Forgive but correct antisocial behaviors


Ozodi Osuji

    Jesus Christ taught his followers to forgive those who wronged them. I agree with that injunction; we must forgive each other for our mistakes and errors.

     A forgiving mind is a peaceful and happy mind. An unforgiving mind that bears grudges, grievances and seeks vengeance is always lacking in peace and joy; thus, to forgive is good for the person doing the forgiving.

     However, it is not enough to just forgive. To forgive is to overlook the wrong someone did to one. If you overlook a person’s error, since people tend to have a pattern of behavior, he will repeat that wrong to one or to other people.

      If a person is a criminal or liar, it is not enough to forgive him when he stole something or told a lie. One must tell that person why we must not steal from other people or lie.

     People live in society; their properties can be stolen by other people; it is not nice to steal what other people worked for; it is not nice to tell folks lies because we live by trusting that what folks tell us is the truth. Therefore, it is in our mutual interest not to steal or engage in any other antisocial and criminal behavior, or to lie.

     One should forgive our wrongs but point out the need to correct our wrongs, not before we forgive the wrong doer but as instruction for an individual to not go about engaging in antisocial behaviors. It is a social duty for each of us to speak and behave pro-socially, not antisocially; that is how good societies function.

      You do not just forgive a murderer, a pedophile, a rapist, a thief and leave it at that, you must insist that the person no longer engage in such antisocial behaviors, unless you desire a chaotic and anarchic society.

     We must not correct other people’s behavior from anger and hate, we must correct our mutual antisocial behaviors with love. Love is when you love a person and still insist that he does the right thing.

     I had a need to say the above because a person, in the last few days, has been writing threatening letters to me, everything he said as the basis of his threats are lies.

     He is very infantile and thinks that if he makes threats of lawsuits that he would scare me, intimidate me so that I leave him to go on wasting my money as he has always done.

      His ego is arrogant and proud; the ego identified is always a liar. I momentarily felt that I should revert to my past egoistic ways, put on an ego hat and deal with him in a manner he does not know that a human being could deal with another person. I am quite capable of pointing a gun at a criminal, closing my eyes and pulling the trigger; to me criminals and antisocial persons are the detritus of humanity; their death means nothing to me.

     However, my better angels tell me to forgive and insist on correction of socially untoward behaviors. Making threats that he cannot implement is an infantile behavior designed to make his weak ego seem powerful (he has not learned that to be ego is to be weak and to identify with Christ, which is love, is to be powerful).

     Only cowards bow to threats. I am not a coward. I have told a guy with a gun pointed at me to go ahead and do what he wants but that I will not give an inch of ground on what I know is the truth. I have always stuck to the truth regardless of social intimidation.

     Here we have a guy ruled by fear and anxiety thinking that he can threaten and intimidate a son of God who knows that to live on earth is to be asleep and dreaming and that his real self is the Christ self, in light form, and ultimately that his real self is the eternal, formless unified self.

       I am not deterred by threats; in fact, in my old days if one made a threat to me, I would struggle to take one down, to teach one not to try to intimidate me. But now, I correct our mistakes but insist that we correct our mistakes.

      I forgive and insist on correction; if a person decides to live as an arrogant ego he must live in fear. To be egoistic is to live in fear, for egoism is absence of love; where there is absence of love is fear; fear indicates absence of love, if you are in fear, you do not love, so return to love, union with all people and God and fear leaves you.

       Only cowards give in to threats. Cow, as in the animal that is docile and does whatever you ask it to do, hence a coward is a person who does what those holding whips ask him to do.

     One should prefer to die than to live like a cow, a coward. Forgive and insist on the person you are forgiving to correct his behavior.

     You cannot correct other people’s behaviors for them; the only person whose behaviors you can change, if at all, is yours.

     Forgive and correct forgiven behavior is a better definition of forgiveness.


This morning, talking to one of my friends, a US Attorney (J.A, has JD) about  a brother in Nigeria who, from a psychiatric point of view, has temporarily gone psychotic (we call it transient psychosis) and in his psychosis (insanity) is making threats about what he is going to do to me, the attorney told me that some people in Alaigbo do kill their brothers for money (that Fulani and other Nigerians know this sad reality and give them money so that they mess up their land;  give some Igbos money, he said, they sell their mothers and siblings into slavery). He asked me not to overlook the man’s behavior, crazy as it is; his view is that most Africans live in unmitigated egoism and have not developmentally gotten to where they transcend their egos. He asked me to keep a watchful eye on the brother threatening me and use the law to take him out if he steps out of line. I told him that I choose to forgive him but must insist that he correct his obvious antisocial behaviors. I will not tolerate criminal thinking and behavior in anyone.

Ozodi Osuji

July 7, 2022

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