Forgiveness Is a Superpower

Peter McClard
7 min readDec 13, 2023

The alternatives to forgiveness are well known—punishment, retribution, vengeance and the holding of grudges and resentment. History is filled with a sad and toxic brew of these things between individuals, tribes and nations.

It is said to forgive is to forget and there is some truth to that but true forgiveness goes further than that. It has to, because as much as we’d like to, we can’t always selectively forget an experience, especially a traumatic one that has been etched into our minds. There are also many cases where our very existence is threatened or that of our loved ones or fellow citizens and so absolute forgiveness and inaction in that moment could be a form of suicide or weakness that could spell doom. So it gets complicated. Yet still, we have many more opportunities to apply forgiveness than we take.

Besides trauma, one may also harbor (rightfully or not) deep feelings of being wronged or even some type of resentment that is a sum total of numerous wrongs that have built up over time. These are the feelings that so many can carry with them to the grave as unresolved. Forgiveness is a spiritual skill that allows one to resolve these feelings with the power of Love. Love has the ability to transcend the mundane and to help us see life as a beautiful whole, imperfections and all. It allows us to see others not as only the adults they became, but the innocent children at their core. Though it seems we and others may make poor choices in our actions and words, there is a path from the child that led to this and is often beyond our control so we can always benefit by admitting our own shortcomings and transgressions and forgiving those of others.

We often apply forgiveness or retribution to things that have happened in the past but in reality the past is gone and no longer exists except in the form of memories and history so we are working in a sort of virtual reality of the mind at that point. However, we have the power also to pre-forgive before something has happened but that is a more advanced topic and level of being. Sometimes, our desire for retribution and the strength of our grudges are weakened with time and distance such as the the feelings the US had toward Japan in 1941 after it attacked Pearl Harbor. Not only have we mostly forgiven Japan and become besties but we exacted revenge on them in a most…

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Peter McClard

As a creative type, entrepreneur and philosopher, I write on many topics and try to offer solutions to, or useful insights into common problems.