1. The act of forgiving; the state of being forgiven; as, the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.

2. Disposition to pardon; willingness to forgive.


"You said you never wanted to see me hurt. Did you close your eyes then when I cried?"


I've forgiven people for all manner of things: stealing, lying, cheating, slashing my cars tires to name only a few. That being said I still don't quite understand forgiveness. I don't think most people do.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." - Mahatma Gandhi

Now that, that I can stand behind. What do you think? Have you seen a weak person (who isn't co-dependent) forgive someone else? Frankly, my observation is that the weakest people confuse blame and responsibility.

John F. Kennedy once said, "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."

The older I get the more I believe those who have been wronged should hold others accountable. I've given my trust, my hope, and my heart to people who use them and throw them out like yesterday's newspaper. Some call it recycling, others call it "out with the old, in with the new," but I call it narcasistic.

When someone treats you poorly can you truly forget? One thing about living in a physical body with a physical brain is memory. Baring a stroke or massive drug abuse leading to a cerebral embolism painful memories can't simply be swept aside. It's unrealistic to be kicked in the groin and forget about it when your balls are so swollen you can't sit comfortably.

"Forgiveness is not an emotion, it's a decision." - Randall Worley.

What does forgiveness mean if you do it because you feel like it? Let me put it another way, how meaningful would it be to you if your lover said, "I love you" then started looking for someone else behind your back? Do you accept their love as valid? Should they recieve your forgiveness if after being caught in the act they blame everything from the weather to their car's transmittion?

For the sake of argument assume forgiveness is a choice and it's a choice strong people make.

There's an axiom, "We always hurt the ones we love."

So, if we "love" people so much, why is it so damn easy to forgive the jackass that cut us off in traffic and almost caused a four car pileup while it's so hard to forgive those we're closest to? Coult it be because we gave them something valuable? Our honesty? Our time? Our hearts? Our trust?

Sir Francis Bacon once said, "We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; be we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends."

We should forgive our friends as quickly as our enemies. Forgiveness should be a choice made out of love and understanding. We'll never forget what's happened before--and in those times we've hurt others we should remember our actions are now scars upon others' psyches--but if we do truly love and care about others, we should be able to forgive them for anything.

That's true strength.

I don't want to come across as self righteous though, I can't always forgive. Personally, I believe forgiveness isn't simply given, it's earned. Mignon McLaughlin once wrote, "What we forgive too freely doesn't stay forgiven."

To forgive too easily allows others to take advantage of us and teaches them that such behavior is okay. If we are socially responsible then it follows that forgiveness should be given when others have acknowledged their mistakes, otherwise we're sending the message that it's okay to trample on us, we'll take responsibility for their behavior and choices.

Forgiveness is earned and should be freely given when we hear two simple words: "I'm sorry."

For those that say we need to forgive to heal ourselves I have this to say: Forgiveness given too easily and without acceptance from those that have hurt us is nothing more than a band aid covering the real problem and teaches us nothing, Karmically speaking. To truly heal ourselves we instead must use the ideas of acceptance, compassion, courage, empathy, honesty, love, and strength.

These things heal ourselves.

Use forgiveness to heal others when they are ready.