Forgiveness, I have concluded, is ultimately a selfish act.  We do it for ourselves.  Comments on this?

There is a large difference between what forgiveness is and some of the consequences realized when we forgive.  One of the consequences of forgiving others is that we, ourselves, begin to feel better.  Yet, these more positive feelings toward the self are not what forgiveness actually is.  Forgiveness is a deliberate, self-chosen virtue of being good to those who are not good to us.  This, as you can see by the definition, is focused, not on the self, but instead on the other, on the one who hurt us.  Thus, forgiving is not a selfish act or even a self-interested act, but one of the consequences is that forgiving helps the self.  This is not selfish to want to feel better and at the same time we should not confuse what forgiveness is and one of its consequences.

For additional information, see Forgiveness Defined.

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