In the context of forgiveness and redemption, Abe Lincoln once said, “I think it is enough if the man does no wrong hereafter.” In this internet age where the sins of everyone’s past can be enshrined forever, the question of redemption comes to the forefront. Yes, one must take responsibility for one’s actions and the reasonably foreseeable consequences thereof.
Yet for how long should we shun, ostracize and continuously punish in the present for things now in the past? At what point do we look to see if honest, sincere, sustained from the heart efforts have been made at turning a life around? And if we don’t allow for redemption, do we not discourage the very thing we wish to see? And by hindering solutions do we not become part of the problem?
In our desire for a better world, let us not mistake punishment for correction, or revenge for justice, nor forget the need for mercy and forgiveness. Life is messy, we have all sinned. Many of us would be shocked, horrified and humiliated if the bright light were turned on us. What if every long-forgotten secret or private deed were interpreted in the worst possible way, and every ex’s accusations were taken at face value and splashed around the digital universe? The social media mob seems to be more concerned about appearances and making political statements than about in-depth analysis, effectiveness or humanity.
How we treat the one is how we treat all, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
“It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinguishes man from the mere brute.” – Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear
“At some point you will meet my imperfections. Will you leave or will you stay for my redemption?” – Shanna Rodriguez, attributed, Quotesgram
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections
“No one is beyond redemption.” – Mahatma Gandhi
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier