Forgiveness is easily agreed to encompass and involve in its totality, the pardoning of a person who wronged one. It is to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment against the person. Forgiveness in other words is remission in its purest form.
While the definition of forgiveness as a virtue and a phenomenon is hardly up for contention even the most naïve mind could appreciate its import, the exact overt physical and mental actions that would constitute forgiveness is hardly as demystified.
When can one be truly said to have forgiven another? Some may argue that when one forbears because they are left with hardly any other option and not out of genuine goodwill, such does not amount to forgiveness. What would then constitute forgiveness is remission, even when one has the abundance of power to retaliate. By all means their argument tends to inform some sense. Be what may, forgiveness in whatever form it may appear is by all means an important virtue. Its worth and its profits cannot be over flogged.
What more? Forgiveness need not be a gratuitous gift or an option to one as detriment to satisfy another. It need not always be an act in magnanimity. What when forgiveness is more than an attempt to be kind but a option tender to ones own gain?
Many a time, cities states, nations, regions, tribes and even continents plunge themselves into violent conflicts simply because they fail to implement the strategy of forbearance. They are quick to retribution and destroy themselves in the subsequent vendetta. Human beings, naturally egoistic and supercilious species will not allow an action that compromise their integrity or questions their strength to go unanswered. But another question worthy of answer is if the subsequent bloodshed and rancor was worth the point proven. A society that retaliates to every single provocation is one that will soon meet its doom. A society that comprehends the tenets of diplomacy and discretionary remission is one that will progress. It is really that simple.
Bringing it down to individuals, the same logic applies. The man who tends upon a negative reaction or who opts for hatred as against his wrong doer verges upon self-destruction. It is of little moment whether his un forgiveness is overtly manifested perhaps in a vendetta or through a retributive act or whether it remains un manifestedzn will persist as rancor malice or ill-will as against the wrong doer. In any case, the grudge holder is better off without the burden. In fact, as against blithe conclusion, keeping a wrong to heart in form of malice would be the more dangerous option. Like bile in the stomach, it can only harm you in its eventuality. An overt act of vengeance is no better. If any one was ever wise and if wisdom was ever a thing mere man could boast of, Confucius was wise and in his wisdom, he offered that any man who embarks on a journey of revenge, should dig two graves. The Chinese teacher was well disillusioned when he made this statement and whatever contrary thoughts may exist would lie to invalidism. The same luminary further spoke on forgiveness that for to be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
The ills of retaliation or vendetta cannot be overstated. When one would not forgive or tolerate, one retaliates. Retaliation breeds enmity. This enmity spells doom for both parties in the eventual wake. William Shakespeare the literary juggernaut may have portrayed this truth in his classic; Romeo and Juliet. By their story of estranged love, he painted the cons and setbacks of unforgiveness as by the fact that their tragic end was indirectly fashioned by the long term consequences of an antipathy that arose from an ill-statement. This antagonism persisted for years until the actual cause of the strife became blurred. It however still set the stage for their tragic demise. In the end, both the Montagues and the Capulets suffered great loss as a result of a worthless enmity resulting from pride, ego and unforgiveness.
The writer concludes that it was time we stopped considering forgiveness as a celestial virtue suggested by the bible or a utopic concept only of normative mention, but as a necessary strategy for societal development and healthy living. Only when we learn to forgive can we become more than mere man.
By Kelvin Isibor.