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[jesus and godel 2024 post three]: forgiveness is for the forgiver

centaur 0

So, those are construction workers loading a bobcat onto a flatbed on our driveway.

Except, they’re not our construction workers.

Our neighbors are building a big, nice house, but have not been respecting our land while they’re doing it. And many people I know have been telling me to give them hell for doing so – in fact, this picture is an example of that, as I was feeding my cat in the morning and saw these guys loading up on our driveway, blocking our housekeeper from getting in (you can barely see her car in the distance) and, generally, making a mess on our property like the neighbors owned it – so I zoomed down there to take these pictures:

But, frankly speaking, I worked for 17 years at Google, and over 25 years in technology, and I quite frankly don’t need any more stress trying to solve problems like this. I’m done with the bullshit – I’ve heard the sob stories too many times, whether it’s “oh, we’re doing it just using your driveway as a one-off” (no, it’s a ten-off at this point) or “no, this obviously dumb thing is actually a good idea” (no, the obvious problem that I just pointed out in your plan will quickly come to pass, like it always does) – and don’t need any more.

Yes, I could get mad. (And I did, a little bit). But what good would it do me – or them?

If all goes well, we’ll be living next to these neighbors a long, long time. And they’ve been trying to work with us, quickly responding whenever one of their workers starts parking their cars there (because when one does it, the rest see it, and start doing it as well). Getting angry just escalates the situation, and creates opposition where it doesn’t need to exist. Instead, by practicing radical forgiveness, we can de-escalate the situations, and find ways to work together – like alerting my neighbor to the erosive damage done by the torrential rains last month, so they can save the trees they planted as a visual barrier:

Forgiveness isn’t just for the forgiven person. It’s for the forgiver – it helps us not just set aside the harm done, but also the anger that arises from our perception of injustice. Anger is like an alarm – the first thing a smart person does with an alarm is turn it off, and investigate the situation that the alarm caused. If you don’t forgive, slights from the past can live on forever – taking us further and further away from the harmony on Earth that presages the harmony that should become our forever home.

-the Centaur

Pictured: well, I more or less said it.

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