Monday, 8 June 2009


I have to acknowledge that I am an unforgiving person. I have always been so, even growing up within the Catholic faith, forgiveness was a tenet I never understood. Turning the other cheek was something I thought you ought to do when drawing back your fist, or other weapon before striking your enemy down with full force.

I have always felt that when someone wrongs me, I am entitled to compensation of a sort, even if its just an apology, but I'd prefer they suffer as I had. Perhaps this is why the laws of the ancients always appealed: they always extracted a price for wrongdoing. For instance, the price extracted by Lugh from the Sons of Tuireann for the slaughter of Cian. Although Lugh thought the tasks he set might kill them, the Sons of Tuireann return triumphant, and the debt is satisfied. To me that (almost) makes sense.

It has always been a strange thing to me that the male of the species is able to engage in violent, physical combat and, even if one comes out clearly the winner, both can consider the matter which was the catalyst for the fight closed and resume their previous (good) relationship. I acknowledge this is not always the case, but I have seen it occur often enough, and it occurs regularly in the myths. For my own part, I can consider a matter closed, but it will remain on record in my memory banks.

Don't get me wrong: I don't demand compensation for every slight or from every opponent. I am quite happy to debate matters, and will even take an opposing side in order to gain a deeper understanding of another's point of view, or just to play devil's advocate. I rarely take offence during an argument and rarely do I take such things personally; in fact, others have commented on my inability to take personal offence. Provided no personal insults are slung, I see no reason to seek satisfaction.

What I cannot do is forgive anyone, or anything that attacks me, my family or my friends, nor will I forget, which may separate me from the ancients. Just because someone pays the price for their actions against me, it does not necessarily follow I will forget the matter. A trust will have been broken and no compensation can restore trust.

I realised over the weekend, that I have no qualms about being the unforgiving sort. I used to feel (the Catholic) guilt over not being able to forgive, or turn the other cheek, but not anymore. Its how I feel; how I am. I am not inclined to change either.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

great post. you are right. we have been told to turn the other cheek for much too long! my husband forgot our 28th anniversary today. i even reminded him last week and he still ignored it. i am going to get him!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

"A trust will have been broken and no compensation can restore trust."

I tend to agreeance here; I can move on and maybe even give a modicum of the trust back-- but never all. That is/was lost when the offending party... lost it.