Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends.”

on June 11, 2012

Fred Rogers

Wow.  How hard is it to forgive someone?  I’m not talking about the careless sorority girl driving her daddy’s beige Toyota Camry that cut you off on your way to work.  I mean someone who really cheesed you off.  You know, that boss or professor who has it out for you;  he won’t give you credit where credit is due but instead he hands you pile after pile of steaming dung.  Or worse, how do you forgive that friend who betrayed and stole from you, that significant other that was unfaithful, that parent who was never part of your life.

Now I’ve heard it all “Men forget but never forgive.  Women forgive but never forget.”  “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” And from Oscar Wilde, one of our favorites, “Forgive your enemies.  Nothing annoys them more.”  And yet, I don’t have a great set of words to describe how difficult it can be to extend that forgiveness to somebody; I can only say that it is far easier to hold a grudge against them.

It’s hard to forgive somebody who has not apologized, because we want to hear them say they were wrong. we were right.  It’s hard to forgive somebody who has apologized, because we need them to know just how upset we are with them.  But it takes a special kind of mature sophistication to forgive unconditionally, and that it what we should strive for.

Somebody is surely reading this post saying “I’m easy going.  I have no problem forgiving my transgressors.”  And yet, I bet even that reader was shocked when the Amish community publicly forgave the schoolhouse shooter. But why?  How is it so unnatural for us to forgive?

Let’s make a collective goal this week:  let’s all forgive somebody.  Think of how many relationships could begin to heal if each of the few people who read this blog each day would forgive somebody.   Who have you been holding that grudge against? Why?  Can you figure out a way to extend the olive branch?

I hope you all have a marvelous week.

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2 responses to ““Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends.”

  1. […] “Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our fr… (bloggingonthebrightside.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Completely agree with this! I’ve learned through life that people have a hard time trying to forgive, both for little and big things. The majority of the people seems to find it challenging, myself included. I’m just glad that unlike many people I realize this and I’m trying to change it. One step at a time!

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