Sticks and Stones

Sad Robot from Mike's Art Gallery, art.soboring.orgMy mother said something unforgivable to my sibling last week.

No, I really mean it. Unforgivable.

At least I couldn’t forgive it. But the Sib has forgiven my mother for really bad behaviors in the past.

And this got me thinking about how we communicate, what we say, the context surrounding what we say and what we actually mean.

If someone says something really cruel, really awful but doesn’t intent to hurt, is that easier to forgive? I would say, yes.

If someone says something cruel with the intention to hurt someone, is that less forgivable? I would say, yes, again.

If someone is mentally ill, AND says something cruel, both knowing and intending to inflict pain, is that more forgivable? I am thinking, not so much.

If someone is trying to protect themselves and feels that they need to strike out viciously at someone they love, are they sick? Well, Yes.

Does that make it more forgivable? Not for me.

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves. — T.S. Eliot

If someone says something really mean, and they sincerely are sorry and ask for forgiveness, is that more forgivable? I think so, especially if they were really trying to right the wrong.

If someone says something really mean and never asks for forgiveness, how do you forgive?