Q: Can we really just forgive and forget? A: Yes and no.
Enter [what’s been on my mind]
Blink [see a new perspective]
There is no weakness is forgiveness. More often than not, it is the strong who are able to forgive and the weak choose to remain resentful. In regards whether or not America can forgive Lance and Manti, I think the answer should be and has to be “yes.” While the truth of the matter is that Lance and Manti both got caught in lies, there is another truth present: I am a liar, too.
Don’t get me wrong, I try to be honest. Honesty and trust are two things that I not only value in others, but also in myself. But there are times when I have been caught in a half-truth (which is just another way to say “lie”) which I explain away saying “Oh, that was just a little white lie.”
Lance and Manti are liars. So am I. And if America is honest (since we are discovering that the truth will come out eventually), then we all have to admit that at some point in our lives, each and every one of us has told a “Lance.” Or told a “Manti.” In other words, we have told a lie. We may console ourselves by saying our half-truths aren’t anywhere near as severe as the lies exposed last week, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to line-up lies on a sliding scale of comparison.
In resonating with Lance and Manti, it makes it a bit easier to offer them forgiveness.
Shift [try it out]
But while I argue for forgiving Lance and Manti, a part of me has a hard time with the statement “forgive and forget.” In some circumstances, forgiveness is cheapened when it is paired with forgetfulness.
What if the If the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency forgave Lance Armstrong and decided to dismiss and forget about his years of drug use? Pairing forgiveness, alongside the USADA’s ruling that Lance ran “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program the sport has ever seen” (source), with forgetfulness would undermine the existence of their organization, as well as open the door for other athletes to do the same.
Forgiveness means getting to a point where you can wish the other person well, but it does not necessarily mean that you completely forget their indiscretion. Moving through the steps of forgiveness can cause a relationship to change – sometimes you part ways, but sometimes the relationship is strengthened for the better.
Listen [hear from our community]
We are all flawed, in some way or another. Some mistakes and missteps are bigger than others, and our ability after the fact to do or recognize the right thing and course-correct isn’t a cut-and-dry decision either. It’s hard to see things from another’s unique point of view, and even more difficult to know that our perspective on their actions is, itself, correct or even appropriate. Best thing I can think to do is stay true to what I believe, understand and stick to my values, and learn from what I see around me (including experiences from other flawed people) to constantly try to make myself better.
-Matt Heinz, President of Heniz Marketing Inc