I saw this story about a boat being seized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a few days ago and it looks to me like the result of an unfortunately very usual lack of forgiveness.

What is kind of funny, or sad depending how you see it, is that I am sure both of the people involved, the male writer who want his boat to cross the Canada/USA border, on one side, and the female DHS agent who seized it, on the other side, are both thinking that they are acting in good faith, that they have done what they could to nicely solve the problem and that most of all they didn't accept what the other asked for because of their integrity.

If you look at the comment you will see a lot of them saying things like: "Integrity! It’s so refreshing, thank you." But I am sure the colleagues of the DHS agent are also praising her for her integrity, because she did not let the guy get away with his boat without signing the form as is.

But I don't think it is really integrity that is at stake in this case. Because it is not a corruption problem at all. It is just a question of an amount on a form that might be a little different from what it should be. And in fact even that is not sure because it might have happened that the conversion rate on that day was exactly 1.00, so that it was exactly the same amount in canadian and american dollars. Or something else. It might even just be a simple misunderstanding.

That's why I think the problem is really a problem of big egos. It would have been a very small effort to do what the other asked, but no, both of them chose not to compromise.

It makes me think that even if we manage to take care all the technical problems in the world and to live in a world of material abundance, there will still be many people who will find a way not to be happy because they will be so upset about this kind of problems.

Why don't people realize that a little bit of forgiveness is really needed and goes a long way in those cases?

Instead it looks like people prefer to escalate these problems to their lawyer or boss, and to accuse the other side of things like "I’ll probably get droned now, too" or "The officer in question vilified by this rich individual now has to endure all the grief posted here and elsewhere by Mr rich guy".

How long will it last? What do they expect? That they will become heroes this way?

And what the next step is going to be in this way? Is the DHS agent going to sue the guy for harassing her on the Internet? Will the guy be tortured by DHS agent at each airport?

Can't they realize that the real solution is to overcome their fear, forgive and talk to each other, to find a simple, cheap and effective compromise? And can't the other people around this story realize this too?