I heard a local DJ ask the question whether you can (and indeed, should) forgive and forget. I didn't get the chance to listen to what callers-in had to say; but it got me thinking quite a bit.
I've historically had a very hard time with forgiveness. I freely admit that I hold a lot of grudges. It's probably not the best thing to do, but at least I'm honest about it. As I've matured, I've learned how to let things go, and not get as upset over long-past offenses. So I guess I'm learning to forgive.
But I don't think I can forget. Nor do I really want to. If I were to forget an offense committed against me (whatever it may be), I'd be denying that it ever occured. This seems counter-intuitive to me. Forgive and forget is indeed counter-intuitive to the old expression of Hurt me once, shame on you; hurt me twice, shame on me.
Now, I don't go around with a laundry list of things that people have done to me. I don't remind my friends of the (sometimes) nasty things they've said to me in the past. But if someone I'm close to does indeed upset me in some way, my remembrance of the previous transgression will help me deal with the current situation. How was it handled last time? Was it adequately resolved? Did we reach some understanding that is relevant to the current situation? Should I just blow this off and not spend my time being upset about it? Is this likely to happen again in the future?
Obviously not everyone thinks this way, or else an expression like forgive and forget would never have really caught on. I agree that it's a nice sentiment, in that those close to you should not continually be reminded of something they've long since apologized for. I do think, though, that purposefully forgetting something is a form of denial. And denying something that happened is just a silly thing to do.
If we were to take the forgive and forget mentality at face value, we'd never really learn anything. How could we, if we put pain and struggle immediately out of our minds once we reach a form of resolution? We learn from evaluating our past experiences. If I put my experiences out of my mind, how can I properly evaluate it? How can I compare and contrast it with my current experiences?
In other news, I've been receiving more hits from search engines for the periodic table of the elements. Oh no! I've said it again! I'm doomed to get hits from grade and high school students around the world now looking for the atomic weight of Molybdenum.
I've also received a couple of hits from people using google looking for, of all things, incest fiction. Several of my stories involve an incest theme, and this was obviously cataloged by google. Now that I've used the word incest a few more times, I'm sure to be listed high in the search results for "incest fiction".
Any other words I should use liberally to attract visitors? It seems that the non-sequiter stuff yields the most search engine hits, so maybe I should stop trying to put up legitimate content and focus entirely on oddball word combinations...