Throw Off Our Contentment

What is forgiveness?

I don't mean that nebulous, Xian, let's-feel-good, idea about some greater relief from original sin or somesuch, what hogwash. No, I mean the real forgiveness of the immediate moment, the surrender of all the bad things, the forgiveness between people and between peoples.

If I forgive you, does that mean that I don't feel bad anymore, or does it mean that I don't feel that you should feel bad anymore. Is that an appeasement of your conscience or of mine?

If you move somewhere far off and you forgive me for some long-branded ill, but we never see one another, never speak, does it matter that I've been forgiven, that I don't know?

Is it forgiveness if we agree to disagree or simply decide not to fight over this again? Are we mutually forgiven if neither of us say we're sorry? Is there forgiveness or merely willful ignorance in "Can we just go to bed?" in "It was a long time ago," or in "Our government, in recognition of armistice"?

Can you forgive something that you had forgotten or be forgiven for something you've yet to do? Is forgiveness distinct from absolution; should the offender be obligated to ask for it or can it be given unbidden? Can you decline to be forgiven or is it received simply by the act of giving? If you repeat the mistake, is that forgiveness then void and, if so, was it really forgiveness in the first place? Are we ever obligated to forgive a transgression or transgressor even if we know we don't want to?

Do the rules of forgiveness scale? Can the pardon between individuals become the lenity of clans or the deliverance of nation states? Or, like economics and morality, do the rules of the one fail to fractal into the rules of the many of many?

Does it matter what we've done or should we all be worthy of forgiveness? Is it something we have to earn or does working for amends only cheapen the emotional act? Is it just getting over or is it moving on?

Does any of it matter?

Do you forgive me? Would you, if I asked?


Violet by Design said...

and let's not even begin with buying forgiveness from the Church.

Anonymous said...

If you asked, yes immediately. I am still working on forgiving you without you asking. And it matters immensely.