Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

mr fix it

When I guested on my Hoochiemama Turnbaby's awesome BTR show a few weekends back, we took the concept of forgiveness and turned it every which way we could. At some point, the topics of atonement and making amends also came up.

Opinions varied as to whether the two are linked. We discussed how in some cultures, asking for forgiveness is a part in the process. Not necessarily as a condition for forgiveness, but as a step in the process.

I've been faced with a situation.

Let me ask you this...

Aside from whether or not you've forgiven, if someone has wronged you by doing something stupid and, well, illegal... would you give them the opportunity to redeem themselves?

Would you be willing to be a part of that person's "rehabilitation" process?

I'll let you all know the details tomorrow, but I just figured it would be interesting if I asked for your thoughts.

I like lively and constructive comment sections... so here's your chance!

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
~John Powell


Charles Gramlich said...

It depends on the person. I've forgiven and tried to help before and got burned a second time. It's happened more than once. For good or bad, I'm much more cautious these days.

Ron said...

Hi Anndi!

GREAT question here!

I'm assuming this is the first time that this person has done this illegal thing?

If it is, and I TRULY felt like they were sincere about rehabilitation, then yes. I would definately give them the opportunity to redeem themselves, and be a part of the process with them.

I mean, everyone makes mistakes.

However, and this is a HUGE however, I would have to see that they were taking an active role in their part, and sticking to the rehabilitation.

Someone has to WANT to change for themselves.

I agree with Charles, in that I'm very cautions too. I don't trust easily (and for good reasons).

You're an intuitve lady...just trust your feelings.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my feelings, Anndi!

Jay said...

I think I probably would be willing to forgive and help once. But, not a second time.

Talisman said...

Honestly I think it really depends on the situation. If what the person did was dangerous to me and/or my children, nope. Sorry. If what they did was just sort of stupid and wouldn't really impact my life at all then I'd forgive once and only once.

Desert Songbird said...

A lot would depend on the person, the circumstances, and just how "illegal" it was. I mean, stealing is wrong, but to feed a desperate family, is stealing some food justifiable?

Lu' said...

Too many variables. Illegal, who hasn't, even brining home a pack of post-its from the office is technically illegal. True forgivness is not as easy as it seems, let he who cast the first stone and all that... But a Pastor told us in our prewedding counsling that forgivness means basically to "let it go" Once you have forgiven someone for something it is never to be brought up or used against that person again. Keeping this in mind, I am slow to forgive. I can, oh what the hell and move on allowing that person and their faults to coexist with me and mine, but I always keep that Pastors meaning of forgivness in my head. I think the atonement has to come from the offending person without assistance other than the huge act of forgivness. With or without forgivness it is never a bad idea to make amends for a wrong doing. Do it for your self.

Anndi said...

Have I told you guys lately that you rock? Cause... you do.

Charles: I think the notion of forgive and forget is misguided. It's important that we learn from the mistakes of others and that at some point we respect ourselves enough to put our foot down and say enough. It doesn't preclude forgiving, because I think we do that for ourselves... but it's understandable that we would be more cautious.

Ron: yeah.. separated at birth LOL!

I'll go onto the details of what happened in the next post but I tend to think the same way you do.

Jay: There are people I've forgiven WAY more than twice... but that depends on the nature of the relationship and how important it is. I also think it depends on the nature of the offense. But I get where you're coming from.

Talisman: The nature of the offense is extremely important indeed. I'm amazed at people who can forgive when someone truly hurts them or a loved one.

Songbird: The old morality question... it's a toughie. Do we allow people to disregard the structure and lwas of society out of desperation? I don't think so. Do we help them find the right way out of a bad situation should they be willing to do the work, I think so. I hope so.

SMOOCHIES you guys!

Anndi said...

Lu: "letting go" .. absolutely!
But once someone has graced you with forgiveness, you have to work on yourself and respect the other person and yourself enough to learn from your mistakes and correct bad behaviour (easier said than done).

I completely agree that when you forgive, you do it for yourself. And making amends is how the "offender" grows as well.

Smoochies for you too!

Dana said...

Hmmm ... it depends? There are really so many factors to take into consideration. I believe all acts are "forgivable," but not necessarily to a point of inviting them back into your life. I guess we'll learn more tomorrow, won't we?

Turnbaby said...

If this is what I think it is I am wondering why---Oh wait--I just realized why--I think. Silly me.

Hmmm I have to agree it has to be a REAL desire to change PLUS some evidence of effort on their part.

Slyde said...

it would totally depend on how close i had been with the person, and what kind of forgiving mood i was in, but on average?

i'd say yes... give em a shot.

ONE shot.

Bond said...

Will the rehabilitation process include the restitution of the illegalities?

I also am pretty sure I know what this is about...my response remains, restitution MUST be part of the rehab process...

Akelamalu said...

I'm the sort of person who if a sign says "Keep of the grass" I keep off the grass, so I'm not good with people who break the law. However, it does depend on the situation i.e. one could have broken the law without realising. What I'm trying to say is it depends on the situation and the person - one would be more inclined to help a mate or close friend but not an aquaintance, you get my drift?

Anndi said...

Dana: The situation does have quite an impact on what the outcome will be.

Turnbaby: LOL actually I'm pretty sure you don't know what this is about hehehe
But yes indeed, there has to be effort and it has to be genuine.

Slyde: I think one shot is fair as well.

Bond: this is all about some form of "restitution" yup.

Akelamalu: How about a stranger?

Jeff B said...

Way too many "what ifs" to make a absolute answer, but in order to not just wimp out I'll chime in with this:

As part of the human condition, I don't think its possible for us to completely forget an act, but we certainly do have the ability to forgive. The severity of the offense absolutely play a huge part in how hard or easy that may be. The condition of our heart is the other part of that equation.

I tend to be a forgive and move on type of person, but I also haven't had anybody wrong me in a major or vile sort of way.

The offender should have to genuinely show signs of moving toward a positive change too in order to fully regain the trust that was lost. That can be done in a variety of ways depending on what has happened.

Well there's my two cents worth.