2011-06-29

The World According to Mister Rogers: Forgiving and Forgetting


Forgiving and forgetting are often paired together, but the one certainly doesn't necessarily follow the other. Some injuries, real or imagined, we may never be able to forget, even though we say we've forgiven them. Other injuries we may never even be able to say that we forgive. Those are the ones, it seems to me, most likely to involve people we've loved, and so I'm inclined to look at what our experiences of forgiveness may have been like from the first people who loved us.
The first time we required forgiveness we probably did something we shouldn't have when our closest grown-ups thought we should have known better. We made someone angry. We were to blame. What did the first brush with blame begin to teach us?
If we were fortunate, we began to learn that "to err is human." even good people sometimes do bad things. Errors might mean corrections, apologies, repairs, but they didn't mean that we, as a person were a bad person in the sight of those we loved. The second thing we learned (if we were fortunate) was that having someone we loved get mad at us did not mean that person had stopped loving us; we had their unconditional love, and that meant we would have their forgiveness, too.
~Fred Rogers

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