Svamiji: You ask about forgiveness … what is there to forgive in anyone? The very concept, based on strong Christian teachings, is not really appropriate. If you want to forgive anyone for a perceived wrong, that puts you in a morally superior position; it makes you the judge … giving remission of a supposed debt.
It is not helpful to feel superior; rather you should feel confident of yourself and make an effort to deal with the given situation. Try to understand that there was a mistake and make the other person aware, thereby also giving the opportunity to correct the mistake. Of course both sides have to evaluate the alleged wrong. However, if the other person does not see the situation in the same way, try to accept things as they are. Rather, endeavor to change them within the framework of your available resources. The important point is that you do your best – and hope for a resolution.
There is nothing to forgive. People have different levels of growth and understanding, based on upbringing, religion and cultural values. Considering the widely differing personalities, conflicts are bound to happen. You cannot change anyone. Often it is your own expectation that is the cause of anger toward anyone. This serves no other purpose than to make you miserable and unhappy.
Before you attempt to judge another, examine your own actions and expectations. You have to co-exist and communicate with others, despite different levels of consciousness. Whenever involved in human entanglements, sit quietly, detach and try to sort out the conundrum. By understanding the human complexity you can rise above it.
At times there may be a strong reaction by one of the “combatants”. In that case it may be prudent to drop the issue, although in principle a solution is always possible. Attitude alone stands in the way. Communication is always better than reaction. Recognizing the other person’s limitations is a form of forgiveness.
Human communication seems to be one of the biggest challenges in the world throughout the ages. It does help if at least one person is aware. However, if the other person feels guilty it is your responsibility not to take advantage of the guilty consciousness. That is the moment of real communication – and real mutual forgiveness. There is no doubt that spiritual practices are the most effective method to deal with human interaction on all levels.