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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > revenge/forgiveness

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Yesterday I listened to the Speaking of Faith program on revenge and forgiveness. Here's a link:


Anyway, I thought about revenge and forgiveness all day afterward. Are you more of a revenge person or a forgiveness person? Are you somewhere in the middle? Are you good at forgiveness? Are you good at being forgiven? Do you go for revenge?

I want to think about this a little, but I can say I'm not a revenge person. I can forgive fairly easily, as I get older, but I struggle with moving forward and trusting and the like. One of the points on the program revolved around fear and whether or not you can forgive people who are still a threat to hurt you. Forgiveness doesn't mean you go back and put yourself in danger, e.g. a woman may forgive her ex-husband for hitting her but that doesn't mean they're going to get remarried.

I hate hurting other people and I'm pretty hard on myself when I do. So I struggle with the idea of others forgiving me when I don't feel like I deserve it.

Heavy topic for a Monday morning, eh? What do you think?

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Unless you're never going to see that person again, I think revenge is a bad idea, no matter how tempting it may be.
I'm more of a forgiveness/come to an agreement kind of person, anyways. Unless the person is just impossible to deal with, in which case I use a combination of avoidance and extreme impersonality. It works really well with those awful library patrons you can't stand, but who are library regulars.

message 3: by Cyril (new)

Cyril I find that avoiding all contact with other humans makes the point moot.

message 4: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (dreamelis) | 53 comments I vacillate between wanting to go Cyril's route and needing contact with other humans. I do have HUGE trust issues. But I think forgiving and forgetting are two different things. I think I'm missing the revenge gene. Not to say I don't get angry. I just don't want revenge. I don't really see a point. That said, I do tend to forgive TOO many times, according to some people. But that doesn't mean once I've forgiven a person I put all my trust in them again. Once you've hurt me/ betrayed my trust, you will not get a chance to do it again. There are a few people who are exceptions to that rule as well, but they're my weaknesses and I don't put my trust in them because they deserve it. I just can't help it.

message 5: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Charly is that when you hold you hand out flat and bite it? Saying you'll never forget? ;)

I've found it sometimes helps me to be able to forgive if I try hard to see whatever happened from the other's perspective. I said sometimes -- not always.

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 19 comments When I've been hurt, or at least hurt enough often enough, I don't tend toward forgiveness. I keep seeing the traits in the person that led them to be able to go that way. I can see where Charly's coming from. People just don't change fast enough for me to be able to forgive them. I hope they learn from their interactions with me, but I don't want them to keep practicing on me, you know?

message 7: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments For my own mental health, I forgive, or at least put incidents in the back of my mind, but I don't forget. Once I've been lied to, I will never trust that person again. As for revenge, I wait until the person's karma catches up with them. It ususally does. If I were vengeful, I would sue my X for the 48K he owes me since he stopped paying me alimony 20 years ago when I was recovering from cancer and had massive medical bills. Revenge is just too stressful and negative and can stop a person from moving ahead.

message 8: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Revenge is stressful and negative. We just don't get too much out of it but maybe momentary satisfaction. I think the desire for retribution is one of our (humanity's) most unattractive features. It really doesn't accomplish anything. (One of the many reasons I'm anti-death penalty.)

message 9: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I have a hard time defining the word forgiveness--what do you guys think it means? At one time I thought it meant you forgive and forget and act like it never happened--which is really dumb sounding to me now, because how do I protect myself from future injury from the same person if I really act like it never happened.
But I don't have an alternate definition.
I've been hammered over the head with the Bible and the demand for forgiveness--since it says god won't forgive us unless we forgive--by the person who did the wrong things, no less.
I find the issue very confusing.
I don't feel the urge to get revenge. I do feel the urge to protect myself and it it's appropriate, other people. But then I just want to go about my business and live my life and not be bothered by the miscreant ever again.

message 10: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I agree, it isn't wisdom to act like something that happened didn't happen, and it isn't honest either. I like your definition. I guess if I can think about an incident or person and not get upset or angry or sad, the person doesn't have space in my head anymore. And why should they, right?

message 11: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments They don't. That's what I'm working so hard on is not letting people, undeserving people, at that, have space in my head and the power over me to get me upset, which they absolutely do not have any right to.

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