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Post by kleenestar on Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:16 pm

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is rapidly arriving; I hope you won't mistake brevity for perfunctoriness.

I haven't always behaved as well as I've liked in this community. I can think of many times when I've failed to be as generous, thoughtful, patient, or compassionate as I'd like to be - and sometimes all four together.

In the Jewish tradition, you can't ask for forgiveness from another person until you've changed your behavior. I can't ask you for your forgiveness, because I'm still struggling with these issues, but I want you to know that I'm working on these issues, and I'll be grateful for any ways in which you are willing to help me become a better human being.

This community means a lot to me. Thank you all for being a part of my life.
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Post by Guest on Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:22 pm

Well, as someone who likes you best when you are taking absolutely zero shit from anyone, I'm not sure you need to be any more generous or patient than you are. Sometimes, with people who are determined to follow a certain path regardless of the harm they do themselves or others, that just means giving them a longer bit of rope to hang themselves.

But I do not come from your religious tradition, so I freely admit I am unfamiliar with the personal significance of this day and how it applies in communities like this one.

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Post by The Wisp on Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:48 pm

First, this applies to me, too:

But I do not come from your religious tradition, so I freely admit I am unfamiliar with the personal significance of this day and how it applies in communities like this one.


Thank you for being apart of this community. I hope you find success in tackling these issues.
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Post by sky on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:07 am

Kleenestar, I have been a lurker on these forums for quite a while now, and while I can remember some times when you weren't very generous, thoughtful, patient, or compassionate, I can remember many more times when you were.

What jumps out at me is that you say you weren't as generous, thoughtful, patient, or compassionate as you would like to be, and I wonder if perhaps the one you need to ask forgiveness of in this situation is yourself.
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Post by OtherRoooToo on Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:52 am

embertine wrote:Well, as someone who likes you best when you are taking absolutely zero sh*t from anyone, I'm not sure you need to be any more generous or patient than you are.

I'm with embertine on this one. I would like to say I found this article today, by sheer coincidence, and possibly you might find something in it interesting:

http://www.xojane.com/diy/but-what-if-youre-wrong-5-rules-for-apologizing-like-a-grownup

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Post by Guest on Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:33 am

I just wanted to say that I envy your intelligence and capacity for compassion. I think that it would benefit a lot of people to aspire to those virtues.

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Post by kleenestar on Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:11 pm

Thanks, all, for your thoughtfulness and caring.

I appreciate the self-forgiveness thought, but that's actually quite opposed to the spirit of the holiday. Under Jewish law, you can't forgive yourself for wrongs you've done to others. They're the only ones who can forgive you, and there's a whole process of repentance that has to happen before you can even ask for forgiveness. You have to, among other things, acknowledge what you did wrong, make up for any harm you have caused insofar as it is possible, and do a better job in a similar situation. Only then can you ask for forgiveness - and even then, the person is allowed to refuse you. Judaism takes wrongs committed against other people really, really seriously - much more so than wrongs committed against God, where it's basically just, "Yeah, show up on Yom Kippur, ask nicely and God will forgive everything."

The reason I phrased it the way I did is because I've been struggling with how to acknowledge and repair harms in a community where I know people intimately but not well, if that makes any sense. Because I don't always know the real impact of my behavior on people's lives, I don't know how to make up for the wrong or even what wrong I've committed. The only metric I have is how I've behaved compared to my internal standard of behavior, and I know I haven't always succeeded by that measure. But if I had a better metric, I'd use it!
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:24 pm

Discussing months-old grudges tends to be viewed (even by would-be participants) as kind of a bratty thing to do, so I wonder if that isn't an obstacle to getting good data on something like this.

On the other hand, much as I'd like to defy that system, I've no personal grievances to do so with. And this is speaking as a person who does not so much love your (or my, or anyone's) Rage Mode.
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Post by The Wisp on Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:57 pm

kleenestar wrote:Thanks, all, for your thoughtfulness and caring.

I appreciate the self-forgiveness thought, but that's actually quite opposed to the spirit of the holiday. Under Jewish law, you can't forgive yourself for wrongs you've done to others. They're the only ones who can forgive you, and there's a whole process of repentance that has to happen before you can even ask for forgiveness. You have to, among other things, acknowledge what you did wrong, make up for any harm you have caused insofar as it is possible, and do a better job in a similar situation. Only then can you ask for forgiveness - and even then, the person is allowed to refuse you. Judaism takes wrongs committed against other people really, really seriously - much more so than wrongs committed against God, where it's basically just, "Yeah, show up on Yom Kippur, ask nicely and God will forgive everything."

The reason I phrased it the way I did is because I've been struggling with how to acknowledge and repair harms in a community where I know people intimately but not well, if that makes any sense. Because I don't always know the real impact of my behavior on people's lives, I don't know how to make up for the wrong or even what wrong I've committed. The only metric I have is how I've behaved compared to my internal standard of behavior, and I know I haven't always succeeded by that measure. But if I had a better metric, I'd use it!

Have you considered just PMing some people and asking if action x of yours negatively affected them? I don't think people would be offended or anything, especially if you made it clear that it is important to you.
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