This is a series of articles about forgiveness in preparation for Holy Land Dialogues 2020, whose theme is “Understanding Cultures, Understanding People: Forgiveness”.
There are many different ways to ask for forgiveness. And there are many different ways to forgive. There are formal apologies from strangers and there are apologies from friends. (Yes, from friends – because there’s nothing more unrealistic than perfect friends who never make mistakes).
Apologizing is more than just coldly reciting a rote phrase we learned when we were younger.
More than covering things up. More than asking someone to forget.
Apologizing means taking a step forward when the most logical thing to do would be to hide. Because no, we don’t like owning up to our mistakes.
To ask for forgiveness is to extend your hand and, in some way, offer the other person your heart again. To look into that person’s eyes with the most attractive quality there is: humility. Simplicity. Openness. And like that, you’ll have won them over. Because few deeds are more winning than an “I’m sorry” said in a timely fashion.
Asking for forgiveness isn’t even acknowledging you’re wrong. It’s acknowledging…love. Our love for the one we apologize to. And that is why, so many times, if we care about someone, we will ask for forgiveness even if (it seems to us) we didn’t make a mistake.
At the end of the day, failures may be a pretext for division, but forgiveness is love’s excuse, which seeks to win the day.
Who should apologize first?
Famous and legendary dilemma.
In the end, the one who asks for forgiveness first is not the wrongdoer, but the one who loves more.
The author of the article, Nuria Borras, is a Ph.D. candidate in law in Barcelona. This piece was taken and translated in its entirety from her blog, Lo bueno está entre lineas.