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Forgive, yes: But can we truly forget?

We all get angry at some point with family, spouses, friends, siblings and colleagues. Most times, whatever offences they must have committed can easily be forgiven but when it hurts so much, how easily can one forgive and forget? 

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Peace Ndubisi, 36-year- old teacher, says, “It’s easy to say you have forgiven someone but it takes a lot of courage and guts to actually forgive. But the question is: can we ever forget? We are humans and may find it difficult and sometimes even depressing at the thought of forgiving someone who has offended you, especially when the person is close to you and you hold the person or people in high regard. I will tell you that it’s not easy for forget.” 

Temilade Adeoye, 40-year-old accountant, believes “Forgiving can be instant but forgetting takes a long time. Forgetting an offence will take a bit of time, it’s like a wound that heals over time. Most times as humans we tend not to ever forget as even when you choose to forget, something always brings that memory back and you feel hurt all over again causing you more pain and disgust for the person that offended you.”

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Zainab Ibrahim, 39-year-old consultant, says, “We are humans and tend to easily feel hurt when offended and we all at the end of everything say we have forgiven the offender. But have we really? As many tend to still feel some resentment and bitterness towards the person who offended them. Forgiveness can only be said to be achieved and said to be complete when you feel no bitterness when you come across the offender. This way, the offended also finds closure and heals from the offence. Forgetting on the other hand is not possible.”

Grace Essien, 40-year-old entrepreneur, says, “To forgive takes a lot of guts. However, to let peace reign you let the offence go and not let it weigh you down. You can however decide to distance yourself from the offender and also draw the lines when it comes to relating with him/her, as the saying goes ‘once bitten, twice shy’. You don’t want to be caught off guards with the offender next time.” 

Amina Ahmad, 45-year-old physician, believes that redefining the relationship with the offender is the best way to go. She says, “Forgive and forget is not as easy as it sounds. Talking about forgiving and forgetting is like talking about a deep wound which is sure to heal over time but the scars remains obvious regardless of when the wound occurs. I have learnt over time that when once you tell the offender that you forgive and forget, they hit you harder the next time. So I help myself now by just redefining the relationship I had with the offender, that way I can curb or shield myself from their selfish excesses and not make myself vulnerable ever again. I am wiser and strong enough to let everyone know that earning my trust isn’t easily gotten on a platter of gold. This is life and it teaches us from experiences so forgetting an offence, especially a grievous one, is/will be at your own detriment. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.”

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