It popularly means to overlook, let go, give up resentment. It is a primary part of of many faiths/religions. What does it mean? I will tell you my view.
Mistakes are made, either by ourselves or others around us. We can allow them to gnaw away at us. We can obsess. Then, we fall into either blaming other people or damning our circumstances. Or we can let it go.
That doesn't mean we actually forget. We must remember or else how can we truly learn? It's what we learn and how we deal with it.
Maybe mistakes is too light a term. Rape, assault, collectivism destroying the Republic are sins against humanity. There are many more. Cheating on many levels, lying and many more could paint a very dark picture.
Should we understand these things, the good and bad of human condition? Of course, for it's our nature to understand.
Should we limit this understanding? Let me explain.
I was attacked a few weeks ago. You can read about it under the post 'Mugged' Three thugs, who were black, jumped me. They shouted racial epithets. What to do as a result?
There is the liberal bleeding heart answer which entails the 'woe is me' entitlement view that these guys were just acting out frustations because the system oppresses them. That's crap. Liberal/collectivist solutions exploit social malfunction and high jack it. And all the social babble in the world isn't going to help you when three slugs are attempting to beat you up.
There is no excuse for such behavior. Understanding it comes down to this: There have always been predators who use said excuses to maraud. They deserve punishment. They respond only to 'stimuli', if I may use a psych term much abused by those who try to control us.
You see, there is understanding after all -s-.
Can some people be helped? I used to work on the street as a student minister. Yes some can be helped to help themselves, if they are willing to do so. There are some kids, criminals all, who have been turned away from that life. But, some are hardwired. And the way it's been ingrained as with gang society, there are some who, like child rapists, stay predators.
These asses would have been delighted if I had tried to 'reason' with them. They would have laughed, in there minds denigrated me and after robbing me possibly killed me. And btw, these mokes were not newbies, having long rap sheets. And even if this were initiation, the result is the same. For them it was jail. It was almost death or at least incapacitation.
Monsters on all levels, from street thugs to those in 'high office' are the same. They hide behind good intention. Even those whose reasons are good, they are useful to maintain tyranny. Or they are wiped out. Like Mike Vanderboegh says, paraphrasing, that the idea of Gandhi and his notion of passive resistance would have floated down the Ganges with his bayoneted, beheaded corpse, if the Japanese had invaded India.
So, this post has evolved even as I write it. It's become more than it was originally. Let's cut to the chase.
Forgiveness to me is not excusing bad things. It is simply not letting them get to you, eating you alive.
In that case, I may 'forgive' but I sure as hell will NOT forget. I remember and will do what is best for me to go on living. Wrong is wrong. I will not let hatred control me. But I will defend myself on all levels.
Problem solved? Well life goes on and I hold up my head, which thankfully, is still attached to my body -s-.