Forgiving someone can be the hardest thing. How do you forgive someone who has caused permanent harm to yourself or others you care about? This is a question I am mulling over at the moment. It is too easy to shout and scream and plan all forms of retaliatory action against the perpetrators of your pain, but it is much harder and the wisest course of action to try and analyse why someone has behaved the way they have.
You may know someone who deserves severe punishment for what they have done. The pain and harm they have inflicted on you or your loved ones - but my question is: How does that change things? So we inject them with lethal, toxic doses, hang them, pulse thousands of volts of electricity through their bodies, arrange for a vigilante group to sneak into their homes at night and violently assault them until they are almost dead...
Then what? The next person who commits a heinous crime, we then do the same thing to them. And then what? What has actually changed? Not much, if anything, would be my guess.
It is easy to be angry at a person for their misdeeds but much more difficult to critically analyse our most basic structures, environments, social settings, etc. and attempt to understand how these conditions could have arisen.
If I consider which is truly the best route for me it would have to be the forgiveness route. A route which has longer term benefits for all and enables me to move forward with my life without being engulfed by someone else's behaviour. I want to be free to enable my heart to make space for all the wonderful experiences ahead. A space which could be filled be poison from pain, fear and loathing.
I am not a theist and so do not cling to a belief system which states 'they will be dealt with on judgement day' or some such. As a scientific naturalist my focus is on trying to understand why circumstances arise and what can we, as parts of our various societies and groups, do to understand and proactively make this world a better place.
I choose to free my mind - even when the chips are down. If I fall or falter in this goal I try my hardest to rise, dust myself off and try again. So true. So my choice is to forgive as I would like people to forgive me. In any case, in the whole scheme of things, when looking at the pale blue dot called earth we really are nothing special at all - so why waste time plotting and planning to inflict pain and suffering on others when our time here is fleeting?
What do you think?