So far I’ve been successful forgiving by going back to a time when I loved, say, my Father and my Grandfather and forgetting the rest.
I now see another way: Imagining what we could be doing together in the future and forgiving for the sake of that future.
It happened as a result of listening to something Vladmir Putin said, which Kathleen brought to my attention. In an interview a year ago, he said:
“Presidents come and go but the politics remain the same. Do you know why that is?
“So a person is elected. He comes with his ideas. Then people with briefcases come to visit him – well-dressed, in dark suits, kind of like mine. Except instead of a red tie, it’s black or navy.
“And then they explain what to do – and the whole rhetoric changes, you see? This happens from one administration to the next.” (1)
Russian history is filled with much the same thing. I saw myself mistrusting him because he wasn’t including himself in what he was saying, even though I agreed with his analysis.
I need to forgive world leaders like Mr. Putin, too.
And I don’t know Mr. Putin so I can’t use the tool of tracking back in time to a period when we got along.
But I could imagine a future in which we get along. I could imagine the benefits that would result from our getting along.
And it was in consideration of that future that I found myself able to forgive Mr. Putin – whom I greatly admire by the way.
But, again, as I said earlier, the fact that I admire him doesn’t mean I agree with all of his policies.
So in terms of my own voyage of discovery into forgiveness, I add this tool of envisioning the future benefits for global society.
It must sound funny to hear me talking about two tools now in my toolbox. But these are tools that I’ve actually tried out, which are working. And this is a brand new area of life for me.
(1) “‘Men in dark suits’ rule the US – Putin on Deep State,” posted May 31, 2017, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3D1sUSuzg Even Donald Trump’s attitude probably would have changed when the White Hats first spoke to him. But this change was away from the deep state!