I am wondering why people don’t just simply use the word “kindness” rather than the word “forgiveness.”  When you forgive, aren’t you just being kind to those who were obnoxious?  If so, then shouldn’t we use the word “kindness”?

“Kindness” is not an exact enough word in the context of a person treating you unfairly.  I say that because you can be kind without this issue of injustice entering into the situation.  For example, you can be kind to a three-year-old who offers you her toy.  She did nothing wrong to you.  In the case of forgiveness, yes you can be kind, but you also can be loving and it always, without exception, occurs when someone was unfair to you.  That is the specific difference between kindness and forgiveness.  The latter always is in the context of being treated unfairly whereas kindness can occur when the other has been treating you kindly.

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Categories: Ask Dr. ForgivenessTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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