FORGIVENESS

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Bible teaches Christians to forgive. In fact, Jesus Christ advised Christians that if slapped, they should turn the other cheek and allow themselves to be slapped again. Islam also requires Muslims to practice tenet. In fact, practically every major religion espouses forgiveness as an important tenet.

When one considers the complaints that there is little accountability on the part of elected officials and complaints that some of the powerfully corrupt live without fear of retribution or punishment, one cannot help but wonder if our ability to be a very forgiving people is not the source of our trouble. Granted, the Yar'Adua administration has repeatedly committed itself to the 'Rule of Law' and Nigerians have witnessed many previously rich men and women return money that was stolen from public coffers. Yet, there remains reason to continue to examine what it is about Nigeria that has contributed to the problems we face today in an attempt to hopefully not repeat those same mistakes in the future.

So, again, could forgiveness be a character trait that causes more harm than good? Possibly. When one forgives and chooses to forget, they open themselves up to a repeat of the very injustice that caused their problem in the first place. This could partially explain why it seems that Nigerians have historically repeated mistakes and continue to struggle to fulfill the dream of a greatness that it arguably deserves.




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Moody Crab said...

Or is that we have accepted the fact nothing can or could be done to ameliorate our situtaion? Or maybe we are content with minding our biz and that of our family...the ' wetin concern me, concern abgero' philosophy? Or maybe we've tried to make our voice heard and we've been disappointed on numerous occassions?

I doubt if religion is solely to be blamed for our lackadaisical behaviour/outlook.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

The post does not intend to place blame on religion, but instead, uses religion and cultural tendencies to look at forgiveness and question what role, if any, it has played in creating the Nigeria we have today.

The points you raise are pertinent, disappointment, minding one's business etc. Those attitudes are not unique to Nigeria, of course, but we cannot ignore their impact on our social psychology and thus response or non-response to issues.

You mentioned "we have accepted the fact nothing can or could be done to ameliorate our situtaion [sic]." That sentiment is frequently repeated. I continue to wonder what can be done to change that attitude and empower the average citizen. Any thoughts? Thanks for your comment.

Jaycee said...

Wow...I don't think I've ever thought abt "our ability to be a very forgiving people" possibly resulting in the current troublesome state of things in the Country...looks like people begin to take forgiveness for granted after a while. Very interesting point of view.

I believe as a Country we shd keep forgiving, but certain repercussions to repeating acts need to be set in place (easier said than done!) *sigh*

Chxta said...

@ Crab, I think it is because to a large extent, and sadly, we are mentally lazy. We are bound to keep on making the same mistakes made by our fathers if we don't find out how and where they went wrong, then strive not to repeat those errors.

Problem is that we aren't even (and that is our generation) interested in learning what happened before...

Today's ranting said...

I don't think Nigerian's would ever forgive leaders who have put the country in such a terrible and precarious state.If they had their way, they would stone all of them to death. The problem is that the same set of people have been the ones rulling or our leaders are just like minded. Their aim is to chop money and not to govern well. Who is going to prosecute who when they are all birds of a feather.Do you think Yardy would have the guts to probe obj? Just imagine the height of corruption in the last administration, its just so annoying arghh. Despite all the mechanisms(EFCC AND ICPC) put into place to combact the menace, much wasn't achieved and I can boldly say it was under obj's government that politicians became more corrupt.Considering the recent revelations in the power sector, one would wonder what exactly do these guys go to do in government.Instead of generating light they have put the nation in darkness and a nation without electricity cannot progress.
The worst part of it is that in cases where people were found culpable of corrupt acts justice did not prevail.Take for example the former IG of police Sunday Ehindero and the likes of almigty Alameseigha( i'm sure i got the spelling wrong) who jumped bail and other governors that have been indicted by the efcc, have they faced the full wrath of the law? It's only when corrupt people are brought to justice that corruption will be reduced to the bearest minimum if not totally eradicated. Nigerians feel they have no say in that country that's why they just watch things happening. For example nobody's vote counts. They would rather face their personal problems beacause they are fed up of leaders.But if we continue to look like lazy cows, the situation won't improve. I hpoe this admnistration will bring hope.

NaijaEcash said...

I don't see our forgiveness as being a fault. To err is human, and to forgive divine. Human beings will always make mistakes because we are not perfect.

However, it is wicked to exploit people because they are known as people who forgives offender. There is a punishment reserved for those that take advantage of others. Cheers.

Today's ranting said...

oh I meant Tafa Balogun and not Sunday Ehindero.

Ms. Catwalq said...

I am all for forgiveness. Just don't add forgetfullness to that equation. That i forgive someone for beating me does not mean I will no longer be on my guard...I will be watching you from the corner of eye every step that you take and you best be believing that I will let you know that I am watching you...

Nigerians have a very short memory. I think we have developed it as a coping mechanism after all we have been through...but now is the time for us to rely on our long term memory. So that we don't have sacrilegious statements being made by people like Babangida who can consider it even possible for them to return to power. Had we brushed him after he left power, everyone would be more careful with what they do....

Waffarian said...

I agree with moody crab that it is more like we are "used" to nothing happening and would rather not disturb our very important lives with trying to "change" things.

I saw a discussion on the internet recently about that BA boycott thingy....if you see the silly excuses people were giving for not being part of it...small inconveninces that should be worth it for the sake of justice or rather, just to let your voice be heard. Stupid shit like " I already booked my ticket"....and so? it takes a minute to get on the phone and cancel the damn thing and for the price BA gives, there are many other airlines that can be found, cheaper for that matter...oh! but for that little inconvenince! I hate to say it, but sometimes I think people just do not want to be bothered.

I doubt if we are so forgiving, most people are very bitter about Nigeria and its leaders. But hey...you wanna do something about it? write a letter? sign a petition? participate in a demonstration?....NOPE!

Abeg, I tire jare!

guerreiranigeriana said...

wow!!...interesting post because i usually have mixed feelings about the whole forgive and forget ideology-leaving it for God, afterall, it is divine to forgive...shei i am a human...i agree that when you forgive and forget, you open yourself up for more fuckery...i tend to like the 'the first time, shame on him...the second time, shame on you' school of thought...as in, if you should choose to forgive and forget, it does not mean you should not also 'learn'...that's where i think we fail, if at all we forgive...you should not bank on forgiveness and forgetfulness if you are also stupid...

...sadly, i think other commenters have already pointed out the true issues-apathy and a focus on the self...

Doja said...

Nigerians are very forgiving that is why we have rogue leaders who keep coming back to power.

Babangida is now being hailed as a respectable member of society and invited to give speeches...no wonder the country is screwed up. The only thing BABANGIDA should be doing is giving speeches in jail to fellow prisoners about when he was a free man.

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