Is there such a thing as preventive forgiveness in which we can practice forgiveness before we are deeply hurt by others?
This is an important question with deep implications for growing in the virtue of forgiveness. Aristotle reminded us that if we are ever to advance in the virtues, then we have to practice them regularly. What better way to advance in forgiveness than to forgive people daily for “the little things” even if we are not deeply hurt by them?
We have started preventive forgiveness education programs in Milwaukee’s central-city and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The point of the programs is to help children understand and appreciate the virtue of forgiveness in the calm instructional setting of the classroom long before the stresses of adulthood come to visit. By being equipped with knowledge and appreciation of forgiveness as well as a familiarity of how to forgive, these children, when they are grown up, may face the challenges of life more successfully than those who do not yet know about forgiveness and might be at greater risk of excessive anger.
Read about our preventive forgiveness education programs in Milwaukee, “The Forgiving Child” and in Belfast,??“Waging Peace through Forgiveness in Belfast, Northern Ireland II.”??
You also might want to read in our Adult Forums section the topic entitled, The Little Things about Forgiveness. The discussion includes issues of prevention.