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Actual poll this time 'forgive and forget'

the offended party then

Poll closed Dec 11, 2006.
  1. does not change his/her actions, behaving thereafter as if the incident is literally forgotten

    5 vote(s)
    29.4%
  2. can set up defenses to ensure the incident does not repeat (i.e. forgiven but not forgotten)

    9 vote(s)
    52.9%
  3. other

    3 vote(s)
    17.6%
  1. Nov 11, 2006 #1

    DaveC426913

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    poll: define 'forgive and forget'

    This is a poll - but I can't make the answers fit into radio buttons. i.e. I'd like as many responses as possible, even if they're very short.


    What is your literal understanding of the intent of the phrase 'forgive and forget'? What do the words in the phrase mean, in terms of how you address an incident that is 'forgiven and forgotten' - or not?

    What does it mean to 'forget' an incident that has been 'forgiven'? Or is 'forgive and forget' indistinguishable from 'forgive but don't forget'?

    examples:
    - do you take your own personal defensive actions to ensure that the incident doesn't catch you if it ever recurs?
    - do you act as if the incident is literally forgotten, meaning you do not change your behaviour to prevent future occurences (presumably because you trust that they never will recur)?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
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  3. Nov 11, 2006 #2

    Evo

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    It's means that you have forgiven the person(s) and that you haved moved past it emotionally and don't dwell on what happened. You put it behind you and don't think about it, and if thoughts do arise, there is no pain associated because you have forgiven and are over it.
     
  4. Nov 11, 2006 #3

    DaveC426913

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    To you, the 'forget' part of 'forgive and forget' means that:

    once an incident is resolved, and has been forgiven (for whatever reason),
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  5. Nov 11, 2006 #4
    Wow, three actual polls. :rofl:

    "Forgive and forget", I suppose no grude held and not important enough to remember. I do not think bigger issues can be forgotten though, one of Aesop's fables even says it - "Things can be forgiven but not forgotten."
     
  6. Nov 11, 2006 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    Dearly Missed

    Every dog gets one free bite, but not two.

    My friend betrayed me, shame on him. He did it again, shame on me.
     
  7. Nov 11, 2006 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Which of the two examples listed do you follow?
     
  8. Nov 11, 2006 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Would that not be equivalent to option B? You forgive the incident, but you take defensive steps to ensure it does not happen again?
     
  9. Nov 11, 2006 #8
    The "forget" part means to me it is a stupid policy one should never engage in.

    You can move past some issues, but thing will invariably be changed. "You can never step into the same river twice." Forgetting the incident would be a denial of that reality.

    A true policy of "forgive and forget" could more accurately be characterized in the vast majority of cases as "forgive and regret."

    Some here might read that as "I forgive and you regret." One begins to wonder at such juncture just how far the meaning of the word "forgive" may have wandered from it's original intent, however.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  10. Nov 11, 2006 #9

    Gokul43201

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    But what if your philosphy is:

    My friend betrayed me, shame on ... him. He did it ag - he couldn't do it again!
     
  11. Nov 11, 2006 #10
    Sounds like a definitive case of "forgive and regret."
     
  12. Nov 11, 2006 #11

    turbo

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    I have cut off three (formerly) close friends in the past 25-30 years. In each case I forgave at least one very negative incident and in each case, I swore that I would not tolerate such behavior in the future, yet in two cases I forgave another incident that I should not have. I NEVER forget. I treat my friends like gold - when you are on your death-bed you will not say "Boy, am I glad I worked all those extra hours and made all that money." or "My house and car sure were nice." When you're ready to pass on, your worth is measured in the good things you have done, and the rewarding experiences you've had with your friends and family.
     
  13. Nov 11, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

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    I didn't realize this was such a complicated phrase. If you've really forgiven someone, it means you aren't holding any hard feelings over the incident and so it's easy to put it all behind you and forget about it.

    Maybe it's because it was a minor thing, so hardly worth getting upset about in the first place (maybe they accidentally gave you a black eye with their elbow in a moment of extreme clutziness...they feel bad, you'll heal fine, and while it hurts a bit, you know they didn't mean it intentionally, so you don't dwell on it). Or, maybe they screwed up something, but then set things right, such as forgetting to water one of the plants they were supposed to take care of for you while you were on vacation, but then they just bought you a new plant to replace it, and you're not going to hold a grudge about it. In a way, it's somewhat redundant, because if you hold a grudge, then you haven't really forgiven either.
     
  14. Nov 11, 2006 #13

    turbo

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    In each of my cases, the incidents were not an accidents, but actions in which my best interests were ignored or set aside. I do not treat friends that way and I won't keep a friend who won't reciprocate.
     
  15. Nov 11, 2006 #14

    russ_watters

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    That is the dictionary definition, so the poll question doesn't really make sense and doesn't fit the answers: The phrase "forgive and forget" is redundant and really can only mean one thing.

    So the question really should be (given the provided answers) is should/do you forgive?

    For me, personally, the answer is both Moonbear's and Turbo-1's: it depends on the offense. I basically consider there to be three levels of offenses (note: I'm not so much of a Vulcan that I have actually categorized them before now):

    1. Not that bad, I forgive and forget easily. Most of the time, things like this are often accidental or loss of self-control type indiscretions.
    2. Medium-bad, something you really don't want happening again. You don't break up a friendship over it, but you have to protect against it happening again, so really, there is no forgiveness.
    3. Bad enough, you simply cannot risk it happening again, or the offense itself is just that damaging you can't tolerate being around such a person.

    Personally, the line between #1 and #2 is often based on simple intent. If I know a person is not trying to do something offensive, I won't be offended. You know - if a friend has a bad day, gets drunk, and gets mean, you know they are just blowing off steam and don't really mean to be mean. Generally, if an incident/fight can be resolved in a few days or a week, it probably wasn't bad enough for lasting damage. Being able to trust/accept that a friend is a friend is key to forgiveness. I have a close friend who has trouble with conflict resolution - she responds to the small indescretions by ignoring people for weeks or even months - and that makes it tough to work out issues (both practically and emotionally).
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  16. Nov 11, 2006 #15

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, I couldn't figure out at all how "forgive and forget" could mean, "forgive and NOT forget." :confused: If it was meant as should/do you forgive and forget, then that's entirely different.
     
  17. Nov 11, 2006 #16
    As long as the apploegetic request to forgive and forget doesn't come in the form:
    " I'm sorry but..." :yuck:
     
  18. Nov 11, 2006 #17
    Being of Christian upbringing my mum always told me that when ever God forgives your sins he forgets that they ever happened. I think that is the root of the phrase and means that once you forgive someone you should forget it ever happened. You don't say "Hey remember this when you did that" etc. etc. you act as though it never happened because they're now forgiven. By setting up defenses you're actually NOT forgetting it because you're purposely remembering it and setting up defenses against it.
     
  19. Nov 12, 2006 #18

    Danger

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    I never forgive or forget.
    If it was an unintentional act, or something that was deliberately done against me but with good intentions (as when the fellow called the cops about my .45), there is nothing to forgive. If it was malicious, then closure comes only with the demise of the offending party. (He/she is still not forgiven, but it's then beyond my ability to retaliate.)
     
  20. Nov 16, 2006 #19

    DaveC426913

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    OK, let me try and clarify.

    I understand that many people may not believe in forgiving and forgetting, and that's fine. But if someone does claim to forgive and forget, does that not mean that they either must do it or admit they're being hypocritical about it?


    On the other hand:


    It is arguably possible to forgive without forgetting as in the following example:

    You open a shared a bank account with your gf of 4 months. A big kerfuffle happened when Christmas and rent happened at the same time - it was an honest mistake and you've forgiven her for spending that money on presents.

    But even she must concede that sharing a bank account with someone who you've only known for a few months is not wise for a host of reasons. Thus, you will not forget this lesson; you make it your policy from now on.

    You do forgive (i.e. you do not hold it against them) but you do not forget (i.e. you set up defenses).
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  21. Nov 17, 2006 #20
    I think that is basically the crux of 'forgive and forget'.
     
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