Forgiveness requires a certain breaking open of the heart. It requires an openness, a release. Compassion is a doorway to forgiveness.
The question here becomes Who deserves forgiveness? Under what circumstances?
If we are all sacred, then I believe we are all worthy of forgiveness. Regardless of the crime people deserve to be forgiven. When someone hurts another person, I believe it damages them in proportion to the amount of hurt they caused. Often, hurting others is accidental or secondary. Forgiveness can help ease the damage to the perpetrator.
Forgiveness does not require a lack of consequences. In particular, patterns of behavior can warn of danger before more problems occur, If someone acts repeatedly to hurt others, they need to be kept from doing so again.
Forgiveness also does not require repentance. It is an act on the part of those in sympathy with someone who has been hurt toward someone who has done the hurting. Forgiveness can ease our anger and create a different kind of change than anger manifests on its own. Forgiveness holds space for new behaviors and beliefs.
How we forgive is up to us, but I believe we should forgive. What do you think? Share in the comments.