Forgiveness is a task not easily accomplished. It requires an individual to release all negative emotions related with the transgressions against them. Importantly, it necessitates forgetting what another person has done. It is easier said than done. Rage, revenge, resentment, and sorrow are only a few of the emotions that an individual must face when considering forgiveness. Yet, those who forgive are not burden with those emotions, unlike whomever did them wrong who must suffer the ramifications of their actions.
In the light words of author Oscar Wilde, “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
” The essay by June Callwood examines two different relationships that involve wrongdoing and benefits of forgiving. The young man’s abusive father beat him with “chains, belts, sticks, and his fists” in hopes that this would deter him from “becoming” gay (Callwood par 1). Whether ignorant or unaware that homosexuality isn’t a choice, the father thought beating his son would be effective. Years later, the son has grown up and speaks out about his experience saying, “What he did is not forgivable” (Callwood par 2).
The article doesn’t delve any further into this man’s life to see if not being able to forgive his father has burdened him in anyway. Imagining that it is negatively affecting him, the man is probably living with a copious amount of built up hate towards his father, but even more towards himself. The benefits of forgiving can sometimes not outweigh the cost. As Callwood stated, forgiving hurts (par 15).
It hurts due to having to confront the offense and the offender and giving palpable evidence that their actions are no longer the source of hate or sorrow.
An individual who forgives is the so-called “better person” because they relinquish their right to do unto others as others have done to them. The mother and her biracial baby is another situation entirely. It insinuates the grandmother’s racial discrepancies against her daughter and her grandchild. The mother should be aware that she will experience hate and racism when she entered into her relationship. Her mother’s disgusted face makes her feel hurt and betrayed. Yet, the real victim in this situation is the child who had no choice over the matter.
The child will feel the effects of her mother and grandmother’s relationship if their feelings are not mended and the child may grow up to think something is wrong with her. Whether they did the right thing by not accepting forgiveness is subjective and can only be determined by how they let it affect their lives and others. Forgiveness is a choice and one has to be willing to forgive. Like with an addiction, one has to want to quit in order to make a change. The fact is that forgiveness doesn’t forfeit that person’s responsibility to own up to what they did.
In many personal experiences forgiveness for others hasn’t come easily when the offender defended himself. In a situation like this, forgiveness is a long and tedious process of reminding one’s self that they won’t allow themselves to be hurt anymore. Learning to let go of the built up emotions is a way to forgiving who did them, because there are no more feelings behind what they did. In many relationships, this way of forgiving breaks all trust and sometimes ruins the relationship as a whole. It is easier to love someone than to trust them and when that is broken all love disintegrates.
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