You Don't Want To Be On Helen's List

Book Discussion

I really, really liked Helen Williams. Helen is the mother of actress Vanessa Williams, co-author of You Have No Idea and a woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind. As Vanessa's mother she's seen her child exposed to ridicule and just plain mean comments in the media. That's not an easy thing for any mother to deal with so how does she cope? She has her list. And you don't want to be on it.

Whenever someone said something mean or rude Helen would pipe up and tell everyone that person was going on her list. Nothing happens to you on the list but it means that Helen knows what you said and she's not going to forget it. At one point she wonders if this means she's not a forgiving person. It's something I've wondered myself. "Forgive and forget." It's a phrase that we've all heard but do we really need to forget in order to forgive?

helen williams

Credit: © Globe Photos/

I'm inclined to say no, but maybe that's because I'm like Helen and I have a list of sorts. I also simply don't think I am able to forget. I don't think that means I'm necessarily holding a grudge. I like to think I've learned something from all of my experiences -- whether they are good or bad -- and to forget the things that happened would be to lose the associated lesson. Sometimes that lesson is about who I can trust and who I can't and that's just a darned good thing to remember if you ask me.

I also wouldn't want to forget the mistakes I've made or the times I've had to ask someone else for forgiveness. Learning you need to seek forgiveness is an important lesson in life and to be given forgiveness? That's a gift. I don't want to forget that either. So yes, Helen and I both have lists. I don't think that means we are unforgiving.

Do you have a list like Helen's? Do you think it means you are unforgiving?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.


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