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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Friday, June 15, 2007


While doing a job for a religious television network, part of a sermon caught my ear. The topic was "forgiveness." The speaker was very articulate and entertaining. Alas, I failed to get his name.

If you filter out all the religious "judge not lest ye be judged" stuff, his message made sense from from a psychological stand point. To forgive those that wrong you, betray you or hurt you is a good thing. Carrying a bunch of anger around is a lot of work. Anger and hate can keep you awake at night, keep you stressed during the day and even cloud your judgment. Deep set old burning anger and pain can effect those around you by leaving you in a very dark mood.

So forgiveness is the thing to do. Let it go, unburden your mind and get on with your life.

But in some cases that is a darn sight easier said then done.

The trivial things are easy. Getting cut off in traffic, your spouse spills something on your good clothes, a friend forgets a lunch date, an employee's one time late arrival at work, a coworker's bad joke, etc. All of these things are no problem. The are forgiven and after a very short time, forgotten.

Then there are the events that take some time to forgive and maybe should not be forgotten. Those transgressions can only be defined by each individual. In my book, these are along the lines of having a trusted friend steal from you, a loved one that lies to you about something really important to you, a sibling that gets drunk while using your car and wrecks it. All of these things can be forgiven after time, but the life lesson should probably be filed away for future reference.

You see, the preacher and I disagree on this point. He was talking forgive and forget. My thought is that to forgive is fine, but that should not mean forget in all cases. It has something to do with that "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" thing.

But how does one forgive the the major transgressions that cross everyone's life to one degree or another? We are talking life changing, sometimes soul wrenching crimes against you. I am talking about things I have witnessed like:

  • A mate and lover that lies to you and cheats with others.
  • A coworker that takes credit for your work, stabs you in the back and costs you your job.
  • Someone that, after an argument, goes behind your back to your circle of common friends making sure that you look as bad as possible.
  • A real estate agent that cons you into buying damaged or badly zoned property.
  • Someone who deceives you about becoming your mate and coming to live with you. So you change your life and your plans toward beginning that new life with that someone you love only to find out later that was at best a fantasy on their part or, at worse, nothing more then a ploy to keep your attention.
  • A spouse that through no fault of their own is suddenly afflicted with the affection quotient of a pet rock leaving you trapped in a cold marriage.
  • Being furious with the Gods themselves for taking your one true soul mate from this life.

It's all well and good to have someone tell you to forgive everyone in the name of saving your soul. Or even someone like me that says forgiveness relieves you of mental baggage and stress.

But when the betrayal hurts so bad that it scars your soul, the deceit has you so angry that it consumes all your thoughts, the loss has has you so wracked with grief that you cannot function, how do you forgive and move on. How does any Human that is not Gandhi ever completely forgive these major transgressions?

If anyone has the answer to that question, I would sure like to hear it.

- 30 -

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
- William Blake

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