There has always been much discussion about forgiveness. Even when people come down on the side of being unforgiving they usually do so from a deep sense of injustice or hurt and see the lack of forgiveness as justice. After all countries are appallingly bad at forgiveness which is why they go to war so readily. But then you cannot institutionalise forgiveness, can you?
Some laws are written to set a standard after which someone is deemed to have ‘served’ a term punishment. But just because they have been imprisoned and set free does not mean the State has forgiven them. Penalties are not there for someone to redeem themselves, that is done, if at all, on a wholly different level.
Because to be forgiven you have to learn to forgive, you have to be a person capable of seeing not only what you have done but what others do and to understand why they do so. Redemption is not about a god dying on a cross or about you dying to yourself and being reborn, it is about what these things represent: realisation. Understanding that a selfless world does not exist and will not exist until human beings create it, which is our supreme challenge.
It is probable that we need to evolve into such a world and not make it because our ‘nature’ will not permit our reason to override it. But I wonder if future generations could forgive us our laxity and selfishness and I wonder how many of us are sophisticated thinkers enough to care whether they do or not.