With the recent passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant there’s been an odd atmosphere on how to deal with his death. He’s a celebrated basketball legend but for some he’s a rapist. That idea anger many and for others it makes them upset for the opposite reason — because people have chosen to forget.
Kobe Bryant's great legacy includes a sexual assault allegation, critics point out
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of the best basketball players of all time before he died at the age…
There have been many public figures that passed away and their dark secrets or open secrets are no longer talked about. Perhaps people treat it as an open secret, or they make fun of it, turning whatever trauma into a joke. Like a book these scandals are written out and worried about and then closed forever. What we have left is the good moments, the parts that make someone great.
Not Everyone is Perfect
Of course to expect the best from everyone all the time is unreasonable. But then we have to decide when someone’s actions are actually worth considering as “problematic” and when the bad things outweigh the good. Or perhaps in many ways we’ve already decided. Everyone likes to say they care but cancel culture is proved to be a momentary thing.
We Should Forgive and Forget
But for those that deserve it. Everyone has their own merits for when someone deserves to be forgiven. Personally I think age is definitely a factor. There’s plenty of things I’ve done when I was younger that would make me hate myself now. But that’s more out of ignorance and this need to prove myself. Edgelord culture is a defining moment in more people’s lives than they’d like to admit.
Of course that doesn’t absolve you of guilt and it doesn’t mean you should get away with shitty behavior. It’s an explanation not an excuse. We as a society should still nip behaviors in the bud and reinforce good ideals. What it does mean is that we can be lenient with our expectations for what a less experienced person may understand.
“The Allegory of a Cave” proved people will act out when they don’t understand the full picture. People are afraid to hear what others may say if it doesn’t align with their own beliefs. It’s not just ignorance, it’s a violent revolt towards something different.
Change is scary. But if you’ve matured than you’re willing and actively trying to change yourself. Whether it be from the aid of others or the conclusion of self reflection a new attitude means a new start. People deserve to be listened to.
When I hear about misdeeds a person has done when they were much younger I take a step back and I think about whether or not they have shown a change in behavior. The point is an actual change in behavior. People who have proven to act the same or believe the same values should be judged on a lack of caring. Just because it was worse a long time ago doesn’t mean their beliefs have matured if they still act like they think the same.
Of Course Some Things Just Aren’t Forgivable
And that’s okay too. You aren’t obliged to forgive someone, especially when you’re the one that was hurt. And you shouldn’t feel obliged to do so just because other people have forgiven them. Your feelings are just as valid as a victim/someone in pain.
There’s people who will choose to forgive but that’s forgiveness for them. And sometimes it’s not up to them to forgive someone on your behalf. It’s absolutely ridiculous to believe that just because you like someone’s work or personality that absolves them of all their misgivings. The fact that people choose to remember others at their best doesn’t mean they should shout about how great that person is to others.
If you’re going to forgive a shitty person because you think their value outweighs their hurt you have to remember that hurt wasn’t a hurt that applied to you. Others are allowed to feel the pain and they’re allowed to not share that same unbreakable faith and devotion you have.