Skip to main content

They Know Not What They Do

What is forgiveness, and how important is it really? defines forgiveness thusly:

forgive [fəˈgɪv]
vb -gives, -giving, -gave, -given
1. to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
2. to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc.)
3. (tr) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty
4. (tr) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc.)
[Old English forgiefan; see for-, give]
forgivable  adj
forgivably  adv
forgiver  n

I seek not to understand forgiveness in any religious sense, for I am not religious, but in a common world view of things. Is it necessary? Is it important? Also, and perhaps most importantly, is forgiveness something that is done more for ourselves, or for the other person(s) involved? Does forgiveness need to be an internal, as well as external, act? Does someone have to ask for our forgiveness in order to provide it to them, or can it be unsolicited? And, finally, does everyone deserve forgiveness?

These thoughts occur to me from time to time. There are many occasions in life where we have both the choice to forgive, and to accept forgiveness from others. We are none of us perfect. I have wronged others, and they in-turn have wronged me. In many ways, we are probably not aware that someone has forgiven us our trespasses, nor that we have trespassed. This does make me wonder if forgiveness is a very personal act.

In my own life, there are those whom I could forgive, whether they be peers from school who made life hell on a daily basis through their bullying, or my deceased father whose hand was quick with the belt and whose words were often poorly chosen, to certain political opponents who've lacked graciousness and thoughtfulness. In all of these cases, I have forgiven, yet have not forgotten. One wonders if that is truly forgiveness?

And what of my own trespasses? How many have I wronged? How has it affected them? I am aware of some instances, but very likely not aware of many others. Is that normal, or particularly callous? Part of me wants to know the answers to these questions, part of my does not. Because, to be blunt, the past is past. Perhaps that is what forgiveness is all about?


Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.