I recently watched a YouTube clip where Kerwin Rae, a business and human performance specialist, spoke about his theory that the world only needs acceptance. He believes that forgiveness is a null and void standpoint and needing forgiveness only adds to the reference that something was wrong. Acceptance is taking responsibility or accountability and learning from the situation to move on. He explains that he views forgiveness as a weak standpoint because you’re looking for the power within others to move on. In other words, he believes that the power is left to someone else to heal him and vice versa.
Personally, I think he can’t be more wrong.
Forgiveness, Compassion, Acceptance, and Peace
Forgiveness is the act of relinquishing the emotional feeling to the situation or person. This act is not for others, but it’s for an internal state of existence for yourself. It’s also to find inner peace and become an emotionally healthy and intelligent person. The result of forgiveness is the beautiful feeling of compassion for yourself and others.
Compassion is defined as sympathy or concern for the suffering or misfortunes of yourself and others. The word literally means to “suffer together.” Therefore, a healthy society is not a divided society but a united one where people have compassion towards one another. This is the difference between an eco system and an ego system.
If there is acceptance without forgiveness, the emotional attachment is undeniably still there. Acceptance is finding content within the situation, not to the person doing the harm. To find peace, forgiveness has to be in play.
Since forgiveness benefits our internal state by allowing us to release the baggage of negativity, it’s an essential process for us to get back into a natural state of mind. The release of the heavy, anxious attachments or negative internal feelings we have towards another will allow us to have clarity and logic to respond to the situation. This means forgiveness benefits us more than any other emotion, and without it, we are just causing ourselves more infliction.
However, having forgiveness and acceptance doesn’t mean you accept the damaging behaviour of the person. Instead, you forgive them because of their conditioned and limited human nature and accept the situation that came of it. It puts you in a position of respect and acknowledgement of the perspective of dark and light within the person and situation. You can now make the necessary adjustments and changes to handle the real problem in this position. The opposite would be to reject and avoid the person or situation, however, this brings on more guardedness and resistance, creating more negative emotions.
I believe that true acceptance without avoidance is finding peace and regaining your position and control. What you deny and reject will only get denser and control you.
What about the core principle in religions?
Further in the clip, he goes on and states that “I don’t think anyone needs to forgive for anything because it’s all perfect in the divine scheme.” Here’s my issue with that line in his ideology, acceptance does not equate perfection in the divine scheme of things because the lack of forgiveness gives power to the negative mindset and gives reason to suffering. So if the divine scheme is just to accept and move on, why do most if not all religions encourage us to move into a compassionate place to end suffering for all? On that note, why even have religion if acceptance is all that is needed? Then how does salvation (the core principle of religions) work if all we need to do is accept the situation but respect human life and dignity?
I could have interpreted that line wrong, but to me, it sounds like he’s saying that all humans and situations are of value to draw and learn from. To put it another way, everyone and everything in the grand scheme of things is perfect as there is a reason for all things, so long that we find acceptance and learn from it, we can move forward. The stickler point to me is, humans are born with this thing called free will and constantly balance the conflicts of good (positive) and evil (negative) to life. We all have our blind spots that causes others (and ourselves) suffering, but wouldn’t it be great if we can expand that free will to a natural and neutral state of mind end suffering all around?
Therefore I conclude
Forgiveness and acceptance together equal compassion and peace for yourself first and then for others. By only having acceptance, you’ve put yourself on a case by case basis with the person in question because you haven’t understand their humanity yet to forgive them and make changes for yourself. However if you have both forgiveness and acceptance you’ll be better equipped to check your blind spots.
When you forgive, accept, and offer compassion to yourself and others, this does not mean that you need to be hurt by the person continually. Walking away from a relationship with compassion and understanding for another human being takes a tremendous amount of strength, more so than walking away due to anger and frustration. The difference? You’ve made peace with it, you’ve effectively made adjustments for yourself, and you’ve injected the energy of peace back into the world, even if it’s on a small scale.
Lastly, isn’t this why some are on their death beds they’ll ask for forgiveness from others? It’s a means to find peace for their society as a whole and also to find peace within themselves, to be able to really let go.