“It’s a full time job not to kill niggas…”: A Reflection on Forgiveness
Not too long ago, I did a post on an Oprah episode where she had over 200 men who were molested as children. During the show she said that, “Forgiveness was giving up the fact that the past could’ve been different.” And it’s a very harsh reality about the real world. But with today being the start of Rosh Hashanah and time of repentance, I decided to look at forgiveness in our community or the lack of it.
People can never let things go. My mom would always brag that her generation settled beefs the best. People would have a fair one on one fight and the winner had bragging rights. But nowadays, it seems that after the physical fight the violence continues until someone is dead. And with gun violence at all time high, I think lack of forgiveness and accountability may be to blame. In addition to gun control laws, but that’s another post for another day. Living in NYC, we especially get a bad rep for being angry people. I mean my rap husband Rick Ross even titled his latest album “God Forgives, I Don’t”. When looking at forgiveness as Oprah does, acknowledging your role whether as a victim or perpetrator of hurt/violence is hard. The reality is we all have rights, even criminals. And while many may not agree with this, until you’ve ever been convicted of a crime you too will believe in “being innocent until proven guilty”. But what does it mean when the verdict comes back guilty?!
For people who go by the eye for an eye theory, it means “retaliation is a must”. But when going into battle, remember even in defeat you want your enrich your opponent. If you believe in the legal system or the morals of any religion, then you know the MAN (above or the government) will make you atone for your wrong doings. For people who have been wronged, taking justice in your own hands seems like a more viable option than waiting for the aforementioned. I think Gandhi said it best with, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Taking justice in your own hands may temporarily feel good, but the pain of being attacked or a victim doesn’t disappear. In fact you’ve now become the person that you despised. When accepting things for how they’ve turned out and people for who they are, you learn to deal with the pain that not everything or everyone is perfect. This also makes forgiving people easier
Moral of the Story: “The best revenge is being fabulous” as Kimora says, lol. And on a more serious Simmons family tip, the Rev Run said it best when he said, “Forgiving doesn’t mean stay with wrong people.. It just means I forgive! No unforgiving thoughts for me! Your actions don’t own me.” Sidenote: the Simmons is positive group of people, lol. Accepting things for what they’ve been doesn’t mean that you’ll accept them in the future. The perfect example of this to me is the mother of Trayvon Martin who didn’t forgive Mark Zimmerman right away, but didn’t shut down the idea for the future. She proved that forgiving wasn’t about bringing Trayvon back, but rather understanding and prosecuting ignorant men such as Zimmerman. Like Ms. Fulton and Jewish people observing Rosh Hashanah, we should all prove how strong we are through love and forgiveness; otherwise you just become a perpetrator of the hurt that you were once a victim of. xx
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