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Forgive but don't forget

Nazneen Ali Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Forgive but don

“Thank you, sorry and please” have been taught as the three magical words that makes an individual a good human being. People often use these words as a part of their normal conversation without even realizing the importance and significance of these words. It is used because everyone assumes that using these makes them a good individual. However, the word “sorry” when used in a normal conversation is just a word without a deep regret or without a genuine intention of not repeating the same mistake again. Same goes when saying “thank you” to someone. The word is there, but the gratitude and realization that the other person has done something really good is missing. So is for “please”, where the intention is just to get the work done or a request fulfilled, without any feelings beneath. The dictionary is full of such words which can be categorized as the words of etiquettes intended to make one a better person and the world a better place. No doubt, the usage of such words sound soothing to the ears and so are needed. Yet, the real life implementation and implication of such words is missing and this lack of understanding of the deeper meaning, the lack of intentions dilute the impact that these words could actually create.

Same goes for the good quotes of life that are taught. It is often said, “Forgive and forget”. Forgiving is a noble deed that sets one free from the pain and distress of being hurt; it relieves one from the burden of revenge; it makes one stronger in accepting the realities of life, accepting the real face of the other person and reshaping one's life in light of the truth that yes someone did wrong to us, yet we will not do the same to them; instead, continue with our goodness hoping that this forgiveness might make the other person realize his wrong doing and with that realization the person may change for good. However, forgetting after forgiving is not that can be always advocated to be correct.

The Chinese proverb says, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”. This proverb can be extended for “I experience and I learn”. This learning can be both positive and negative. The positive aspect of the lesson learnt from someone's bad behavior is to remember the fact that one has to distance himself from that person to safeguard his own personal interest, to ensure his well-being. The negative aspect of this learning is imitation. By experiencing the outcome of the bad behavior of the other person, one learns and discover ways to behave in the same manner as he experienced, which is rather worse and the damage done will be much more than the original wounds that one got by the behavior of the other person. That's where “don't forget” finds its place. One should forgive the person who did wrong to him so that he will do away with the feeling of taking revenge. However, one should never forget the person, never forget the pain he underwent. Never forgetting the person will help one to make a safe distance so that he doesn't end up getting hurt again. It’s difficult to accept and not true always but yes wrong doers have a tendency towards wrong deeds, so better wear a mask when dealing with such infectious people. Secondly if one doesn't forget how badly he was hurt, his cognitive mind will never allow him to behave in the similar way and hurt someone else. This way the chain of bad behavior will get broken and goodness will spread.

In the current era where we are seeing wars between Nations one after the other, we are witnessing people being killed, people becoming homeless, we are ought to sympathize with those who are undergoing the miseries, those who are suffering. These miseries, these sufferings, these wounds are leaving a scar on the face of Humanity. Though the sufferings of those who are directly impacted will never end soon as they will be left with the painful memories of their loss, the world will keep moving forward and with time these scars on the face of Humanity will become lighter and the wrong doers will be forgiven. But it is important that their inhumane acts, their cruel deeds should never be forgotten because this remembrance will lay the foundation for new regulations to be formed, new acts to be brought in action, new laws to be passed and new international bodies to be formed to safeguard the interest of the innocent masses.

Whatever we read in the newspapers about the atrocities that these war victims are undergoing, the extreme brutalities they are facing and the acts of barbarism they are witnessing has left the world in a state of shock. It is a time to think and analyze where we as a world are moving towards. It’s a time for everyone to think and decide the future course of action. Should this not be forgiven and should this series of revenge continued paving the way for another round of such atrocities or should there be a way to forgive and move forward accepting and accommodating; yet not forgetting the wrong that was done. Not forgetting the miseries and sufferings, not forgetting the fact that if this pain is forgotten the world might end up in a non-ending vicious circle of pain and revenge.

General Secratary, Writers'Forum Kuwait


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