"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Forgiveness is a rare thing
re-sent-ment Function: noun
1 : a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury
2 : What can be caused by a corked bat.
It's amazing what effect a little bit of tree bark in the wrong place can have.
I don't usually keep up with baseball. I have not actually watched a game since my friend Simon and I went to a Red Sox game in 1983 in Boston. But I hear enough about it to know the big names, just like we all do.
Even I felt a little bit betrayed by Sammy Sosa today.
I just read the article that describes what happened. The Cubs were playing Tampa, and when Sosa hit the ball, his bat split open. Upon examination by the umpire, the handle of the bat contained cork, which is supposed to make balls go farther when hit and is against the rules.
Sosa was ejected from the game, and the fans are livid. Understandable. He is 17th on the career home run list. Now they are questioning that.
His explanation was that it was a mistake, he used the bat for batting practice to show off for the fans and it should never have been used in a game. They confiscated the rest of his bats so the real story will come out soon. At least the real story about the bats.
But as I see it, thats not the real story here.
I think the real story is on the public reaction to this. AOL is polling its members right now and almost a quarter of a million have responded so far. Almost 80% consider Sosa's credibility as "shot." At least 45% think his career will never be the same. In one instant Sosa has changed from the darling of the Cubs to the bad guy on the field.
Even people like me, who don't keep up with baseball at all, knew Sosa as a good person who gave a lot to the sport. But one mistake, and he's toast.
How often do we do that in our regular everyday lives? Are we as unforgiving on a personal basis as the public is on a group basis? I think we are. I think we demand forgiveness for ourselves and don't really offer it to others. I think we believe our own excuses in many instances that we give to others and never truly believe the excuses others give us.
In matters of forgiveness, I think we are all selfish. Perhaps dealing with that is the first step to making ourselves better, to cleansing what eats us alive from the inside. Forgiveness may be the key to lifting darkness from our life in many cases.
Of course, there is the other side of the coin. When we talk about forgiving ourselves, thats a harder topic. Regrets play a big role here, and we can be even harsher on ourselves than others are, because we know our real feelings and motivations, or at least we think we do.
Then again, is it fair to compare our insides with other's outsides?
It is never a level playing field. We can't ever really know the story behind what others do, we can only look at the reflection of that story in what they say and what they do. With ourselves, we know the story but may even not be aware of the effect what we say and do has on those around us.
We always see a partial picture and think we have the whole movie. I think that is why it really takes divine intervention for true 100% forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.