Archive for November, 2014

Mother Forgives Those Who Beat Her Teenage Daughter Beyond Recognition

Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – A 16-year-old Winnipeg high school student was attacked and beaten so badly last Friday night that her mother couldn’t believe it was her daughter when she first saw her in a hospital intensive care unit.

“I didn’t recognize her,” Julie Harper admitted. “I didn’t think it was Rinelle. But every day, she’s getting a lot better. I believe it is the prayers (from people touched by Rinelle’s attack) which pulled her through.”

Police said Rinelle was out with friends that night but became separated Candle in Handfrom them. She met two men in the south Broadway area who started talking with her and she walked with them to the riverwalk. That’s where the pair attacked her and tossed her into the river near the Midtown Bridge.

The girl was swept downstream, but when she managed to get out of the frigid water, she was attacked again and left for dead. A passerby discovered the unconscious teenager the next morning and called for help.

On Tuesday, thanks to tips from Winnipeg citizens, a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were arrested and charged with the teen’s attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault.

“When I first heard there was two arrests, the first thing that came to me was to forgive right away,” Julie Harper said after a news conference Thursday. “If any family members (of the accused) are listening, I forgive them. That’s what I was taught to do by my late grandparents. It’s hard, but I truly forgive them.”

Rinelle was moved from intensive care into a regular hospital ward on Wednesday and her mother said the girl is making steady progress.

Read the full story: “Forgiveness for Rinelle’s attackers: Teen’s mom says it’s what she was raised to do.”
Watch a video of Julie Harper forgiving the two attackers.

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In your book, Forgiveness Is a Choice, you refer to the “global perspective” that is important when forgiving someone. I am having trouble understanding this one. Would you please clarify?

A global perspective asks the forgiver to go beyond concrete specifics of the offending behavior and to view the person who offended in a larger context than those behaviors. For example, in taking a global perspective the forgiver is asked to see what he or she shares in common with the other person. They both need air to breathe; they both have bodies that need nutrition; each will die some day. The point is to help the forgiver see a common humanity between the two, not because of what the other did, but in spite of this.

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Forgiveness as a Balancing Act

Inez: I’m finally beginning to understand the answer to my question, “What, exactly, do we do when we forgive?” But now I am worried. Can a person forgive too much?

Sophia: Aristotle talked about the balance of the virtues. Each virtue can be distorted in two ways, on either end of a continuum. In Balance 4the case of forgiveness, if we practice forgiveness as a way of caving in to another’s request (by failing to see the injustice and acting without courage), our forgiving will look like “too much,” but it is not forgiving in any genuine sense.

Inez: I know why— because caving in is not a sign of goodness at all. The extreme expression of forgiveness as caving in distorts its essence.

Sophia: Yes, and the other extreme is to use forgiveness as a weapon against the other as you constantly remind her that she has needed your “virtuous” forgiveness.

Inez: In this case, rather than my being dominated, I dominate. That, too, is not morally good, and so I am not really forgiving.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1920-1930). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

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Is Forgiveness a Sign of Weakness?

“Many people are hesitant, even afraid, to forgive because they fear that the other will take advantage of them. Forgiveness is for Gandhiwimps, I have heard many times. Yet, is that true? Is the offer of goodness, true goodness, extended from a position of your own pain, ever done in weakness? How can one offer goodness through a position of pain and see it as weak? And see the giver of this goodness as weak? My point is this: We all may need to delve more deeply into what forgiveness is so that we can make the best decisions possible for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for the ones who hurt us.”

Excerpt from Chapter 3 of The Forgiving Life: A Pathway to Overcoming Resentment and Creating a Legacy of Love 
by Dr. Robert Enright.

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Justice and Forgiveness Confront Each Other in Court

Pittsburgh’s Action 4 News, Beaver, PA – An 85-year-old nun who has spent her entire life helping others while living out her vow of chastity, has forgiven the teenage man who raped her last December.

The victim testified at a preliminary hearing that she was grabbed, punched, choked and ultimately raped, and she told the magistrate she nun-praying-in-front-of-the-churchthought she was going to die. She survived the attack by 19-year-old Andrew Bullock who admitted to targeting the woman behind St. Titus Church in Aliquippa, PA.

The Sisters of St. Joseph nun wrote a Victim Impact Statement that was read in court at Bullock’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday. In the statement, the nun said she was asked by the media if she could forgive her attacker. Her response, she wrote, was: “My thought-out answer to the question was and had to be: ‘Of course he is forgiven.’ ”

The nun referred to Bullock by his first name and called him “my brother.” She said they should both “love one another and forgive one another. And, this I do, Andrew. . .”

The judge, who said that he had not seen such depravity in all his 42 years in the criminal court system, sentenced Bullock to 18 – 37 years in state prison.

Read the story: “Elderly nun’s rapist gets prison sentence, forgiveness”

Watch the video: “Nun’s rapist gets prison time from judge, forgiveness from victim”

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