Fairy tales serve as a way to caution us about the world and to also, in a way, encourage forgiveness. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you whether sleepy beauty ever did forgive the one that cursed her. I assume that she did and lived happily ever after with her prince. But life just ain’t no fairy tale.
I recently wrote about how I forgave my sixth-grade art teacher who wronged me. I had held onto that anger for a long time but learned to let it go. At the end of the day, what did it matter that she failed me on a project accusing me of not turning it in when I indeed had? It had no real repercussion on my life advancements. As a matter of fact I learned a good lesson (although I didn’t know it at the time): trust but verify. That is why I now do “read-receipts” when I send emails. (I actually do it like once a year only). We trust the email will get to the person but we still need to verify that they read it lest they claim they never received it and that is why they didn’t do what they said they were going to do. You know, we have all been there.
I have been through a lot in life and in order to maintain my sanity and overall sunny disposition, I have learned to move past many things. Emails that are offensive and rude, I no longer respond to. I just delete them. Because I get hundreds of emails a day, by deleting said emails I soon forget about them. It may seem that I forgive and forget, I just move on and eventually forget on a surface level.
However, not all transgressions should be so easily deleted from one’s memory repository. I recently underwent a nasty experience that I tried to move on from but such forgiveness (or forgetting) just comes back to bite one in the a$s at times.
Let me explain and you tell me what you would have done.
I arrived slightly late to a teleconference for it was scheduled at the last minute, literally ten minutes before its set start time. It was set for 7pm on a sunday night. Who does that?
When I arrived on the call, I announced myseld. However, no one heard me. They did not hear me because they were too busy bad-mouthing everyone that was part of the taskforce. They were vicious in their commentary and tone. Despite all my hard work on the taskforce they then started talking about me. They complained of how the staff I had brought to an event to help them out for free were just not good enough. They didn’t literally get on the floor to take photos but instead sat in their seats photographing and documenting the event. Did I mention they did it for free? The nasty ringleader couldn’t help herself she went on and on about how great she was and how no one else compared.
I was aghast. At one point I tried to chime in again, but their rant was so intense they still could not hear me. I shook my head and gave up.
I did not call them out on their unbelievable nastiness. Never did. I thought perhaps they just had a bad day. I was wrong.
They went on to agrieve me once more yelling at me publicly when I refused to be bullied into serving an extra five months on the committee past my original commitment. I am left to wonder what is wrong with these people. At this point, I can no longer physically and mentally afford to forgive and forget. This is no happily ever after. Bullies, deep into their adulthood, just do not become fairy godmothers or non-bullies. You have to remember and not forgive these incidents. Lessons learned do indeed need to be internalized and acted upon.