Archive for June, 2014
Howe brought his stepfather’s gun onto a school bus, and tried to fire it at the ground. When nothing happened he pointed it at “Jina” and pulled the trigger. This time the gun fired, killing her.
The teen originally faced up to 22 months in prison before Ady DeJesus, the girl’s mother, met with the teen and the judge. During that meeting DeJesus presented a different plea to the court. Instead of prison, she asked that the court place Howe in a juvenile detention facility for a year.
But that’s not all. She also wants him to join her as she travels around Florida, speaking to others about the dangers of guns. If he doesn’t follow through, he goes back to court, and likely prison.
After the judge approved the new agreement, DeJesus gave Howe an extended hug in front of the courtroom. She says that the ruling has helped bring her peace.
“I forgive him because I’ve found peace because I feel like my daughter now is in peace,” she said. “It won’t bring my daughter back, but at least it will keep her name alive.”
Read the full story: “The Ultimate Forgiveness: Mother ‘Embraces’ Daughter’s Killer in Court”
Watch the Local 10.com (Pembroke Park, FL) news video (02.35): “Mother shows forgiveness to daughter’s killer.”
His eyes are still haunting me. A young man, back to a lamppost, cup in outstretched hand. Desperate eyes. “Please help me” he says without using words. People pass by as if he were invisible. I can tell that he knows others think he is invisible. The loneliness must be crushing. The desperation seems even worse.
I have to wonder what trauma in his life contributed to his being on this Belfast, Northern Ireland street at such a young and vulnerable age. Who convinced him that he is less than a person? He seems to believe that, but I am not sure. I do know with certainty that he is now feeling desperate and his life line is his cup and the passers-by who could extend a hand to his outstretched hand. And yet, he is invisible. Had those who were with him in childhood actually seen him and responded to him as a true, worthwhile person, would he be here now….like this….with a cup…..and eyes that cry out, “Help me!”?
All of us need to start training our eyes and hearts to see the desperate eyes and wounded hearts of those who are invisible.
Forgiveness is not just an act of the will. It takes time and the cultivation of gentleness. It cannot be rushed and so please be sure to cultivate that gentleness toward yourself as you start on a forgiveness journey.
From the pen of Patrick Wells, producer, director, video journalist:
“Formal Forgiveness Education, invented by Robert Enright, is the best idea the Human Race has had since Jesus preached Forgiveness.”
Many people on the planet continue to exist within a tribe, sect, gang, race or mentality, unable to overcome hatred or prejudice against another group. This frequently manifests itself as violence. Learning how to forgive may be the best and fastest way to end systemic negativity against “other peoples.”
The best opportunity we have is to treat forgiveness as a skill and teach it at an early age in our elementary schools. If we can convince our children of the power and importance of forgiveness, when they become adults they will certainly be able to make effective use of this vital skill.
“Forgiveness has the potential to transform our communities that have not known peace for decades and reshape our world.”
First published in WashingtonPost.com, 2010. Read the full article: “Embracing Forgiveness Education to Reshape our World.”
As your question implies, you are aware that there is more than one reason why forgiveness is good. To meet your challenge, I would say that the major reason why forgiveness is good is because it is linked to love, particularly what we call service love or agape love. When you forgive you are exercising this kind of love toward someone who has not been loving to you as seen in his or her unjust actions. Thus, forgiveness is good because it meets injustice with the heroic virtue of love. I call it heroic because it is so difficult to offer agape love in the face of others’ injustice.