reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 08:06 pm
@Thomas,
Yes I can see the logic behind this myself but do you think that you would have this mindset if you acted out against some one when you were emotional?
[As soon as wrongdoers expect that their wrongdoing will be forgiven, that's an incentive for them to do even more wrong]
Now I do realise that there are some that do not understand reason as well as others and may require more rehabilitation than others and then we may find some that will be repetative till the day they die.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 08:12 pm
@reasoning logic,
Quote:
Now I do realise that there are some that do not understand reason as well as others and may require more rehabilitation than others and then we may find some that will be repetative till the day they die.
that, as we say in the west, is a mouthful. reminds to overly much of Plato but there's no point in going there, is there or perhaps, reasoning logic, you're among the philosopher kings.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 08:20 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:
Yes I can see the logic behind this myself but do you think that you would have this mindset if you acted out against some one when you were emotional?

I think I would. Maybe it would be some subconscious version of it---call it a gut-set rather than a mindset---but yes, it would be there.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  3  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 01:50 am
@dagmaraka,
Quote:
I'm interested in personal stories of forgiveness in your life
When I was about ten years old I was playing baseball with my extended family at a family reunion in Texas and my much smaller cousin, Michelle (about 3 years old at the time) toddled in back of me just as I swung the bat to hit the ball. It was a wooden baseball bat and I was a softball player with a good, hard swing for a ten year old girl and I struck her squarely on the side of the head. (Tears are coming to my eyes as I type this).
I was inconsolable when I saw how I had hurt her. Not one of the adults blamed me - in fact everyone - even her very worried mother- acknowledged that it was an accident that I couldn't have foreseen or avoided (she walked behind me) but I felt so bad about hurting that little child, that literally, my mother told me that everyone was as worried about me as they were about Michelle.
Well, I just saw Michelle at another family reunion in June for the first time since we've both been adults and I was all ready for her to playfully remind me of the time I'd hit her in the head with a baseball bat and knocked her out - and she didn't. Not a word. So not only did I feel the pain I'd inflicted, however inadvertently, was forgiven, I felt that it may have even been forgotten. Or if not that, she isn't the type of person who needs to hold on to and remind someone of something that'd be hurtful for them to be reminded of - in other words- she's not the sort of person who'd use the power she had over another to hurt them back.

When my brother committed suicide, he'd had his wisdom teeth out the week before. He was 25 years old and fairly self-sufficient although he had some cognitive impairment that influenced his judgment. My parents had already left for their scheduled vacation which he couldn't go on because of his work schedule. They had asked my married sister and her husband to let him stay with them. My sister, a lovely, extremely nurturing person had three small children under the age of five. Her husband, also a wonderful person whom I loved then and love to this day had a drinking problem. He didn't understand why my brother couldn't stay by himself.
When I got to the house after being notified of my brother's death, I found notes scattered around in his handwriting on which he'd scribbled the time he was supposed to take his antibiotics and pain killers and I asked my sister and brother-in-law, 'Why was George here alone? He shouldn't have had to deal with this alone! You were supposed to be helping him.' (I lived 500 miles away in North Carolina - they lived five minutes away in the same town as my parents and my brother).
My brother-in-law said, as my sister stood there sobbing, 'Rebecca - he was an ADULT!'
It was all I could do not to hit him. I didn't say another word to him for a year. If I called my sister and he answered the phone - I hung the phone up.
And then one day, I don't know when it was - I just looked at him with love again. Maybe it was something he said, maybe it was something he did - I don't know. The anger was just gone.
Thank God - because it made me sad every minute of every day to think I'd lose my sister because I couldn't speak to her husband. And I didn't want to lose Patrick either - he was just being his human self.

And I think, for me personally anyway, that's been my experience of forgiveness. It's not a strategy or decision. It just happens. It has nothing to do with power - as in- 'Oh, I've made the decision to bestow my forgiveness on you.' It has everything to do with love.
And if you feel it - you feel it. If you don't - you don't.
That's my personal experience of forgiveness anyway.





0 Replies
 
Narine
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 04:28 am
Forgiveness - it is not these things a momentary effect, it requires time for understanding, awareness, nurturing feelings for the willingness to forgive or accept forgiveness, this is the process of growth associated with the education of feelings response to insult, humiliation and so on.
This is reminiscent of how children learn to understand what is good and what is not worth doing, it would have a positive effect, and can not do that there was no trouble or harm you and others. This is something that requires time to a natural remission.

Forgiveness is a voluntary action, which should come from the heart first, and then from the mind, because if forgiveness has its own motivation, it’s called selfishness, with a bad hand and I will not call forgiveness, about what we should talk or argue.

Some things simply should not be forgiven, if we do not feel pain or it brings pain to another person.
Let us ask ourselves and other issues, what is forgiveness?
Whence it came?
How should it be?
What happens if we forgive or not forgive?
Where is the need to forgive?
Or why there is no need to forgive?
Or why we believe it necessary to forgive?
What types of forgiveness there are?

Give some clear vivid examples of people's lives, if any, and to consider and explore the other to be able to forgive.

and then turn to forgiveness, it ‘s as one of the most effective ways to reconcile the positive people to be grateful to life, to each other for their ability to get along and communicate with people who love them as they are, and for the opportunity to learn and develop and share their thoughts without end each another.

And most importantly be compassionate to each other.
By the way forgiveness is already way to compassion ...
It is something that brings people together, unites the community, making them stronger when we're together....

join this important discussion and
good luck everyone
Best for all
Narine
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 04:44 am
@Narine,
oy, posted and it disappeared.... i wanted to welcome you, Narine. So glad you made it here!

Must run, but will certainly be back later to read up and talk more,
Dasha.
...welcome to a2k, feel at home here.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 10:00 am
@dagmaraka,
I forgave someone who hurt me beyond repair, it is like you say-liberating. I just didn't want to carry the baggage or weight of hate so it does free you but I will never let that person back into my life again.

How would you forgive a rapist? I don't think I can so there are some things you cannot forgive but like you said this does not make you a lesser person. Forgiveness does not come easy, I think there are some things that are unforgivable and the person reserves the right to forgive or not and should be respected either way because they are the ones who are hurt.

I've always thought that victims of crime should have a say in the punishment as they are the ones who have suffered at the hands of the criminals. It's like when the rapist was handed over to the women for punishment. If it were me I'd do the same as them they chopped his penis off, no forgiveness there and quite right to don't you think? If it were me I'd kill him so he wouldn't do it again. But you do hear of some people forgiving the rapist how I have no clue maybe it helps them to move on.

Forgiveness frees the victim from a life time of hate and angst, it doesn't make it alright to harm someone but it does lift the person out of a heavy weight. Those who cannot forgive have that right and no doubt you'd feel the same if you were them.

Hating takes up time and energy and it's unproductive, I chose not to do that but I will never forgive somethings because sometimes what that person did is unforgivable, I don't hate but I do get angry every time I think about it but of course I hardly ever think about it, it's a defense, I wont let that person back into my life again so the crime did not go unpunished. There a somethings that I cannot forgive and I don't think I ever will but I bear no grudge against that person.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 11:34 am
@dagmaraka,
Quote:
Re: Joe Nation (Post 4354354)
Another quote: “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”

why is it "stupid" not to forgive?


I'll try to answer since you asked.
It has, I think, a lot to do with the corrosive nature of bad memories.
The pain of any experience can stay fresh in the unforgiving mind and recalling the experience is as disturbing as the initial experience.
It's a pattern people have to unlearn in order to restore peace in their own minds.

Joe (more later)Nation
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 12:00 pm
@Joe Nation,
Simply put, it's not good for one's health.
dagmaraka
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 12:59 pm
@cicerone imposter,
totally. unhealthy, corrosive.... but "stupid" ? i'd never have the audacity to say that to the face of someone, or to even think that about someone who's family was killed or who was repeatedly misused...or even more minor things. it is not for me to judge.

we're talking about personal forgiveness now, not communal. but even on a personal level, some things simply should not be forgiven, i would think... i am lucky enough that right now i have nothing to forgive to anyone, though, so it's mere speculation.... and i was unable to hold a grudge even in a case when it maybe would have been healthy to have been angry at least for awhile...
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 01:49 pm
A very interesting thread. My compliments to Dagmaraka and everyone who contributed here.

I believe forgiveness is a matter for the one (or community) that forgives. It is almost always a good thing, enabling the one who forgives to go on with less entangling bitterness. The act of forgiveness doesn't achieve (or seek to achieve) justice or reform for the offender - that's not its object. Moreover, forgiveness does not itself preclude sanctions justly imposed on an offender, though it doesn't itself call for them. The Don Henley song someone posted on the last page expresses these thoughts very well.

Certainly the long history of ethnic/cultural/political disputes in Europe and elsewhere illustrate that in most cases for the legacy holders of these disputes, forgiveness is very likely the only practical way out of the historical impasse that so often results. For us as individuals, I believe the lesson is that in our lives we usually have much to forgive and much to be forgiven for. As I understand it, this is the central point of the Jewish day of Atonement.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 02:06 pm
@dagmaraka,
I've not used the word "stupid" anywhere in my posts.
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 02:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
oh no, not you. it's part of the quote i have been talking about from almost the beginning. i just agreed with you that keeping a grudge is unhealthy...
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 05:42 pm
@dagmaraka,
When I read your introduction to this thread, Dag, I thought of two entirely different situations ... The first concerning an individual I know & the second an aggrieved nation:

• A friend of mine was sexually abused by her father at a very young age. She is almost 40 years old now & has spent the best part of her adult life struggling to come to grips with what happened to her & why. Say nothing of the enormous harm & lasting consequences on the rest of her life.
• Then I thought about the ordinary people of Iraq. I thought particularly of the citizens of Baghdad, who were “shocked & awed” for absolutely no comprehensible reason at all to them. What if you lost 2, 3, many more family members, as a result of such an act by the major world power at the time? And you’d done absolutely nothing to bring that diabolical act about? How were you supposed to come to grips with what had actually happened & the impact it had had? Why should you even consider forgiving the perpetrators?

It seems to me, in both these examples, that “forgiveness” is really the least of what the aggrieved have had to deal with or consider, even. The aggrieved are stuck with dealing with how they are able to continue with their lives, day by difficult day, in full knowledge of the great harm that has been done to them. How can you even contemplate forgiveness, when you can’t even get your head around the motive for the serious injustice that was done to you? When all your energies must be put into your own survival, keeping yourself afloat? (Mind you, an ongoing, consuming hatred of the "offenders", in my opinion anyway, probably does more harm to the "offended" than anything else ..)

On the other hand, I have seen some positive aspects of forgiveness & apology, too. When the (Oz ) Rudd government apologized to our Aboriginal people for the injustice they suffered as “the stolen generation”, a few years back . (Following the strenuous denials of the previous, (conservative) government that they required no apology, because these events were past history & we had no part in what had occurred in the past .)
Aboriginal people cried openly at the formal apology from the head of our government. Many of of the rest of us us cried openly, too. Because at long last (!) their grievances had been acknowledged as being real. The sheer relief of that acknowledgment, for all of us, you have no idea! But did it lead to fast improvements in the lot of the aggrieved? Sadly, no. There is still a long, long way to go. But that apology & the gracious acceptance of it by our aboriginal people, at the very least, gave courage to those who had been fighting the fight for so very long. It had healing power. It acknowledged their case & their history. Gave them the ammunition to continue. (And more power to them, I say!)
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 05:56 pm
@msolga,
ms olga, I'm glad you shared your post with us. There are lessons there for individuals and groups with different circumstances that have caused them a lifetime of pain. That they may be able to overcome them are complex with no easy answers, but I'm sure individuals and groups in similar type experiences have responded in as many ways as humans are able.

In the case of the woman who was raped by her father needs the support of a psychiatrist to impress upon her that it was not her fault and beyond her control. I know it's easier said than done, but she needs to be reminded of the simple fact that she is not to blame.

When I visited Australia many years ago, we visited the aboriginal center in Cairns, and talked to one of their leaders who was a mix with English blood. He told us the same thing, that they still struggle, but things have improved some for them. As with our Muslim Americans who are the target of discrimination and hate, many of us who advocate for our freedoms still challenge those who will openly show their discrimination and ignorance towards all Muslims for what a few extremists did on 9-11.

reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 05:58 pm
@msolga,
Very brilliant!
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 07:04 pm
@reasoning logic,
Why thank you! Very nice of you to say so. Smile
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 07:34 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
In the case of the woman who was raped by her father needs the support of a psychiatrist to impress upon her that it was not her fault and beyond her control. I know it's easier said than done, but she needs to be reminded of the simple fact that she is not to blame.


(Not too surprising to anyone, I'm sure) she has needed & received ongoing psychiatric support during various times in her life, c.i.. And she certainly understands being the victim of sexual assault, as a small child, was in no way her fault.
But never-the-less, the fact that this happened to her at all, has led to ongoing problems in her life, particularly in her relationships with men.
Interestingly, she has not given up on her family, though there have been moments of bitterness & anger. Toward both parents, not just her father. Toward her mother, too, who was aware of what had occurred, but because of her weak nature, felt incapable of changing the situation (the father bullied her, too) & she also denied her knowledge for many years ...
My friend hasn't exactly forgiven her father, but has learned over time supported by intensive therapy, how to protect herself better from the lasting consequences of his actions. She is aware that he, as a child, suffered from severe deprivations & abuse (though not sexual) himself. And it seems, from his point of view, apologizing or even directly acknowledging his actions, is something he is not capable of doing. Though he expresses his regret (I guess) with frequent gifts, gestures of that sort. ... She believes that's the best he is capable of. It's interesting to me that my friend (the victim in this situation) is the one who has done most of the hard conciliatory work herself. In her case it was not so much forgiveness which helped her, as coming to grips with what had happened through fully understanding the circumstances in which the abuse occurred.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 08:57 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
When the (Oz ) Rudd government apologized to our Aboriginal people for the injustice they suffered as “the stolen generation”, a few years back . (Following the strenuous denials of the previous, (conservative) government that they required no apology, because these events were past history & we had no part in what had occurred in the past .)
Aboriginal people cried openly at the formal apology from the head of our government. Many of of the rest of us us cried openly, too. Because at long last (!) their grievances had been acknowledged as being real.


That's only for you morally degenerate Aussies. There was and is no need for such a thing in the US. The US treated the Native Americans as treasured neighbors and there are many who are miffed that Native Americans are now trying to rewrite history, to lay any blame at the feet of those fine upstanding white Europeans.

Blacks were treated well too and any revisionist histories on their part are also deeply resented, by some.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  4  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 03:15 am
@msolga,
Very astute, Olga, I fully agree with you.

In conflict situation, you hardly think of forgiveness. It is part of the healing/conciliation process, and I believe other needs have to be taken care of first to make forgiveness a remote possibility. It can hardly happen while the conflict is still taking place.

After some time passes ('experts' are always arguing about how much time has to pass. some say at least 1-2 generation, or 20 years), it becomes possible to look back and contemplate how to move on.

Apology is even more tricky than forgiveness. I don't like it as a calculated approach, maybe I don't trust enough the intentions. It is, however, very cathartic when it does work -- like in the AUstralian case, or when the Swiss apologized to the Yennish (nomadic peoples who have been grossly mistreated in the past). It seems that it has to be obvious that it is authentic and is usually accompanied by some measures that support the motion. When it is just an official apology (Japanese to the Koreans, Americans to the Chinese for the Opium War... ...) it can backfire and cause actually more resentment. There is something about apology that can be forceful -- apology tends to expect some reaction... that is why I am more fond of acknowledgment - a sober reflection upon the past, which can raise to apology-forgiveness after some dialogue between the perpetrator and the victim (another dichotomy that i hate....as being stuck in 'victimhood' narrative can be harmful itself) can take place, if possible.

I am grateful for all the contributions here, I wanted to sort my feelings about these concepts for some time and find out why i feel so strongly in the negative about forgiveness. I still don't know for sure, but all the input is very helpful. I know what triggers it most -- when judgment enters (those who forgive are portrayed as stronger, wiser) - while I 'get it', I resent the judging aspect against those who are not able to forgive....who are we to judge, not being in their shoes?

I am realizing that it is probably far more personal for me than I ever thought (being trained as an academic...we tend to think we are moving on the level of rational analysis most of the time). My father forgave his best friend V of many years for being an active secret police agent, informing the police of my father's every move and what he said where.... for 20 years. My father has been in prison several times during that time. It came to surface after 1989, when the Communist regime fell. A different father's friend, a historian, had access to state police archives and found V's file... I know my dad and V exchanged many lengthy letters after that. I haven't seen any of them, but I know it was a very hard time for both of them. And for us, as we struggled to sort it out (our two families were very very close). V's wife and daughters had no idea about his past, so we became complicit in keeping it a secret, leaving it to the two of them to sort out. Father's friends from dissident circles never understood how or why he was able to forgive and to this day are convinced he shouldn't have, but I have all the respect for his decision. V had two daughters and if he were more "courageous", they wouldn't be able to study, travel, they'd have house checks, hearings... (like we did). That's a bad position to be in and I can imagine being there. My dad could not dismiss him for crumbling against the state police and still values him as his friend and respects him. Ironically enough, because of this I resent when someone judges those who are not able to forgive either. When I'm not in their shoes, who am I to say they are weaker or less wise. It is just so disrespectful.
Anyhow, I think I can trace it back to this story within our lives, and at least realize I have a a very hard time to be objective on the subject.
 

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