Why Forgive? Essay

461 words - 2 pages

E. H. Chapin was quoted as saying: "Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury". I believe Chapin understood what the majority of the world ignores. How is forgiveness daring? Is revenge not a matter of honour? We tend to think of pardon as a naive act of pacifism, but it is more than letting the wrongdoer off easy. Surprisingly, there is no greater revenge than forgiveness. Yet we are too easily distracted by vengeance to consider the power of mercy.Why do people choose to take revenge? After being harmed, it is only natural that we seek ...view middle of the document...

Revenge seems to be the more attractive choice at times because of its appealing promises of righteousness and honour, but it is merely an act on anger and resentment, far from rational thought. Therefore, we could never truly be satisfied with revenge, as it is not permanent.Although we are more likely to expect revenge rather than forgiveness, there are those who understand the meaning of Chapin's quote and are rewarded with peace of mind. Contrary to what we may assume, they have not forgotten their injury. They have decided to cease being the victim and free themselves from the pain and grief. It is difficult to let go of the feeling of resentment because we humans have trouble ridding ourselves of evil. Everyone wants to feel sorry for themselves, but carrying the burden of another's actions renders us powerless. It causes us to fall into the trap of hostility and bitterness. For some, we may seem weak and vulnerable when we forgive. However, once we have pardoned, we are no longer controlled by our emotional impulses.Sooner or later, those who have harmed us will feel remorse. By forgiving them, we are fuelling their shame. They shall struggle with repentance for a long time before they free themselves from guilt. And that can only be done if they learn to love themselves. But how can they love themselves if they do not have sympathy and compassion? For they were surely indifferent when they harmed us.

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