Friday, July 07, 2006

Sins Of The Father

"Few of the sins of the father are visited upon the son."

This is a line from one of my favorite songs, "Forgotten Years," by Midnight Oil. I think about it often. When someone has wronged another, how long does it take to forgive them? If it's someone they love, it could be moments or years. Heck, many don't hold World War II over the heads of the people residing in Germany, Italy and Japan. We do hold the leaders of said nations responsible and still equate their names with evil in oration and textbooks. This can be said with many other wars, misdeeds and failures. Then, I think about the many years of calls for reparations to pay back those affected by slavery from those who made profit from it. Are any of those leaders still around? I wonder... how many generations have to go by before one can be forgiven for the sins of their forefathers?


Teri said...

It took the Catholic Church about 400 years to forgive Galileo for his theory that the earth was not the center of the universe.

It is an interesting point you bring up and one I have thought about before. There are so many layers to this, that where do you draw the line?

Ken said...

At first I thought you were going to go into some Klingon philosophy or something, but I do agree. There are a lot of layers to this, and I think it's going to be issue-driven. Using your example, though, I think the call for reparations for slavery are being used to point out that while slavery ended over 140 years ago by the racism and racial inquality that still exists in this country today.

Anonymous said...

Usually large groups (governments, charities, share holders, etc) will hold grudges for a looooooong time. They have 'friends' backing the up. Individual grudges are much more personal and directed mostly toward a single person. And much easier to let go of.