Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Forgiveness: a necessary evil?

I have been thinking alot about the nature of forgiveness. The previous post and our discussion in class on Monday have further provoked my thoughts. What is the nature of forgiveness? Can someone ever truly forgive even as the memory lingers? We can see forgiveness as foundational in such religions as Buddhism and the Amish sect of Christianity. The fact that the Amish forgave Carl Roberts so quickly and seemingly effortlessly will never cease to amaze me. Is there really a power of forgiveness? I like to think yes, someone can truly forgive an action and thus heal from the past, but I am not so sure. It is awfully hard to forgive someone who has viciously murdered you family. What about someone who orchestrated a genocide such as Hitler? Can we ever really forgive him? Is there a certain degree of transgression which we can forgive? Where do we draw the line?

1 comment:

Rme said...

In class on Monday someone said that because we can never truly eliminate things that have impacted our lives from our memories we can never truly forgive. I disagree. I think that people always have the power and ability to forgive. The question is, do people WANT to forgive. If I watched as my whole family was killed before my eyes I don't think I would ever want to forgive. I did however find myself forgiving Erno Shultz when he came to visit. I forgave him because even though he may still believe some of the things he did was right, he is still trying to figure it all out, still trying to make sense of it and after all these years I find that commendable. I think that the power resides in a person's will. If you are willing to fogive then you can, but there are some things people simply can not will themselves to forgive. The murderer of your family might be one. I also believe that there is something about forgiveness that makes us feel better. Forgiveness brings a degree of closure, besides, it becomes emmotionally exhausting to stay angry all the time.