Ask Dr. Forgiveness
Can a person forgive the COVID virus? After all, it has disrupted life and people might feel much better if they forgave.
Forgiveness centers on offering goodness to persons because, on its highest level, to forgive is to offer love to the other despite the pain and difficulty of doing this. Because one does not love viruses, it follows that people do not forgive viruses.
If we cannot forgive the COVID virus, as you say, then how are we to feel better when we see our loved ones get quite sick or even die from it? It seems that in this kind of case forgiveness would be appropriate.
We cannot think of forgiveness, on its highest level, as a palliative so that we feel better. Forgiveness is much deeper than that. To forgive on its highest level is to struggle to offer goodness to those who are not good to you.
You just said that forgiveness centers on “those who are not good to you.” COVID definitely is not good to us and so it seems to follow that we can forgive the virus. What do you think?
Actually, no. I still maintain that we cannot forgive a virus because the rest of the sentence I wrote is this: “To forgive on its highest level is to struggle to offer goodness…..” You do not offer goodness to a virus. Do you show, for example, generosity or kindness to a virus? The answer is no and so you do not forgive a virus.
I hope I am not pressing my point too hard, but you have a book entitled, FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE. If I choose to forgive the COVID virus because it lowers my anger, then it is my choice, right?
Choosing through your own thinking and will to forgive a virus does not mean that you actually are engaging in what forgiveness is in its essence. As an analogy, if a person thinks that eating snow is a good choice for excellent nutrition because it is organic and so has an exclusive diet of snow for 6 months, would this be an example of good nutrition even if the snow-eater insists that it is? There is a very large difference between what forgiveness is and what some people think it is. From your ideas, I do think you are misunderstanding what forgiveness is even though you are using that word.
So, are you saying that forgiveness is something “fixed” that does not change? What about cultural variations of many kinds that center on different beliefs and customs. You seem to be too inflexible in how you view forgiveness.
Forgiveness does have a fixed essence. It is one thing and not whatever people’s subjective impressions are regarding it. To forgive is to try as best one can to be good to those who are not good to the forgiver. There are cultural variations in how this goodness is expressed, but the essence of forgiveness is not changed by these different customs or norms.