Opinion: Whatever happened to forgive and forget?

More and more, people are losing their jobs, their ability to support their families, due to past moments of indiscretion. It’s one thing to do something currently and lose your job, especially if whatever it is reflects poorly on your employer. There are clear-cut guidelines to define a code of conduct, but it’s something else altogether to fire someone for something they did 10 to 15 years ago while not even affiliated with the company. To do this is to say that this person should be condemned for life and shouldn’t be allowed to ever work again in this country.

Look at some of the transgressions committed by celebrities over the years who still have a career, Snoop Dogg drove the getaway vehicle after his bodyguard killed a man, Mark Wahlberg used to beat up minorities, endless celebrities have worn blackface, yet it’s the people with no money and no power that are forced to live on welfare for something they did years ago and that’s just not right.

Americans are quick to hate. Just like the prosecution of minorities, women and homosexuals, now the hate is focused on those who had a lack of judgement. I’m willing to bet most of these acts of stupidity have no ill intent, though I’m sure there are exceptions, but we don’t give them any opportunity for explanation or apology. Instead, we take away their careers, their dignity and whatever hopes they had for a future.

Another man has lost his job to the blackface movement. This time, the individual was a police officer for the University of Missouri who, in the past, dressed as Flavor Flav for Halloween. I’m not condoning blackface, but should an individual lose his livelihood, the means to support a family and in this case a career, and probably the only thing he is qualified to do, because of an act of stupidity done prior to his employment with the university?

The continuing effort to fire people for past discretions only perpetuates a cycle of ignorance in this country. If an individual can’t support the family, can’t give the children an education and has to live on welfare or even as a poor family making minimum wage, the lack of education for the children will push them into minimum wage jobs and we all know there is some correlation between living poor and higher crime rates, though there are exceptions.

Maybe education is a better alternative. When people have anger issues, they go to anger management. When people have racial issues, maybe a program would work to show them how their actions affect others. We need to stop the cycle of ignorance through education, not extremism.  

In all this talk about diversity and inclusion, we seem to forget about compassion and forgiveness. We are quick to condemn and stalled in the consideration that anyone can make mistakes. I am not a religious man, but isn’t there something about casting the first stone?

We all have a past and for those of you who don’t, you will. I think it’s time people start to remember the old motto, forgive and forget. Because one day, maybe 15 years from now, the shoe may be on the other foot and you would want to be forgiven for your indiscretions. I’m sure some reading this may think they are perfect and would never do anything that would cause yourself or your family or your company embarrassment. Well, if you live any kind of life worth living, you most likely will.

For all these people losing their livelihoods for past indiscretions, we the taxpayers, the complainers and bigots, can pay for their families to live on welfare. All because we would rather hang someone out to dry instead of show a little forgiveness.  

Warning: Scripture ahead.

John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her,” said Jesus Christ.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that,” said Martin Luther King Jr.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong,” said Mahatma Gandhi.

“Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning,” said Desmond Tutu.

“Our lack of forgiveness makes us hate, and our lack of compassion makes us hard-hearted,” said Mother Angelica.