Hybrid Forgiveness

I’ve always wanted a Volkswagen diesel. A hatchback Golf. In my dreams maybe I’d be able to afford a more expensive model, an AWD diesel SUV.

Boy did I feel betrayed when the emission-testing avoidance scandal came to light. (VW used software to detect when emissions testing was taking place).

I’m really mad at VW. Right now I feel like I’ll never buy a VW.

The definition of forgiveness I’ve come to internalize (from Scott Peck) is: to be able to remember without pain . So I guess I’ll know I’ve forgiven VW when I’m no longer mad at them.

Does forgiveness mean, though, that I’ll buy a VW? Leaving aside the fact that my preferences have changed (I want an electric or a hybrid car now), I think “no”. If I buy a diesel it will be a different brand.

This is somewhat different from the Divine forgiveness illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son. The Son was welcomed back by the Father. This notion of Divine forgiveness is that we are always welcome back. Job was restored, although the story is that he had done nothing wrong. The Prodigal son was not only welcomed but also restored.

I’ll never see VW quite the same way. Are my standards for forgiveness high enough?




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