Sweeney Todd Probably Had High Blood Pressure, Too

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/17783581/17785200" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

The tagline to the new (brilliant, though bloody) Sweeney Todd movie is "Never Forgive. Never Forget." Now that I've read this article in the LA Times, I understand why Sweeney looked so darn pale, Tim Burton's black/white/gray color scheme aside. Some researchers are claiming that forgiveness — considered a virtue (or mitzvah) in almost every religion — is actually pretty good for your body, not just your soul. But how can you forgive the unforgivable — Sweeney's solution excepted? Survivors of terrible crimes may just not be able to forgive the people who hurt them. Though, as Josh Billings said, "There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness." What do you think?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I love the topic of forgiveness. I've forgiven all my transgressors and it's incredibly freeing. One of my favorite sayings: Holding a grudge is like letting someone live in your head RENT-FREE. I encourage all your listeners to forgive whether the wrongdoers ask, accept, or not. You're doing it for YOU.

Sent by Trish in San Antonio | 3:12 PM | 1-2-2008

I'm a married woman who had an affair and a child by another married man. The affair ended in a most disastrous way and terrible things were said that were not meant. My husband forgave me and has become a great father to my child. My son's father, however, has never quite forgiven me nor the terrible I said about him and his family. Whilst he gets parenting time with our son, he and his wife are complete strangers who cannot forgive me even though I have proven myself as a changed person who is also a good mother. The relationship dynamics have been interesting things to compare during the last few years. The healing of me and my husbands relationship abnd raising our son has been very theraputic, whilst the vitriol between me and my son's father has been very damaging and caused me to remain in therapy. I work on self improvement every day. If only we could all communicate more effectively and forgive, there would be a huge burden lifted for all of us and especially my son. I totally understand how forgiveness has very therapeutic value.

Sent by Laura | 3:18 PM | 1-2-2008

I can't forgive President Bush, I believe my anger will keep me warm on caucus night here in Iowa

Sent by Frances | 3:20 PM | 1-2-2008

i believe first and foremost in forgiving myself my mistakes and missed opportunities. when i do that - i am more apt and able to forgive others. i can only extend to them the grace i can extend to myself.

Sent by kerrita k. | 3:26 PM | 1-2-2008

My parents divorced about 6 years ago however; my mother regulary bashes my father & calls me to complain about what a terrible, evil person she thinks he is. She has gone as far as stating to anyone who listens that he sexually abuses my younger mentally disabled sister. My sister doesn't know any better but to repeat what she is told or what she thinks you want to hear, she has also accused my mother's boyfriend of the same crime & even my sister's husband of beating her yet her husband has only seen her once in our presence. I have had much difficulty making my mother understand the severity of the accusations & quite frankly I don't want her to contact me to victimize herself & try to "poison" my spirit. I literally fall physically ill when I argue with her about the same issue. I have repeatedly asked her to stop raising the same issues with me but to no avail. Currently my father filed a defamation of character lawsuit against my mother. What suggestions do you have to help her forgive & stop spreading her bitterness especially to us, her children.

Sent by Adrianne | 3:32 PM | 1-2-2008

I was in the hospital for 4 months and my anger kept me alive. I don't plan on forgiving anything! I can understand forgiving if it makes you feel better, but letting go of things is like saying that you are not important enough to do anything else, and if any higher power does not like this, you'll just have to add this to the list of things you don't like!

Sent by Mark | 3:44 PM | 1-2-2008

Its more like keeping them prisoner in my head. Lots of the things I do, are meant insure my desire to succeed, IN SPITE of the people who have done me wrong!

Revenge, is a dish best served COLD!

Sent by Harold | 4:43 PM | 1-2-2008

As a victim of violence, it has been incredibly difficult to forgive not my attacker but myself. As a Taoist, however, I feel that I could not be where I am today without everything that has happened to me. I hope that people will be able to forgive knowing taht they could not be who they are if things did not happen.

Sent by Morgan | 1:16 AM | 1-3-2008

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do and I had to deal with a very bad friendship. She took full advantage of my kindess and company to fill the void of her horrible experience with her ex boyfriend. She tried to apologize but I didnt want to hear but just recently I learned that I'm wasting more time being upset and decided to accept her apology and continue on. Forgiveness truly does make me feel better and allows me to move on so that I dont take out that anger on the next person.

Sent by Christopher | 10:57 AM | 1-3-2008

Adrianne:
Sounds like your mother is reaping the foul crop that she has sewn. Tragic, but deserved. You cannot MAKE her forgive. You have to live YOUR life. Your mother will have to come to terms with HER bitterness on her own. Thats how forgiveness works.

Laura:
I hope you realize how lucky you are. Most men would be (incredibly) upset at being cuckolded. And yet he stayed with you. Thats love.
The "other woman" (probably) sees you as nothing but a sperm-stealing hussie.
Does sghe (can she) have children? And who knows what she put him though.(Would keep your husband after he fathered another woman's child?). You need to understand THAT perspective, before you ask for forgiveness. In matters of reproduction, people are incredibly sensitive. Deservingly so, we are talking about who's genes are in the next generation (and who's won't be).

Sent by Harold | 12:12 PM | 1-3-2008

Forgiveness = Daniel Pearl's father. He exhibited such grace after the horrific death of his son, and despite having to live with this loss,strives only to open communications across all lines. If a man whose son was kidnapped, beheaded, and the video published can get beyond hate, the rest of us are just sniveling.

Sent by Cleo Crimmins | 8:44 PM | 1-3-2008