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Forgiveness - a Beautiful Action

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According to APA Dictionary of Psychology, forgiveness is a process that a person willing to put aside feelings of resentment toward an individual who has committed a wrong, been unfair or hurtful, or otherwise harmed one in some way, forgiveness is a prosocial response to an offence that reduces the motivations to avoid or seek revenge and promotes more benevolent motives towards the offender (McCullough, Pargament, & Thoresen, 2000).

Robert Enright (2011) have argued that true forgiveness not merely letting go or moving on, true forgiveness offering something positive such as empathy, compassion, understanding toward the person who hurt you. From these statements, we can elaborate that forgiveness is a voluntary process that replace the negative emotions such as feeling of hostility and anger toward an offender to a more positive ones such as feeling of empathy and sympathy toward the offender. Besides, forgiveness also include changing of negative behaviours to a positive behaviours such as forswear revenge from the offender and to some extent the forgiver even wish the offender to live well.

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Forgiveness is different from reconciliation (restoration of a relationship), excusing (not holding the person or group responsible for the action), condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), forgetting (removing awareness of the offence from consciousness, to forgive is more than just not thinking about the offence) and; pardoning (granted only by a representative of society, such as a judge) (APA).

Forgiveness among family members will promote a better family relationships. While family relationships play an important role in the psychological and physical health of family members, as well as the economic well-being of the family (Beach & Whisman, 2012; Fincham & Beach, 2010). When one intends to continue a relationship with offender especially when the offender is his/her family member, complete forgiveness is required for forgiver to eliminate negative emotions and behaviours while positive emotions and behaviours are added to the offender in order to maintain family relationship with those family member who had hurt you before.

Forgiveness among family members are most likely to serves as a purpose that is linked to the nature and functioning of the family relationship involved (Fincham, 2014). In this year Raya, KFC Malaysia has filmed a very meaningful short video clip as an advertisement. It is a story of the conflict between siblings. Conflict could never been fully prevented within a family. Just because of the unpreventable contention, it precisely proves the tolerance within a family. Family is where our lives begin, and love never ends.

The story illustrates two brothers trying to solve the issue that weigh heavily in their mind during this festive season. The conflict begins when the big brother made fun of his little brother because of his little brother had his first crush on a girl. He ridicules on his little brother with his friend and purposely makes him fall in front of the girl. This causes the low self-esteem of his little brother and their years of ‘cold war’. However, the brother had finally forgives his big brother after years of disputation because of the persuasion from parents and the sincere apologize from the big brother. This is a short video clip less than five minutes, but it really touches the hearts of people. It got more than 1 million views in YouTube, and successfully creates the awareness of public regarding the importance of forgiveness within a family. This would be one of the best advertisements in KFC with no doubt.

In addition, a singer in Taiwan named Angela Chang can also be one of the ambassadors of forgiveness within a family. She used to be a very famous Taiwanese singer for years. However, she seems to have some misunderstanding with her family which cause her mother vilifies her in front of media during her top of the career. This incident caused a really huge impact to her career. Her parent accuse that Angela Chang had abandoned them after she becomes fame. This statement leaded Angela forced to quit her job as a singer. However, she never gives up and starts her singer life again after years. During her recent appearance, she claims that the statement of her mother few years ago let her first try the feeling of betrayal. When comes to the question of the status with her family, she says, family will always remain family. Even though she cannot understand the purpose of her mother’s behaviour, but she still have to accept and forgive her mother because they are family.

Forgiveness is a very beautiful action in reality. It can overcome many unnecessary conflicts and lead us to a better future. Better a friend than an enemy, it seems easy in sentence. Nevertheless, it is truly hard when it comes to reality. Willey’ study found society generally encourages individuals to forgive their transgressors because forgiveness can yield many psychological, physiological, and social benefits (Exline, & Baumeiste, 2000). As in psychological point of view, forgiveness not only giving benefits to the one be forgiven, but also the one forgiving others. They will actually acquire a huge satisfaction in their deep inside. It would provide kind of positive power and energy that can help people to let go all the pressure and resentment.


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