Perdonare, fargeban, vergeven, vergeben, fragiban, pardon, forgive. All these words have the same origin and are based on the same idea and meaning. One I had never thought of.
Remit (a debt), pardon (an offence), also “give up” and “give in marriage” (past tense forgeaf, past participle forgifen); from for-, here probably “completely,” + giefan “to give” (from PIE root *ghabh- “to give or receive”). The sense of “to give up desire or power to punish” (late Old English) is from use of such a compound. Says an online etymological lexicon.
So to for-give has to do with giving up (something) completely, it has to do with renunciation, relinquishment, even sacrifice. It’s a truly noble act. And one that probably prevents one from going insane, at least in some cases I’m familiar with. Unfortunately.
Funny enough, or maybe not, it was the Pope who hinted at the etymology of for-giveness last night in Croke Park.
Made me think.
Maybe it didn’t exactly take the Pope to get me thinking about the idea of what forgiveness really means, but he did. Last night was a really brilliant night out for us. We got tickets from friends and friends of friends who really went out of their way to make this possible. We got pretty close to the stage on the pitch because of some caring and friendly people But it’s the idea of forgiveness, of trying to be more humble, of giving up a bit of my pride, of moving away a little from the idea of being (always:) right, and instead to give it up, instead to liberate myself of stuff I won’t be able to change anyways – that is the one thing that will most likely stay with me for a long time. And will hopefully bring some piece. Allowing for my energy to be directed to ‘good’ stuff. Like the light that’s shining through the cracks.