Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Forgiveness as an idea

My favourite quote on the idea and the praxis of forgiveness is one, written by C.S. Lewis, who had said: ‘Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.’ This is a powerful phrase, brining closer the theory and the action of actually forgiving ourselves and others. As all the great ideas and ideals, forgiveness is a much quoted word, which maintains a very deep exegesis. It’s not only a Christian ideal, it is a word and a virtue many people from varied backgrounds wish to promote and live by. Some wise words on forgiveness are the following:

‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.’ Mahatma Gandhi.
‘We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.’ Martin Luther King, Jr.
‘Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.’ J F Kennedy.
‘All major religious traditions carry basically the same message: that is love, compassion and forgiveness; the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.’ Dalai Lama.
‘You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, “I forgive. I’m finished with it.”’ Maya Angelou.
‘Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.’ Indira Gandhi.
‘Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.’ Desmond Tutu.
‘Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.’ Oscar Wilde.

‘Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dark because you have closed the windows, you’ve closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart.’ Desmond Tutu.

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