Showing posts with label Oscar Wilde. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oscar Wilde. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The 'F' Word

"Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive." C.S. Lewis

 The concept of forgiveness is bound up with the idea of healing and with one person asking for forgiveness, or expressing their sorrow for some wrong they committed against another and the other person forgiving them. 

Some believe the purist form of forgiveness is the sort that is not asked for. Think of the story of the prodical son ...there is no mention of forgiveness - the father just rejoices that he has his son back and throws a party.

 The bible has an abundance of instructions on loving your enemies and forgiving your tresspassers. " For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you," Mathew 6:14

Oscar Wilde's quote "Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much." has a cynical and ironic twist with an element of truth in it. 

John F Kennedy's quote "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." is I believe probably a wise and a cautious approach especially if you are a politician although when you look at history this notion probably did not help JFK much.

Another theory of forgiveness is that we cannot say we have truly forgiven unless we can forget, totally... and start again with a clean slate, leaving the past in the past. This idea is a 'big ask' and some people would argue that only people who are either deeply spiritual or very naive would have the courage to be able to do this. The thing about the past is that it is there for us to learn from so it would be very naive to ignore any lessons that we may learn from it; lessons about ourselves and the people that we interact with - ignoring what happened in the past may not be the most sensible thing to do.

When you type 'forgiveness quotes' into the google search engine you will be rewarded with a myraid of quotes and countless ideas and advice about the need to find forgiveness in your heart when wronged. The importance of forgiveness, or the importance of finding the ability to forgive could not be lost on any of us. 

The truth is that it is only by allowing ourselves to forgive that we will find peace of mind, that we will be able to put to rest wrongs (or perceived wrongs) against us.

One other point to recognise is that often it is people who we love that we feel do us wrong - another reason why forgiveness is such an important concept.

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” Bryant H Mc Gill.



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