One of the things that I enjoy about writing it is the personal growth I get out of it. Since I started writing, I learned there is much more research than expected. As an autodidact, it’s in my wheelhouse, so there is a natural fit. Anyway, I get swept into some interesting research areas as I think about the plot, how the characters fit, and their motivations. (My search history makes me look like a pacifist that is making bombs)
So Waxing philosophically, I am thinking about forgiveness. What it is to forgive, what it takes to be forgiving. Can forgiveness be a lie we tell ourselves? How does the act affect people? As it turns out, forgiveness (now that I am thinking about it) is more than just one thing. There are a lot of different ideas about different kinds of forgiveness, but I think it can be boiled down to two. Conditional and unconditional.
But what is the real meaning of forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
“Regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.” Ok, let’s explore that for a sec.
To me, on the face of it, that is a selfless and altruistic act. Kinda nice. But with all things tied to true altruism (I am a fan of the subject for some reason), intention is a significant element. Of course, there are circumstances to consider, but without blah blah blahing about hundreds of scenarios. Do they deserve your forgiveness? To me, putting a condition on it, such as “To deserve it,” goes against the altruistic aspect. And makes your intentions personal. A quasi-condition? Forgive if they ask for it? That is still conditional.
The “generally” defined meaning of forgiveness stated before summarizes the true altruistic spirit of forgiveness. Anything else is not.
As I examine these ideas for my character’s benefit, I think about my feelings on the subject. I always felt I was a pretty forgiving person, but I will lean heavier on the Altruistic intention of it.
PSA, I am not writing a self-help book nor am I a psychologist. These are just random thoughts to organize my brain and get the damned story finished 😉
2 thoughts on “Forgiveness”
Onward and upward
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