January 24, 2014 by phicks2012
People often say that the only way to move on in life is to unburden yourself of anger and to forgive those who have mistreated, cheated, or otherwise abused you. They say that’s the only way, and if that works for them then I’m delighted to hear it. I really am.
On the other hand, I’m afraid that while I personally can forgive accidental or unintentional harm I simply cannot forgive those who inflict deliberate harm on others — and that I don’t feel even a tad bit “burdened” by that fact. I believe, while I don’t generally dwell upon it, that there are just some people (usually “formerly” in my life) who simply don’t deserve to have their various iniquities forgiven by me. End of discussion.
Priests offer forgiveness and absolution to those who truly repent of their various sins, and that’s their vocation and their calling, but I’m not a priest, and the people I don’t forgive are unrepentant. There are, in this world, people who go blithely and guiltlessly along feeling no remorse whatsoever, and in fact taking great pleasure in, and feeling empowered by, the manipulation and mistreatment of others. Such people are bullies and they deserve neither trust nor respect — nor, in my opinion, forgiveness.
So I had a discussion the other day about this subject with someone who basically felt that I was wrong to hold grudges and was damaging myself by continuing to feel animosity toward people who have deliberately caused me harm. I was supposed to forgive them for my own sake, and that’s all very noble as a sentiment, but I’m afraid I’m more an eye-for-an-eye than a turn-the-other-cheek sort of person.
Fortunately, I can count on one hand the number of villans (still numbered among the living, at least) for whom I harbor such deep animosity, but I’ll admit that I feel no compulsion whatsoever to forgive those people. I take a certain amount of pride in considering that people who have hurt me deliberately are not going to get another chance to do so, because I’m not going to give them one. I’ve been harmed in the past by people known for this sort of behavior because other people chose to forgive them and not to speak ill of them to others, so I also believe in warning other people about such folks, just as I would warn them, and want them to warn me, not to eat at a restaurant known to have rats in the kitchen and a cook who spits in the soup.
There are quite a few more people (numerically speaking) on my I’d-really-rather-not-deal-with-this-idiot list, but that’s a different matter. People can be annoying and difficult without being unrepentant asshats, after all. But to the unrepentant asshats, villans, and bullies of the world, I’m sorry but forgiveness is probably right out of the question. May all have eyes to see you for what you are, may you receive neither trust nor respect, and may the world cease to remember you an hour before you pass away. I think that pretty much covers it, don’t you?
Have a nice day!