUAL(S) INVOLVED HAVE NOT ALTERED THEIR PERSONAL BEHAVIOR, WHICH MAY CONTINUE TO CAUSE PAIN AND SUFFERING TO YOU AND OTHERS?
END OF PT 2.