Monday, June 28, 2010


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"I let ya'll down before, but I won't ever do it again. I promise" - Chris Brown
There is something overwhelmingly calm about being perfect. Never having to deal with disappointing yourself, those you love, or those you admire. You never have to say that you're sorry and you never have to admit that you are wrong. Being perfect affords you the privilege to judge the mistakes of others. Unfortunately, I have never been perfect, so everything I wrote is simply an assumption. 
On the other hand, what I have been is a person who has made foolish mistakes. Particularly, one mistake (which I am not ready to admit yet) that IF I was caught, would have undoubtedly landed me in jail. However, that's a story that I will tell from beyond my grave. My emphasis on "IF I was caught" is very important. Too often, we do things for which if we suffer no consequences, we trick ourselves into believing because our faults haven't been broadcast, they somehow don't exist. Selective memory breeds arrogance, allowing imperfect people to weigh their faults against those of another.
As a result of Chris Brown's MJ Tribute on the BET Awards, the prerequisites for forgiveness are once again up for debate. Public sentiment has clouded what it means to forgive and the action has long moved from being a personal decision to a political one. Furthermore, in situations such as Chris Brown's the perceived interconnectedness we have with our celebrities breeds a contempt of familiarity in which we are quick to feel personally wronged in the event of a transgression. We fail to recognize the uniqueness to a situation. Circumstances surrounding actions are perceived the same, and out of laziness and spite we dub one action or inaction as the panacea to the problem. Nevertheless, forgiveness is multifaceted. Thankfully, it is also less shallow.

The recent phenomenon causing us to believe forgiveness is the approval of wrongdoings is inherently flawed. In no way does forgiveness justify a person's wrong(s). The actual beauty of forgiveness is, it does not assuage egos. Unfortunately, as flawed beings we are the ones who pervert its intent. If anything forgiveness should emphasize accountability. If the offending party requests forgiveness, they have taken the step to acknowledge their actions and its adverse affect on the life of another. Yet, even if they haven't asked forgiveness is the commitment you make to change your mindset and loosen your grip on thoughts of resentment, revenge, and even hatred towards that person.
To be honest, I'm actually not sure what brought about the fear we have when it comes to forgiveness. Instead of just doing it, we constantly apply stipulations. A gift that is unconditional has been left in the hands of a people dependent upon conditionality and fickleness. Humility has been replaced with the desire to humiliate. Furthermore, we wait for the moment in which "what we won't do" or more accurately, "what we haven't got caught doing, another person will." Our code of morality has been reduced to a hierarchy of egocentrism and we hold out on forgiveness for a chance to use it as a trump card.

As a person who has just recently even forgiven myself for things I've done, I know how hard it is to let go of things for which I have a vested interest. In these past few years I have had to truly focus on this little thing called forgiveness, asking myself what it means. When I hear people say "I'm not ready to forgive someone," it has begun to hit me that these are people content with feeling hurt, resentful, bitter, etc. These are people that subscribe to the culture of victimology. Unless you are one of those perfect people that I talked about earlier, you have made a mistake and you will make one again. Forgiveness is a boomerang, what you put out you get back. Be careful.
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