Forgive & Forget? Ahhhh…No!

Dear Daughter

Your Dad woke in a wonderful Holiday mood today. Let this be a warning to those coming over tomorrow for turkey! Kidding, this post does not apply to anyone coming over to our home, it was just a thought that popped up in my warped brain. So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I suppose that’s a time when we are expected to be grateful, which might include forgiving and forgetting some wrongs that people have so kindly bestowed upon us.   I think Life is Great because you do NOT have to forgive and forget … at least not in the way many people think what that means.  This may sound contrary to accepted wisdom, but it is not. I was thinking that my reasoning sounded a bit hardhearted, but I have since discovered that I’m spot on! Since writing the paragraph below, I was listening to the “Book of Joy” by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu  – two masters of  forgiveness and their philosophy actually agrees with mine… or vice versa I guess? Maybe they’ve been reading the blog? Or maybe I just completely misunderstood what they were saying? Either way, I’m comfortable with my conclusions on the subject.

Anyway,  forgiving and forgetting an insult/injury by another person against you (or against your father, but maybe not your brother?) does not mean letting it go and continuing with a relationship with that person as if nothing ever happened. Instead it means accepting what has occurred and letting the insult/injury go; to free yourself from being consumed by the act and move on with your life; do not let the act prevent you from seeking your happiness. Free yourself from thoughts of revenge and regret.  However, continuing with the perpetrator of the insult/injury will just set you up to be taken advantage of or stepped on further. At some point you become the perpetrator of your own injuries. Furthermore, not seeking revenge does not mean that you should not seek justice. The perpetrator should be punished through civil or criminal means if the level of their insult/injury rises to that level. Some people are like toddlers, they will always test you and will push wherever they find that they can get away with it and they will rarely ever stop unless it is painful for them to continue.

There will be small infractions in life by people who sometimes step out of character and it is reasonable to give such folks second chances if they are sincerely contrite about their actions. None of us are perfect and we have all said or done something stupid in our lives; but it’s how we react to that realization that either makes us good people or something less than. Let’s hope your vegan brother forgives his vegetarian Dad for consuming a little Turkey tomorrow?

“Dalai-Tutu” Dad

P.S. – this does not apply to Dads. We do and say stupid stuff all the time that should be forgiven. Kidding, you should call me or anyone out if they cross the line of common decency.

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