I’ve found recently that forgiveness is a pretty significantly hard concept for a great many people. For whatever reason, for being one who has been shown remarkably little forgiveness, I am overall a forgiving person. If I’m honest, I would probably admit to being overly forgiving… and when it is used against you, it really hurts.
Why is it so hard for so many people to forgive and move forward? Is it because to honestly forgive, you put yourself behind your desire to care about someone else more than your pride? Is it because it’s so much easier just to remain angry? Anger allows people to rest their “standards” on some figurative mantle for everyone to “see,” or at least hear about. True forgiveness menas that we have to quiet our complaints. I’ve found that people need to talk. Especially when they feel right in a situation in which they have been “wronged.”
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” I love this quote because it is completely true that without the ability to forgive, you lack the ability to truly love someone. We’ll be disappointed by the ones we love… we’ll probably be the most deeply disappointed by the ones we care about the most. But to love them, truly, we need to actually forgive.
For me, I guess I am passionate about forgiveness for one of two reasons. First (and probably most likely), I want to reassure myself that I am not wrong in my willingness to completely and honestly forgive and move forward with the people I love. But the truth is, I love that quality about myself and I’m not going to change it. If someone wants to abuse my ability to forgive them, I know that they will cease to deserve and receive it at some point anyway. Second, I’d like to figure out why so few people are able to forgive in a real way. Moreover, I’d like to figure out why so few people are able to forgive me…
“Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love.” – Ghandi