When somebody hurts us, we have two ways to move on: we can forgive, or we can forget. These are not the same thing. When we forget something, we have not really dealt with the issue, we have just blotted it out. If we happen to remember the incident again, then the pain and anger will resurface. Forgiveness takes more courage than forgetfulness. To forgive, we must accept what the person has done. We accept it, try to understand it, and only then can we move on. When we forgive, we use the incident as a way to increase our understanding and compassion, and a way to release our own ego. When we forget, we simply pretend the incident never happened at all.

It is easy to go through life without ever forgiving. People do things, we get angry, and then eventually we forget about it. Forgetting about it helps ensure that we do not just stay angry forever, but it does not guarantee that future incidents will not make us angry and upset all over again. By contrast, forgiveness has longer lasting benefits. When we learn to forgive, it is not only the pain of the present that is relieved. By enhancing our compassion and understanding, we are better equipped to deal with any pain that the future may bring.

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