Sometimes when I am reading, there will be a line or observation in the book that resonates with me, or stands out in some way.
The most recent one was in the book Allegiant by Veronica Roth (I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first 2, but that’s by the by).
This was an observation about forgiveness. That when someone wrongs you, you both carry the weight of that wrong until forgiveness occurs.
I sat there and thought……’that’s not true’ because it assumes the wrong-doer feels guilt or remorse. And the burden then seems to fall on the one who was wronged, to alleviate that by forgiving.
How does that make any sense????
I was brought up to understand/believe that if you wronged someone in some way then you demonstrated your remorse….or even just acknowledged openly your responsibility….by apologising. Even if you weren’t remorseful of your actions ….there may even have been a good reason for them……if you didn’t intend the outcome then you apologised.
Surely *that* is the important mechanism here?!
Without any show of remorse…or recompense, responsibility etc….how can the wrong-doer be forgiven?
Why should they be?
And for the one who is wronged – they most definitely carry the weight of the hurt, betrayal, spite ….or whatever. They shouldn’t have the burden of “forgiveness” placed on them as well!!
It seems like a concept/system/philosophy set up to soothe the wrong-doer, when you look at it like that.
Whereas the wrong-doer deserves to carry guilt. They should be ‘punished’ in some way. Ideally, the bigger/worse the pain inflicted then the more the ‘punishment’.
For some people, the losses resulting from their actions could be punishment enough. Or just that knowledge that they damaged someone. But that assumes that they cared about whoever they harmed.
But generally….if you are a half decent human being…..you would apologise.
But is there still a burden on the one wronged to forgive? It would seem so.
But some wrongs cannot be forgiven. Some things it is impossible to accept and let go of. So, the author can go stuff it on that one, I think.
If someone’s actions define them as scum – nasty, malicious, cruel, traitorous….whatever – then they have placed that definition on themselves by acting/behaving that way.
The ones they have hurt are not going to alter, influence or change that by forgiving them….or not, are they?
These are just some of the thoughts that rattle through my brain, in the deepest, darkest parts of the night, when my brain’s not hyperactive but I still cant sleep.