Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."

Sorry again, readers! I know it's been awhile, but I'm here with another post. Let's get started.

You can find the above quote from John F. Kennedy in My Favorite Quotes (thus far) post that I wrote in February. My quote list has grown a little more since then, but that's not what we're here for.

We're here to talk about this brilliant quote. "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." This quote has some sort of je ne sais quoi. There's just something about it! It's so clever. It sounds almost like something a sage would say.

Let's dig into it, shall we?

I'm going to give you my interpretation, starting with "forgive".

According to the Oxford Dictionary (three cheers for the Oxford Dictionary), to forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

So, if someone did something wrong to you, to forgive is to let "it" go. With that being said, forgiving your enemies is basically letting go of whatever they did wrong to you. Awesome.

Oh, and let us remember that forgiveness isn't really for the other person. Forgiveness is for you. Sure one could feel a lot better knowing that you forgave him or her of his or her wrong, but at the end of the day, you can't control other people's feelings. A person could feel sad, guilty, or ecstatic, but if you hold on to whatever he or she did to you, it'll have some control over you. There's no need for that. As soon as you forgive, you are setting yourself free from that burden.

Moving on to...

"...but never forget their names."

First off, the word "but" is used to introduce something that will contrast what has already been mentioned.

Sometimes when I hear or read "but", I replace it with a "Wait a minute! Wait a minute!" or something of the sort. So far I'm reading: Forgive your enemies. Wait a minute! NEVER FORGET THEIR NAMES!

Catching my drift?

This idea is indeed going against the "forgive and forget" idea under which many people operate, which makes the idea of forgiving but not forgetting seem rather smart to me. I mean, it's almost naive to forgive AND forget. Why erase from your memory something that could help you make better decisions about trust, how you choose your friends, or any other situation? Use the time that caused you to forgive someone as a reference to help you in life.

I feel like I'm straying a little bit. Let's get back on course.

Overall, I understand the quote to be interpreted as follows: Let go of whatever wrong that was done to you, but don't forget the people who did the wrong to you, because they could easily wrong you again.

Do you think I'm understanding JFK correctly? Do you agree or disagree with this quote at all? I want to hear what YOU have to say.

I hope you have a great day!

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