In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “That Stings!.”
There are very few days when I actually have the time to grab the news paper and look into the pages for something beyond corruption and suicide bombings. So it came as a surprise when an article in Sunday Express magazine dated 23 August 2015, actually attracted my attention.
What does it take to forgive someone who has done a grievous harm? And does it really help one forget? Even though the idea of restorative justice is yet to find a firm foothold in India, those who have experienced it says the act is twice blessed.
Do you now see why I am referring to a mere article of an Indian newspaper as the one with the stinging bite?
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” – Marianne Williamson
I have never succeeded in the art of forgiving somebody. For me to forgive, I have to learn how to forget. You see, the problem with me is that I know how to move ahead from my past, but to forget? That my friend, has always been a more challenging task for me.
What does it take to forget someone who has caused your harm – mental or physical? The article mentioned above talks about Restorative Justice, a type of system where the crime is viewed as an injury rather than a punishable offense, and Justice is seen as the touch of healing instead of call for retribution. It does sound intriguing doesn’t it? The article definitely started me to think. Does a sorry change everything? Can it be considered as enough? The article provides numerous instances highlighting the value of Restorative Justice as a way of gaining closure and finding release from the hold of your past, and it definitely raises a valid point: “What is the point of holding on to a grudge if it gave me no peace?”
Anup Surendranath, director at the Centre of the Death Penalty at National Law University, New Delhi, and one of the most vocal anti-death penalty crusaders in the country, answers the question: “When people have suffered the loss of their loved ones, for the longest time they get caught up with the idea that the elimination of the person responsible will bring them a sense of closure. It’s been well documented abroad that when that does happen, it’s very rare that any sense of closure is felt by the victim’s kin. In fact, they are still left grappling with their loss. It’s then that they need to face up to what is it exactly that they had been bottling up or what does closure really entail.”
I do agree with the basic gist of his statement. But I believe it varies, depending on the scenario and the individuals involved and the consequences of their actions. I remember the first time I changed my opinion about the phrase: “I am sorry. Please forgive me.” The scenario in my case was no where close to the pain that has been explained in the article. But to know that I came an inch close to losing the most valued person in my life did change the whole perspective of my life. Everything that I knew and believed in was shifted to a whole new axis. I don’t think I have ever been able to come out of that rut. How do you know that if you let go of the hurt, you will be okay? How do you forgive when someone whom you have idealized and worshipped has caused you that hurt? How do you find peace in forgiveness?
I have always felt that forgiveness is justified when someone shows true repentance and never repeats the action. My mom always told me that “A sorry won’t make you a lesser person. It takes a big person to say sorry and a bigger person to actually mean it and live through it.”
You know whoever said that actions speak louder than words, he/ she was right. The articles talks about how forgiveness can sometimes lead a person to the path of reformation. I believe that one can definitely move ahead with their past, but true absolution occurs only when someone actually strives to be worth of being pardoned. I believe, that peace can not be attained unless your feelings are resolved, not only with the outside world i.e. with the one who has done you the wrong, but also with your own sanity and conscience.
My introspection does often reveal great insights doesn’t it? It is just sad that I often do not listen to myself when I try the wisdom on myself. I have a feeling that I will be revisiting this post very soon in the near future.