Forbes released its list of the most disliked NFL players and that ex-dog fighter, Michael Vick, is at the top of their list. He served nearly 2 years in prison after pleading guilty to the crime. Since then he's disavowed dog fighting and has been working with the the Humane Society to end dog fighting.

This post isn't about Michael Vick. He just starts the discussion.

What about forgiveness? When does one deserve it? When does one give it? Does one do one's best to forget after forgiving?

What do you think?

Tags: Humane, Michael, Society, Vick, forgiveness

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Belle is spot on. Forget the offender - it is YOU who suffers if you do not forgive. However she goes on to say: "the right to get and feel angry. But channeling your anger appropriately is key". Sure, but really anger is the antithesis of forgiveness. You have the right to be angry but it is suggested that one should do their best not to exercise that right - for one's OWN sake.

Kris talks about the religious aspects. I'm very alone in this, but, in my opinion the sacrament of Confession is  one of the better constructs out of Catholicism. Forget God's forgiveness - it's good to recognize one's own misdeeds and vocalizing or, in some way structuring or formalizing them helps. 

To me this new age "forgive yourself" is approaching the problem backwards. If I commit a misdeed I need to remember it in order for me to avoid repeating it. I don't understand "forgive yourself". I'm guessing it's something women are told. Belle...???

"Wrong. Anger is par of the grieving process to heal."

It is not necessary to feel anger when you've been wronged. 99% of personal transgressions involve ego being assaulted. An enlightened person can manage to laugh at such transgressions because their ego is already ebbed - nothing to offend. I'll grant that, for the vast majority of people, anger may be part of the process. This is because they are taught that their ego is all important. They are taught, "look after yourself first", "me time", whereas those seeking enlightenment are taught to seek the behaviour of water - find your way to the lowest level, elevate and support all others around you, attach to nothing. 

I agree that 'forgive yourself' is applied too liberally, but it seems to be a back swing from more rigid senses of sin and stigma which ranged from things which actually caused harm to things which are utter fucking nonsense.

If I had to have a general principle, it would be to accept my humanity including my fallibility, and to try to take responsibility for when shit goes wrong because of it. Does confession generally fulfil the second half? Not rhetorical; I have never done it myself.

No, I can't. I'm not a Tao Master, or anything close. Further, as your post is clearly disingenuous  sarcasm, I suggest you're not ready anyway.

Lovely. Made my evening. Thank you.

As far as Vick goes - I believe that he simply didn't view fighting dogs as lovable creatures at the time he was pitting them against each other.  I'm certain he had no idea how shocked the masses would be by such activities.  I believe he has changed his view on the matter, paid a serious price for his lack of judgment, and I have no problem with the guy.

In general I'm not nearly as likely to forgive someone as I am to just forget about their transgression.  If they fucked up, well, we all fuck up.  If emotion got the better of them, well I can understand that.  The only question in my mind is whether their transgression represents their standard behavior or a temporary lack of judgement.

Betrayals are the hardest to forgive. It's hard to move on from a betrayal, whether it be adultery or a presumed "friend" doing something against you behind your back. These sorts of things are the hardest to forget, much less forgive.

I've been conducting a sort of informal survey for years - asking the odd person if there was anyone in the world that they could honestly say they hated.  Some say they don't truly hate anyone.  Some people have named politically charged figures (like Vick).  Most name someone that they at one time loved - sometimes an ex-best friend but usually an ex-romantic-partner.

It has always amazed me that the vast majority of personal hatred seems to be directed at former loved ones.

Well, romantic love isn't true love. It's love in name only. Actually, it's a form of obsessive-compulsiveness. And it's selfish from the get-go. "I want this person in my life. I want them to myself. I want them forever." True love is like a parent who sacrifices for a child or a friend who sacrifices to the benefit of their friend.

That is how it always starts out alright, at least for me. If you are really lucky that obsessive pseudo-love can be slowly replaced by the real thing, A deep to-the-grave romantic love. When you love their faults even. I think the best analogy is from the children's story "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."


The rate of divorce tells me it's not lookin' good.

Yeah.  I know some people who never recovered.


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