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Over time, most things are forgiven. This is human nature. Time allows the "charge" of intense conflict to drain away. Other interactions, interests, and crusades intervene and require emotional energy.

Communities and relationships can use this to their advantage. In a few weeks or months, the passion of disagreement over a particular issue abates to the point where the prospects for working together return.

Some exceptions

"Time does not heal all wounds; it buries them in very shallow graves." Quoted from Robert Haney's Caged Dragons: An American P.O.W. in World War II Japan [ISBN 1-879094-06-1 (alternate, search)]

There are exceptions. Some events are so emotional and so unique that they are remembered for a lifetime. Violence, fear, and unpredictability loom large enough to be hard to forget. Passionate fights culminating in the loss of status or money are rarely forgiven and forgotten, particularly when occuring in a repeated pattern.

Fostering healing

Incidental contact in the absence of a power disparity provides the fastest framework for eliminating the "charge" that has built up during a pattern of conflict.


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