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September 27, 2013

Slow To Forget & Quick To Forgive

Photo: Denis Burin on Pixoto.

I have learned a bit about myself over the last couple of days.

Through an experience with a friend, I have understood that I play the devil’s advocate quite a bit. For better or worse, I am inclined toward placing myself in the shoes of another to understand motivation for action.

I genuinely feel that if I am unable to place myself in the mind and body of my opposition, then I see it as selfish. And of course this is circumstantial, for I have never been hurt to the extent that I was unable to forgive, but I believe that it is our duty as human beings in this world to provide second chances.

Yes there are moments right before wrong is done and harm is committed where the tides could have turned, for everyone chooses their path. But there are also times when those few precious moments don’t seem available.

I read recently that so much of the wrong in this world is originated in human beings who have a disconnect between their own mind and body. People find themselves so engulfed in charged emotion that they are unable to identify what their needs are. They are so in a place of habit and influence that they don’t understand that they have a choice.

Everyone always has a choice.

And while people have a choice whether or not to behave poorly and selfishly, on the reverse, we have a choice to forgive or not. Forgiving doesn’t equate surrender, and forgiving doesn’t parallel forgetting. Forgiving to me expresses an awareness that we are all human.

I was hurt very badly by someone recently, and I was tested and challenged and forced to make some decisions that were difficult. But throughout it all, I thought before I acted. I calculated what was the best thing for everyone in the situation, and I didn’t ever believe that my forgiveness or avoidance only benefited myself.

I am quick to forgive, I am a realistic optimist. I find myself having a very logical head on my shoulders, with a tint of “assuming the best in everybody.”

If someone hurts me, I search for reasons as to why and assume that they were fearful for something in their life and their negative behavior was that fear’s manifestation. And if I can discover it, I can forgive it.

We were not put on this earth to interact seamlessly.

We were meant to learn and gain from one another. And what good does it do me to be unforgiving? Would I want someone to reject my apology?

I maintain the fact that while I am quick to forgive, I am slow to forget. I take to heart people’s actions and I always remember them. If they are repeated, then I am slower to forgive. But second chances are deserved in this life, especially if a lesson is learned.

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Ed: Catherine Monkman

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