Yurushimasu, in Japanese, is the decision to, and the act of forgiving another person for an action or intention deemed detrimental or hurtful. In a tightly controlled society as may be found in Japan, the value of forgiving and being forgiven is a highly prized, and perhaps indispensible characteristic of that society. For me, it means forgiving the person involved, without necessarily discounting or dismissing the actual damage done or perceived to have been committed. To distinguish between these two notions is vital to appropriately and reasonably resolving any conflict or misunderstanding for any and all parties involved and affected. Thus, the fundamental connection to the other party is preserved, while constructive measures are being taken to rectify the situation, and reconcile true emotions, perceptions, and attitudes.
No doubt, other cultures and societies have their own version of dealing with applying the notion, and with the actual act of forgiveness, and must be respected as such by any fair observer. Nonetheless, it seems to me that there are certain factors in common for all such manifestations of human compassion and tolerance. One such characteristic may well be the WIIFM factor. “What’s In It For Me?” to forgive another person one may ask. For one, the release of tightly held resentment in exchange for opening that burdened space to more positive emotions and to establish constructive solutions can be huge. For another, the opportunity to reestablish lines of communication and of exchange that proved previously beneficial to both parties, cannot be quickly discounted, and steps may then be taken to reconnect them. When one realizes how much, and how long it took to establish this advantage in the first place, it certainly is worth every effort. It certainly can be accepted as “good for business” to bury the hatchet of resentment and rancor, thus providing new and improved opportunities for mutual growth and prosperity. Say, don’t our so called world leaders strive to achieve this happy result most of the time?