1 : to whiten with whitewash
2a : to gloss over or cover up (something, such as a record of criminal behavior)
b : to exonerate (someone) by means of a perfunctory investigation or through biased presentation of data
3 informal : to hold (an opponent) scoreless in a game or contest
The interesting thing about whitewash is it's amazing selectivity. What we choose to ignore verses what we choose to make prominent. By choose I mean us as individuals. We excuse some of our activities as momentary variations of our character but hold others errors up to the light to dissect with careful scrutiny. Why the double standard?
Each of us have moments of fault and moments of triumph. We accept or excuse each as we desire but fail to permit others to do the same. Why? Motive? Perception? We love ourselves more?
Now the problem is that this double standard of, well lets call it forgiveness as that sounds better than whitewash, extends even to differing events in our own lives. There are events where we are quick to “forgive” while others we choose to beat ourselves up daily. Why do we have such issues? The real problem is that I do not believe that most people are even aware of these schizophrenic breaks. (Now if you have training in mental problems and I have misused this term I apologize.) I do not believe that in most cases we notice when we apply a different set of standards to our application of guilt.
Now I could say we all need to stop and truly forgive one another and ourselves but that is hard to do if we are unaware that we have such a varying standard of whitewash. The problem with whitewash is that it is perceived by both sides with differing evaluations of the facts. We each have our own perceptions of the events and are often unable to accept or even perceive the perspective of another. This results in whitewash.
Instead we actually need to forgive not simply ignore. Now I know what I just said, that we cannot forgive what we fail to perceive as a variation. But we can choose to forgive what we see as an error and choose to not hold that error against the individual including ourselves. Now Indeed there are errors that need to be held accountable, both toward ourselves and others, but most events that we judge so harshly hardly fall into this category.
What is the standard you are holding yourself to? What is the standard you hold others to? I don't know but maybe that is something to think about.