Forgiveness is a very broad concept. To forgive is to make the conscious act of either ignoring an insult, a crime, a bad action, from another, or to push the desire for revenge aside. Paul of Tarses says to wipe the dirt from your sandles and walk away. The Christ says to turn the other cheek. Marcus Aurelius advises one to seek wisdom by not holding grudges. The sages throughout the ages all have a similar universal message. To persist in a bad thought to harm another is a evil thing. To forgive, to make the mental act of forgiveness and cast away that bad thought, and to practice not the action, is the wisdom from a higher entity. Forgiving a nasty relative, a foul mouth teenager, a street criminal, an insult from a loved one, all constitutes varing degrees of the divine act. It is easier to hold a persistant grudge, keep making a malicious lie, treat a loved one with low esteem, than exercise the high mental state of forgiveness.
But, we must not confuse forgiveness with foolishness.
Forgiveness must have limitations, based upon the intensity of the bad act, to make it really work. This realm of conscious thought falls within the area of law and a court of justice. So, keeping forgiveness always in our minds must be tempered according to our religious beliefs. I place religion as a yardstick for the individual to use. All religions have their yardsticks dictating the forms of forgiveness, but it is up to the individual to make the final decision and the action that results.
Ernest Velon 9/22/09