I am not a forgiving person.
But, on the other hand, others have commented that I am blessed with extraordinary patience and diplomacy. While it doesn’t take much to irritate me, it takes a lot to truly anger me.
“Sorry” is just a word for me. It’s easy to say sorry, especially if you don’t mean it. Sorry is the same word when you accidentally spill a drink as when you purposely hurl a drink at someone.
Filipinos are quick to forgive. I guess it’s the Christian upbringing. It’s mouthed in every mass. “Forgive us now our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Sometimes Filipinos even forgive when the transgressor hasn’t even apologized!
I can forgive accidental transgressions. You trip and spill food over me and I will be quick to accept your apology. You fling a plate-full of pasta at me and I doubt if I will.
Sometimes a wrong decision is made. Sometimes unintended consequences happen. Sometimes bad things happen because of a greater good. I can accept that. Once upon a time, my friends and I put money into a joint venture. We argued and debated about strategy and budget. There were instances when we agreed to disagree. And we lost money. But we didn’t lose our friendship. We hang out from time to time, share a drink, break bread, laugh and reminisce, and toast to that failed enterprise.
And then there was another “friend” to whom I had loaned money. He called me and asked for a not-so-trivial amount of cash, payable in a couple of days. I agreed, he being a college buddy of mine. A few days later I learned he was into gambling. Needless to say, he didn’t pay. I called and he apologised profusely, explaining his problem. He is persona non grata to me.
There’s a big difference between the two situations above. It’s all about character. If your actions (like, for example, slapping a friend or brandishing your wealth and influence by declaring that you can buy everyone including the venue you are partying at) betray your uncouth and arrogant nature, apologizing for your actions are empty words. “I’m only human,” you say. “I make mistakes.” I don’t buy that excuse. You acted in an arrogant manner because you are arrogant. Apologizing does not remove that. And I don’t want to waste my time with arrogant jerks.
I realize that I may have lost a lot of friends. I don’t care. The quantity of friends is not important to me. It’s the quality time we get to spend.