Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Forgiveness



"You ought certainly to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing."

That is the ineffably delightful Reverend Collins, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Then there's this, spoken by Elizabeth Bennet from the same novel, perhaps the closest of the inimitable Jane's characters to herself, who says "Maybe it’s that I find it hard to forgive the follies and vices of others, or their offences against me. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever."

So suppose someone you love or are fond of does something to hurt you.  Do you forgive them?  What does forgiveness mean in this context?  I am very aware of my own flaws, and it seems to me that if I expect others to "forgive" my mistakes and unkindnesses and all the wrongs I have done ppl over the years, I have to be willing to forgive them.  But what is this "forgiveness"?  Tolerance of others' follies?  Indifference to what they do or did?

Consider it in another way.  After someone you love/are fond of repeatedly hurts you, ignores you, makes it plain they don't care about you, what then?  Well, for me, it's a bit like Elizabeth's Bennet's reaction.  I stop caring about them.  Forgiveness becomes irrelevant.  The warm feelings I once had vanish.  It's as if there is a bank account in me, a bank account of fondness or even stronger, love, and it gets exhausted.  I can pretend to like them, but that's fake.  And anyway, I don't care any more.    And if that person comes to you and asks for "forgiveness"?  What then?  Well, certainly, I forgive.  But it's too late.  Friendship is gone.  And forgiveness is therefore irrelevant.

Forgive and forget, they say.  But what if you just forget, and the deep love or friendship between you dies and cannot be resuscitated?  What does forgiving mean then?


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