We have all heard forgive and forget, and many times this is very valid. We need to expand on this one a little. Depending on the severity of the action we were resentful about, sometimes we need to forgive and not be so fast to forget. For example, if you left your purse out next to a coworker and that coworker stole your purse, then even though everything was forgiven and made right, don’t leave your purse out around them again. I know there are varying degrees of this; however, there is a difference between unconditional love and being naive. There is a difference between being blindly positive and being cautiously optimistic. If a convicted child molester has sought forgiveness and paid his dues, it doesn’t mean I am going to let my children spend the night at his house. This is called being smart.
Don’t confuse this with “never trust others.” We should always expect the best in others unless they give us a reason not to. If you have been burned before by someone, let it go, and move forward with a clean slate.
Expect the best in others and at the same time, it is okay to be prepared for the worst. It is okay to trust and verify. The worst thing we can do is generalize all people because we were treated a certain way by one person. For example, “I don’t trust men because I was physically abused by my first boyfriend.” or “I don’t trust women because I was cheated on in college.” This will not serve you. Forgive, forgive, forgive, and YES, forget in those situations.
When I say forgive and be slow to forget, I am referring to a particular person, not a generalization of people. Yes, we should forgive our enemies but do not forget their names. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.