Forgiving is never complete without Forgetting & combination of both makes you look Fantastic!

Being happy after forgive and forget; Source: http://www.flickr.com/

I believe this topic is very critical to all of us! Mistakes, wrong things or even blunders do happen by everybody (Let us keep criminal acts out of purview of our discussion here). Whatever you may do, you cannot eliminate; at the most you can minimize these. On the other hand, these are part and parcel of our life and form important sources of learning new lessons!

It routinely happens that you are adversely impacted by someone else’s mistakes or wrong doings. You have 3 options – (a) overlook, (b) hold grouch, react or retaliate back and build your biases against that person and (c) forgive and move forward. Overlooking is not a bad idea; but challenge is that you would not help in improving the situation and person may commit mistakes again. Option b is most common with people. It aggravates the relationship and dissuades other person to realize his/her mistakes; instead he/she may tend to feel justified in having done it. On your part being affected party, you are bound to build biases against other person. But, reality of life is that your biases would bite you only, no one else!

It is option c, which is most appropriate, you show your grace, convey your feelings on his/her mistakes or wrong doings, advise/request not to do these again and move forward. These actions amount to “forgiving”. You may or may not actually express that you have forgiven or excused the defaulting person depending upon a situation, but you have mentally reset yourself after the incidence. What is very interesting to know is that most people don’t forget such incidences; memories for same remain alive in mind, which eventually turn into biases. You may try to hide your displeasure from appearing in your behavior or body language against defaulting person; but it seethes beneath your heart! So, mere forgiving is not good enough!

Often, employees in most organizations commit mistakes because of lack of proper guidance and direction; but managers hold them fully responsible, which can be only partly justified. Many times, this does lead to standoff between them. Employees defend and managers feel increasingly offended. It has been seen even when situation changes later and employees improve, adverse opinion of managers remain rooted in their minds because of biases having built in the meantime. But, if managers exhibit the spirit of forgiveness, situation turns 180 degree opposite and makes it very congenial to work together with employees. However, what would make a hail of difference is “forgive as well as forget”.

Forgiveness is golden!

Forgiveness is one of the golden qualities; you must cherish to have in your professional as well as personal life. Here below it shows why it is golden:

  1. It makes you broad minded and flexible.
  2. It ebbs your ego and eliminates biases from building up.
  3. Your line of communication with defaulting person remains on, through which you can help bring improvement.
  4. It enhances your confidence and credibility.
  5. Your emotions give way to consciousness.
  6. You develop natural acceptance for pluses and minuses, good and bad.

But, Forgiving+Forgetting is grandiose with golden glitter 

If you forgive, but not forget the incidences, minor or major mistakes or any doing in bad taste by whomsoever, you run the risk of losing on above mentioned 6 point advantages. Your emotions would only encourage your prejudices going forward.

But, if you forgive and forget, you would multiply the following:

  1. Your decency and dignity
  2. Your courage and charisma
  3. Your vision and wisdom
  4. Your focus and faith on your goals
  5. Your grace and grit
  6. Your emotional intelligence (EQ) and intellect

Remember, forgetting is not ignoring or overlooking mistakes or wrong doings! It is your conscious decision to move forward leaving no friction or conflict in your mind; but after making defaulting person aware of what it is and encouraging “learning lessons”.

If forgiving is forward looking; then with forgetting, it is moving fast forward!

So, your leadership qualities cannot be complete without your ability to forgive and forget consciously!!

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10 Comments
  • Jun 2,2014 at 2:02 pm

    But Sir,
    I have found it relatively easy to forgive, but I don’t know how to forget.
    Can you recommend any practical methods you have used yourself?

    • Jun 2,2014 at 3:29 pm

      Many thanks for your candid views and query!

      You are right – to forget is not easy for most people. I have been using following steps to forget:

      1. I try my best to eliminate biases against the person who does the mistake or wrong thing, however serious that may be; but after making the person aware that it is not good to do it.

      If my mind reminds of that incidence, which is very likely in practical life, I challenge myself by asking what do I get by remembering what happened and who did it. It was a reality but relegated in past now. I am going to hurt myself or distract or waste time by doing that. Why shall I not think of Now and do something better in that time which would otherwise be wasted by remembering the past.

      So, biases are the worst things, which actually makes us to remember person/s involved in adverse incidences.

      2. I try and keep my focus on my goals, in anything that I do or think. Remembering mistakes or flaws of others can never jive with our goals!

      3. My learning from mistakes can only be real, if I forgive as well as forget the person, because he/she is an obstruction to learning.

      4. Feel grateful to life I have; then, defaulting person loses significance in your life.

      Please try and let me know if it helps you. Please practice patiently; it takes time.

  • Rudra
    Apr 28,2014 at 3:47 pm

    You mentioned option (c) which is most appropriate to follow, but what if even after advising/requesting him/her not to do these again, he/she still continues doing such things?

    Don’t you think people who ‘forget’ along with ‘forgiving’, tend to become a “Guinea-pig”, more often than not (even scapegoats at-times)? I mean, again, it depends on what kind of a ‘sin’ the person has committed to be forgotten or not! If a person has chastened you in-front of all-and-sundry, you may forgive him eventually, but you surely would not want to forget it, would you? 🙂

    I think I’ve heard one great person saying “Forgive, but never forget!” (so that you don’t fall prey to the same thing again). But you don’t seem to be agreeing on this… 😀

    You made a very good point at the end that forgetting is not ignoring or overlooking mistakes and we should make the defaulting person aware of what it is. But again, what if he doesn’t get it and keeps haunting? You still forget? 😉

    • Apr 28,2014 at 5:52 pm

      In the post we are talking of all kinds of mistakes – minor or major – that routinely happen.

      Even after advising and forgiving, if a person commits same mistake again, what else can you do? Get into a tiff or take law in hands? Has that ever solved the problem? Problem is with our ego – we don’t want to accept the fact that making efforts to improve a person and forgiving is indeed the best that you can do.

      Fear of becoming a scapegoat by forgiving is nothing but a weakness of our own character. We talk of our conviction in great things; but then how would these come without a great character?

      Heaven would not fall, if we don’t forget after forgiving; but what would befall on us would definitely be biases. We would only be back to square one in our mind even after forgiving, if our biases remain alive. So, I am unable to see greatness in the quoted statement “forgive but not forget”.

      • Rudra
        Apr 28,2014 at 11:17 pm

        Hmm… looking from another perspective, your comments do sound prudent (not that it didn’t earlier) 😉

        I think it’s just that if the person is your closed one and still doesn’t understand after your continuous efforts, you let it go as it is and just live with it and hope for the best (won’t take law in hands for sure 🙂 ). And if the person doesn’t matter to you, his actions shouldn’t matter to you either!

        Perhaps that statement must have come from a “Hitler-esque” person, but whoever said that, must be a foolhardy person!! 😉

        But will surely try to implement this theory in my life and hope to see some rewarding results…

        Cheers!

        • Apr 29,2014 at 10:10 pm

          I can’t thank you enough for your great understanding and prudent thinking!

          Often right or positive things sound simple but difficult to digest. But please do that; there would not be anything to regret!!

  • Murli Lohia
    Apr 25,2014 at 2:28 pm

    From: Nitin Korlekar [mailto:korlekar.nitin@gmail.com]
    Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:21 PM

    To: Murli Lohia

    Subject: Re: Forgiving is never complete without Forgetting & combination of both makes you look Fantastic!

    Dear Mr.Lohia,

    Really very profound statement.

    Regards,
    Korlekar

    • Apr 25,2014 at 2:29 pm

      Many thanks for your valuable concise view on the article!

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