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forgive and forget .... or ... not ???

 
paul wheaton
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There are people in this world that expect to be held accountable for every action they take every day.

And there are people in this word that knowingly do horrible things and expect to be forgiven later.

It is the latter group that appears to have a lot of PR about how one must forgive. To utterly foget those horrible crimes of the past. They also seem to find petty things where they screwed something up, twist it up a bit and forgive me for something that they screwed up. "I have forgiven you over that matter, isn't it time for you to forgive me about burning your house down? Now, loan me a hundred bucks."

Accountability? Integrity?

I think there is an enormous difference between somebody that is trying to do the right thing and be an open communicator, and somebody that is trying to do their own thing and tries to crush all those around them. Sometimes a good person doesn't have all the information and tries to do the right thing and makes a mistake. Forgive and forget is great!

... This whole topic is huge, unweildy and not obvious. It seems that by getting it started, some folks here might have some wise words that can make the topic smaller, and the answers a little more obvious ...

Anybody have some thoughts?
 
paul wheaton
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What does "forgive" mean? It seems like one of those words that could have 30 different meanings. Does it say "I didn't trust you before because of something you did, but now I do" ???

Does gullability play in here somewhere?

It does seem like a common strategy is where somebody tries to screw you, and if you aren't stupid enough to get suckered, they then require forgiveness.


???
 
Sharmi Ragoth
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I hope this has not got anything to do with your recent breakup.. or .. has it???

But seriously, If I come across somebody who doesn't have integrity of character, who do mistakes and expect to be forgiven, I just move on, past them, past the experience. I distance myself from them, emotionally at least (or atleast I try to).
Our time on earth is precious. Forgiving mistakes is okay, but I never forget them .. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
[ September 22, 2006: Message edited by: Sharmi Ragoth ]
 
Aj Mathia
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Originally posted by Sharmi Ragoth:
I hope this has not got anything to do with your recent breakup.. or .. has it???

But seriously, If I come across somebody who doesn't have integrity of character, who do mistakes and expect to be forgiven, I just move on, past them, past the experience. I distance myself from them, emotionally at least (or atleast I try to).
Our time on earth is precious. Forgiving mistakes is okay, but I never forget them .. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

[ September 22, 2006: Message edited by: Sharmi Ragoth ]


Thrice onwards its shame on whoever
Life is short so lets gets going
You fuc*ed up today
I did yesterday
But yea life goes on
 
Deepak Bala
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I hope this has not got anything to do with your recent breakup.. or .. has it???


I was going to say Paul has gotten more philosophical after the incident

Yes i know what you mean when people do mistakes and blame it on us as if it were our fault. Just ignore the feeling because you know what the truth is and that is what is important.
 
Ben Souther
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I've always found it odd that a lot of people, on the road to some sort of personal recovery, make a point of seeking out everyone that they've wronged in the past to ask for forgiveness; not to offer an apology, but to ask for forgiveness.

Besides the immediate result of putting that person on the spot, to either grant or deny forgiveness for something they may not have come to grips with yet, it just seems selfish to go out asking for something from a person whom you've already hurt.

Instead of imposing on them and forcing them to become part of your personal road to recovery (selfish), why not just say "I'm sorry and I hope you're able to overcome any harm I've caused you." Then walk away and let them make the decision to either offer forgiveness or not.

Shouldn't the road to becoming a better person start with putting others before one's self?
[ September 23, 2006: Message edited by: Ben Souther ]
 
Deepak Bala
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not to offer an apology, but to ask for forgiveness.


I see that more of a request for forgiveness. I always figured it would start with "I am sorry i did this" and then ask that person to forgive you. Then let him/her decide.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Ben Souther:
I've always found it odd that a lot of people, on the road to some sort of personal recovery, make a point of seeking out everyone that they've wronged in the past to ask for forgiveness; not to offer an apology, but to ask for forgiveness...

Hmmm... I've never considered it that way, but I think you make a good point. It does seem to be a very self-serving gesture: Going back to someone wronged and demanding something of them in order to help the wrongdoer's recovery. :roll:

I would agree that the best we can do is offer a genuine apology. Whether it's accepted or whether "forgiveness" follows is entirely up to the other person. In fact, if they are not able to forgive, it's really their own "demon" they are battling.

Personally, I think "forgiving" means absolving shame -- not accountability. In fact, I would argue that true accountability should be kept isolated -- limited to fair retribution, untainted by emotional wrath or judgement.

So my response might be: "Yes, I've forgiven you as a person for burning down my house. That is, I recognize it as a mistake, and I don't consider you 'bad' for doing it. However, 'forgiving' the debt you incurred is another thing. You're still responsible for the damage."
 
Marilyn de Queiroz
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I think we are talking about more than one subject here.

On the one hand, we are talking about a person forgiving another person who has wronged him (or her) whether or not the person who did the perceived wrong appears remorseful/repentant and requests forgiveness.

On another hand, we are talking about a person trying to manipulate another person by telling him/her what he/she should be doing (forgiving them).

On another hand, we are talking about a person who is (probably) truly remorseful/repentant for having wronged another trying to repair a relationship by admitting to the wronged person that he/she feels in need of forgiveness. Maybe asking for forgiveness is the wrong way to admit this, but that's another question.

I think that forgiving someone means you don't expect them to repay the debt they owe you. It's nice if they do, but if you are waiting/expecting repayment/revenge/etc, you're doing more damage to yourself (becoming bitter) than you are to the person you're mad at.

On the other hand, they should be sorry if they did something wrong, but you can't control someone else, only yourself. The question is ... are you sorry for what you did wrong regardless of whether the other person is or not.

I think that you don't need to act as though everything is the same as it was before the perceived wrong occurred. In other words, I think that forgiveness does not require unbroken trust nor reinvestment of self or money in the same trusting manner as previously. Nor does it negate the consequences of the action. If someone burns a house down, does an apology, even a heart-felt apology rebuild the house? I think not. The consequences of the action remain. But actions implementing the attitude can help rebuild the house. The owner of the house also needs to accept the willingness of the house-burner to help rebuild for the house to be rebuilt jointly.

I think we've all heard stories of someone who tried to right a wrong, but the wronged person wouldn't accept the offer because they were so bitter.
 
Tom McCann
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I forgive people for my own self-preservation. The way I imagine it, we need to keep open thousands of lines of communication with other human beings and the universe at large (bet I sound like a hippy now).

If I have a disagreement or a loss of trust with someone then that places a little blockage or at least a speed-bump on one of the lines of communication. I don't want that so I forgive and let go.

I've been conned twice by the same person. After the first time, I forgave him and thus allowed him to take me for a sucker a second time. But hey, I forgave myself for being a sucker.

I'd rather take the loss and remain a trusting open human being than shut down my lines of communication one by one. That is more valuable to me than the money I lost (which was considerable).

I do understand that not everyone has the same point of view, but it works for me.

My point is this, and it sounds paradoxical, but I forgive for selfish reasons - to preserve my integrity and to keep myself open.
 
Devesh H Rao
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I forgive easily... but do not forget.
 
Jason Cox
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I'm quick to forgive and quick to apologize. I try to always be accountable for my actions.

I've noticed over the years that people who hold themselves accountable seem to have the greatest success in their life. A person who takes responsibility for their actions tends to act with more integrity and often receive much more respect.

People who run around placing blame and trying to make everything seem like someone elses fault are not people you can count on. If they just flat out get caught then they do ask for forgiveness, but they may not really be sorry. You know you can't count on those people.

People who always seek after forgiveness must do so because they aren't seeking to do the right thing, so they continually find themselves in bad situations because they don't realize their acts of selfishness often work to their own detriment.

I used to be one of those people and my life was not better for it. Since I have become a believer in making my own success and opportunities I have advanced quickly at my company, have gained the respect of peers and superiors alike, and generally lead a much happier life.

I don't worry about making mistakes anymore. If I make a mistake I try to make amends right away. If I can fix it I will. If I can't fix it I will offer apologies and make steps to try and not make the same mistake again. A person who would rather ask for forgiveness can usually be counted on to make the same mistake more than once.

Really this sounds like it's about character and how people act. Everyone makes mistakes, but I have no interest or sympathy for people who create their own problems. The person I am interested in helping or working with is the one who admits their mistakes and tries to use it as a lesson to better themselves.

You can ask my forgiveness without apologizing and you'll probably get it. You won't get my respect though.

To be honest I am not looking for anyone to apologize to me or ask forgiveness from me. What I would prefer is that a person learn from their mistakes and show me through their actions that they are not going to do it again. Apologies are all well and good, but actions truly speak louder than words.
 
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Rob Aught:

To be honest I am not looking for anyone to apologize to me or ask forgiveness from me. What I would prefer is that a person learn from their mistakes and show me through their actions that they are not going to do it again. Apologies are all well and good, but actions truly speak louder than words.


Way to go Rob..... You will make a good leader.

One of the things that I learnt from my first PM is who is also my mentor, is every decision is ours at the end of the day, so if things do not go as planned then introspection is necessary, not to find out why things went wrong but rather to find how things went wrong. Why is something which will not give answers How on the other hand will show what needs to be avoided next time around.

I personally say thank you or sorry only when I really mean it and the same goes for forgiveness too. The first question I ask myself is, if I was in that position would I have done the same thing that the person did and if the answer is Yes I forgive and also try to forget, If the answer is NO I forgive but do not forget as that is a learnin for me not to repeat.
 
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