Thesis: The ability to forgive separates the ones that are strong from those that are still weak to acknowledge not only themselves’, but also others’ feelings and states of mind. This weakness brings up difficulties and struggling relationships with loved ones when lie is present and it is often portrayed both in books and movies.
One to be able to forgive is not an easy task; having to overcome the situation in which the person has lied, understand why the lie happened, or to trust the person the same way before are just some of the hard aspects that surround this subject.
Using a book as an example, one could examine A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner: in this book’s plot, Faulkner uses violent, blunt scenarios in which the whole forgiveness theme is very present, even though one would not realize it easily, because of the overwhelming tragedy that goes on all throughout the book. By looking at the impact that these tragic events had on many generations, than one’s attention is called for the forgiveness theme: doing a retrospective of past events, together with the present, one can see the bigger picture; this open vision allows us to gain conscience of how things went that certain way and makes us understand all the positions involved and not just ours. Thus, to forgive becomes much more easy and natural to happen.
Of course, the ability of having such an open vision of things, opening up our eyes behind our own center, is not that easy, others might say. And that is correct.
Explanation of this is much easier, using a personal situation: having the tendency of being very attentive to detail, I have high expectations of the person I love; when that person lied, being somewhere else different from where it was supposed, my trust suffered a very big blow. How could this happen? What have I done for this to happen? Of course, this caused me sadness and I was revolted, both with the attitude and the person I loved. It was very hard to forgive this loved one and trust again; why? It is exactly an example of how hard it was for me to see the big picture, both because of angry feelings that blurred my thought and my personal insecurities beneath all of it that made me imagine a whole other sort of motives and details (which, yes, make things go very out of proportion of what they really are about). Furthermore, these same insecurities become our greatest weakness to see beyond our feelings, and the motive for pride and even more difficulties.
Some time after this, being able to put the feelings aside and remembering the whole relationship, I could realize that, since the beginning, I always had those high expectations; this did not make much room for tolerance. So, by putting myself on my loved one’s shoes, I, myself, would be very worried in trying to please the person I loved every time and by no means, not to disappoint that person. So, if a situation came in which I made a less good choice, being somewhere, which I knew my loved one would not approve, I would be scared to tell the truth and my protection instinct (although immature, yes, that also it true) would tell me to lie; this way, I would not face an immediate problem, nor make that loved person suffer. All of this would be easily something I would do; so how could I not understand? This helped me heal my heart and relationship: I could forgive and let go.
One movie that beautifully portrays several scenarios of every person’s life inside this context is Magnolia (1999). Meeting every character that tell their own life story, we meet a world of experiences, decisions, lies, anger and regret, which are all interconnected. These various experiences are, each one of them, an example of what was stated in the beginning of this essay: the strength forgiveness has in the end of all of them and the weakness in every character throughout their story and what it lead to.
Yes, one is often overwhelmed with feelings and does not have the clarity to see what better way there is, sometimes, to deal with a certain situation; Magnolia gives us several harsh and extreme ones to look at, in which one can be sure not to be able to comprehend in advance how it would be possible to deal with. Nor do the characters throughout the scenes, as we can watch during the movie.
So, in conclusion, and using a movie metaphor, we must sit outside of it (and, transferring it to the personal level, outside of ourselves), getting rid of emotions for some time, in order to fully apprehend the big picture we have in front of us and the connections between things. This will give us the grounded, mature mind we need to understand both our soul and why it feels a certain way and also others’; and thus, opening our horizons, we’ll have the strength of containing it all inside, so that forgiveness becomes natural.
This brings us peace and, furthermore, makes us even stronger to face life and the hard times; following this essay’s thesis, we have been weak and now we have become strong.
Field, Syd . “Magnolia: An Appreciation”. Writers Store, n.d. http://www.writersstore.com/magnolia-an-appreciation/. January 17th 2013.
Knowles, Dana. “Magnolia”. About Film, 2000. http://www.aboutfilm.com/movies/m/magnolia.htm. January 17th 2013.
Schmoop University. “A Rose for Emily Theme of Compassion and Forgiveness”. Schmoop, 2013. http://www.shmoop.com/a-rose-for-emily/compassion-forgiveness-theme.html. January 17th 2013.