Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Forgiveness" and "second chances"

So the magnanimous Donald Trump, owner of the "Miss Universe" franchise, has forgiven "Miss USA" for her supposed misdeeds and will not be taking her title away. "I've always been a believer in second chances," he said. The "second chance" apparently includes entering a rehab program and signing a contract that specifies acceptable behavior for the 21 year-old woman.

What a load of hypocritical, publicity-seeking horsecrap.

Not the "forgiveness" part, but the way it was handled.

I consider forgiveness an essential part of life. I have forgiven, and will always do my best to forgive, behavior I consider wrong or hurtful. Since I am an incredibly imperfect person, I can't expect anyone else to be perfect. And I don't.

When I do forgive, neither you nor anyone else save the other person involved will know about it. That person simply reappears in my life. True forgiveness is a private matter, not an opportunity to stand up in front of a crowd and boast that you have given someone a second chance.

By the same token, true forgiveness is only possible when the "forgivee" not only expresses regret for their misdeeds but also makes a conscious effort not to repeat them.

But when a big fuss is made about it, the past actions stick in everyone's mind, and the spotlight falls on the one who forgives. That's simply wrong.

SEMI-PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: Obviously, there are limits. Some acts are simply too permanent to allow for an unrestricted second chance. Murder, for example, and crimes that leave the victims permanently scarred in one way or another. But most human failings can indeed be turned around, and should be forgiven.

Genuine forgiveness is difficult. It's not easy to forget the behavior that hurt, not easy to overcome the fear that it could happen again. Nor is it easy to avoid the all-too-human temptation to bring up the past in times of stress.

But it's what human beings need to do.

Like everything else I do, I may not be all that good at forgiving, but I do put a lot of effort into it. It's worth it.

I may be giving Trump less credit than he deserves, but I reckon his decision had as much to do with the public-relations value of giving Miss USA a second chance as it did with any true human feelings. Otherwise, he could simply have handled it in private and, at most, issued a short statement saying no change was being considered, or would be made.

I admire people who can honestly forgive others. Hell, I admire people who can see their mistakes, ask forgiveness for them and make sincere amends.

Those involved in this morning's Trump-Miss USA farce don't strike me as admirable.


R2K said...

: )

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this. Public announcement of forgiveness recalls the misdeeds and is all about the "forgiver"

HarpO'Fly said...

sounds like damage control turned into PR maneuver
She's now more famous and his enterprise has gained publicity.

Anonymous said...


I forgive you for stealing my pink frock! Just get it dry cleaned and send it back and we'll say no more about it.


likeisaid said...

Paul said aww, Trump gave her a second chance, wasn't that sweet? I said it's a PUBLICITY STUNT, nothing more!...he came home from work and said after thinking about this today I agree with you. I said well, thanks..I guess. :)

Anonymous said...

I thought everybody just assumed she gave him a really good rogering. BWT, he looks bloody AWFUL. Clean living taken its toll one supposes.