Rhett Breedlove
Posted 5/1/24

For about a million reasons far too complicated to go into, this seems to be absolutely one of the hardest things a human being can do.

Even going way back to when a sibling or friend broke our …

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For about a million reasons far too complicated to go into, this seems to be absolutely one of the hardest things a human being can do.

Even going way back to when a sibling or friend broke our favorite toy, it seems as if things are just never the same once you feel betrayed or hurt by someone else.

Maybe things blow over and intense feelings of anger do subside, but to actually “forgive and forget” is far easier said than done.

The question really is why is it so hard? Is it out of pettiness? Being stubborn? Just unwilling to let go of the past?

In all actuality it’s probably all three.

Perhaps though the most likely and understandable reason derives from the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Once we have felt the indescribable feeling of being punched in the stomach both figuratively and literally, the desire to never allow the same person or another to hurt us again truly never goes away.

Well maybe it depends really on what we are talking about, and certain situations are far more complicated and devastating than others.

Sometimes we forget deep down everyone is just human, everyone is going to mess up once in a while and no one is perfect. There’s a difference in recognizing when something was just an accident, and when it was deliberately meant to cause harm.

Maybe the truth is we always talk about forgiveness, but as human beings living in the new “Roarin’ 20’s” we tend to make it extremely hard to give  or even ask for it. The rule goes when we make a mistake we should simply own up to it, learn from it and try not to do it ever again. Once again for some of us that can be far easier said than done, and it makes forgiving someone so much more difficult.

As this reporter sees quite a bit on a regular basis, witnessing individuals sit in the defendant’s chair for the same offenses over, and over tends to wear thin on one’s hope in his fellow beings.

And yes, there are things in this world without a doubt are unforgivable, so we won’t even get into what those are. If we understand by now how incredibly evil the world, or even tight-knit communities can really be behind closed doors, there’s no need to go into what the unforgivable stuff is.

So what exactly does it mean when we talk about this concept of forgive and forget?

The truth is we will absolutely drive ourselves insane if we simply can’t learn to let go of simple everyday pettiness, especially with people we must live peacefully with every day.

If you need a little help, here’s a little story.

Way, way, way back when, this unconventional reporter you might be familiar with was out in his childhood backyard one lovely summer afternoon.

As time can heal all wounds, it correspondingly has the power to fog up our memories a bit. What this young man was doing to entertain himself perhaps was a bit avantgarde, as most nine-year-old boys are when they find themselves conveniently out of mom and dad’s vision.

Chances are the activity involved a BB gun, crawdads in a ditch, a smuggled firecracker, a red anthill and an equally boisterous younger brother who had not yet found his own path in life.

Of course at six or seven, the only path he was on or even interested in was constantly following the older one around everywhere he went.

And yes, much to the older brother’s despondent vexation.

The older brother this particular day absolutely had no desire for the younger one’s company; and told him in the most adamant yet “good-mannered” way to remove himself from the area and simply to “go find his own path in life.”

The younger one felt hurt, angered and betrayed by his magnificent older sibling. All he wanted to do was simply spend quality time, speak of scientific intellect and learn the facts of life from his older master.

In other words an activity involving a BB gun, crawdads in a flowing ditch, fireworks and a red anthill just seemed like way too much fun to miss out on.

Anyway, the younger sibling felt he needed to send a message to his older brother in such a way that would efficiently communicate just how hurt he felt with such a demoralizing rejection.

He noticed his older brother had taken off his prized, ten-dollar, K-Mart purchased, digital Casio watch and put it “safely” in the grass where “nothing bad could happen to it.”

We now know it was just a cheap peace of crap, but at the time the two young men saw it as a priceless platinum Rolex.

The younger brother bravely picked up the plastic teller of time, and with all the stoicism of a samurai warrior threw it with every bit of strength his little arm could muster. 

Right smack dab into the water-filled irrigation ditch directly in front of his older brother.

Understanding fully what had just occurred, the older one saw it for what it accurately was: a despicable, defiant act of insolent sedition. He had saved up an entire ten dollar’s worth of allowance to purchase the watch and knew both brother’s lives had now been forever altered by this heinous crime.

The older brother in that moment impulsively knew right then and there what had to be done. In his mind the younger one had committed the unforgivable and knew there was only one thing left to do.

The only appropriate punishment would be a powerful, but swift and humane execution. The older brother knew a precedent would have to be set for such acts as this. In his mind, the “little blonde angel” everyone was so goo-goo gaga about had just warranted his own death sentence.

In a heartbeat the older brother sprinted full force for the younger one. Already anticipating this is how his brother would respond, the younger one was already sprinting himself in the direction and safety of the house’s kitchen where he knew Mom would be cooking.

Just as the older one thought he had the little blonde-haired, blue-eyed dandy boy within his grasp; he felt the consciousness of a tight kung-fu style parental arm grip wrap around his body. 

Mom had already seen what was about to happen and simply could not let her precious baby boys engage in an almost certain blood bath.

Needless to say, the watch was gone for good but more severe consequences were to come for both boys.

In their house both boys were found guilty of their behavior by the home-district parental court, fair sentences were given and eventually life carried on.

At the time, it was something this reporter was incredibly furious about. All he wanted was to be left alone to do his thing with red creepy-crawlers and roadside purchased explosives. 

And a sibling’s lack of understanding of this resulted in him being without his cherished watch, and in serious trouble with both Mom and Dad.

Ironically, time healed all wounds and eventually the older brother did find forgiveness in his heart. Probably within about two weeks all was lost and forgotten if we are being perfectly honest.

As ridiculous as the story was, it’s true. So many times, we choose to let our anger towards someone else’s lack of courtesy hold us hostage from enjoying what little time we do have on this earth.

Life is just too short to be angry at someone all the time. For the most part everyone deserves forgiveness, especially our own family. With that being said, just let go and learn to forgive and forget.

There’s really nothing else to do in the end.