We think we have the right to forgive every person who have committed wrongdoings.
But, we don’t.
The prerogative to forgive does not immediately apply to every person in existence. It only immediately so to those who are directly affected by the wrongdoings.
If you are directly affected by one of those wrongdoings, you are literally the only person who has the right to forgive those who have harmed you.
Your loved ones have the right to forgive once you have manifested WHOLEHEARTED forgiveness. After they have expressed THE EXACT SAME THING or AFTER THEY ARE DECEASED, the right now transfers to your acquaintances and also to complete strangers who have heard about your suffering.
But, what if you are deceased?
Obviously, that right immediately goes to your loved ones. Oh, and when I said “loved ones”, I meant it. Your immediate family members do not immediately count ones.
Just because you are related to someone, that does not mean you love one another. If anything, it is no secret that family members have not only trivialised the sufferings of their so-called loved ones, but also have intentionally inflicted pain on them.
If your best friends have shown how much they care about you more than your immediate family have, then they are your true “loved ones” and your family can fuck themselves!
I believe this problem exists because we communalise sufferings.
We believe in the idea that if one person suffers, every other person definitely feels the exact same pain. We believe that there is nothing wrong about pretending to feel the exact same pain.
Even if someone experiences the exact same affliction that you have or had, it does not mean you fully understand his/her suffering. Literally everybody is different; how you live your life won’t always work on other people. Forgiveness is not a universally effective antidote.
Those who suffer do not need our pretense. They need our empathy.
Empathy does not require us to pretend. Empathy requires us to simply acknowledge that what they are experiencing is painful to them, even though we don’t feel the pain ourselves.
This anger of mine has been slowly brewing for years and the brewing started to intensify when I saw internet users who believed the Nazi war criminals should be forgiven and we should just drop the idea of prosecuting them just because they are old.
It deeply disturbs me because not only they trivialised the severity of human atrocity committed by the Nazis, they don’t even have any family members who endured the concentration camps.
Well, I am inclined to believe so because they didn’t mention having victims and survivors of the holocaust as family members. If they want their pleas to be more emotionally impactful, shouldn’t they mention about having those relatives?
Either they suck in persuasion or they are assholes.
My anger peaked when one of those plea makers cited the post-genocide Rwanda as a stellar example of forgiveness.
Except, it is a dreadful example.
When interviewed by Humans of New York, Rwandan president Paul Kagame said the country decided to not punish those who partook in the genocide.
Why? Because he said it was impossible to imprison almost the entire country.
Essentially, what Rwanda did was not forgiveness. What they did was absolution, a state-sanctioned formality, which itself driven by admittedly much needed yet still callous sense of pragmatism.
It is just dishonest to call this “forgiveness”, isn’t it?
Forgiveness is supposed to benefit humanity. Instead, it is being used to undermine it.
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