Archive for December, 2014
Think about the love that one person has given to you some time in your life. That love is eternal. Love never dies. If your mother gave you love 20 years ago, that love is still here and you can appropriate it, experience it, feel it. If you think about it, the love that your deceased family members gave to you years ago is still right here with you. Even though they passed on in a physical sense, they have left something of the eternal with you, to draw upon whenever you wish.
Now think about the love you have given to others. That love is eternal. Your love never dies. Your actions have consequences for love that will be on this earth long after you are gone. If you hug a child today, that love, expressed in that hug, can be with that child 50 years from now. Something of you remains here on earth, something good.
Children should be prepared for this kind of thinking through forgiveness education, where they learn that all people have built-in or inherent worth. One expression of forgiveness, one of its highest expressions, is to love those who have not loved us. If we educate children in this way, then they may take the idea more seriously that the love given and received can continue……and continue. It may help them to take more seriously such giving and receiving of love. We need forgiveness education……now.
Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa – The day after South African teacher Pierre Korkie was killed in a botched rescue mission in Yemen, his family said they choose to forgive and rejoice in his memories.
Korkie’s wife, Yolande, said that after hearing the news she asked herself many questions and realized she had a choice to make.
“So today we choose to forgive. We choose to love. We choose to rejoice in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts. We honour Pierre’s legacy and give Glory to God for his life and death,” she said in a statement.
“Even though this pain is overwhelming us right now, we choose to believe that this too will pass.” The statement was sent on behalf of Yolande and the Korkie’s two children.
Pierre Korkie and American photographer Luke Somers were killed in the early hours of Saturday, Dec. 6, during a rescue operation carried out by United States Special Forces in Yemen.
Both Pierre and Yolande were kidnapped in Taiz, Yemen, in May of last year. At the time of the kidnapping, Yolande was a teacher in Yemen and she did relief work in hospitals. She was released and returned to South Africa after 228 days in captivity. Pierre had been a hostage for 558 days.
“The furnace of 19 months has been relentless and red hot,” Yolande said. “Thus I had to really think very hard and long for an appropriate approach in the face of this pain.” The approach she chose was forgiveness.
Read the full story: “Yolande Korkie: The family chooses to forgive”
Sometimes a person is not stubbornly closed to consider forgiveness. Sometimes a person is not distorting the meaning of forgiveness or being distracted or even too impatient to walk its path. Sometimes a person even knows the path of forgiveness….but is not forgivingly fit enough to walk it well. Sometimes a person just has not had the experience to get it right. As an analogy, a person might want to join in the marathon run, but has never trained for one. All of the good intentions in the world, all of the knowledge in the world, will not aid the person in finishing the task. It can be the same with forgiveness. The person may have read about “bearing the pain” and understand what this is and what it is not, but it remains strangely vague and unfamiliar because of a lack of experience with it. The person needs practice for it to become familiar.
We all need to be schooled in the art of forgiveness to be able to find and stay on the path and then to complete the journey. Forgiveness education is one way for children, adolescents, and adults to learn about forgiveness…..to practice it and then to practice it some more…….before tragedy strikes, before confusion and discouragement set in. We have the opportunity to help youth overcome a major barrier to forgiveness—inexperience—by helping them to learn about forgiveness, and to practice it, and to become proficient at it. Can you see the great advantage of meeting injustice while a person already is forgivingly fit, being familiar with the “how to” of forgiveness? We need forgiveness education…..now.
Sophia: And please recall that you do not practice any virtue in isolation from the other virtues. As you practice forgiveness, you should practice justice and patience and wisdom, for example. Here is a general rule to follow as you begin to examine who wounded your heart: You need not forgive everyone who has ever been unfair to you, at least not right away. Focus on those who have actually done some damage, who have actually wounded your heart. As you examine your life, you will remember many people who let you down, insulted you, embarrassed you, and disappointed you in some way. It is legitimate to forgive each of them in time, but for now focus on those who have hurt you deeply enough that you can say, “Yes, that person, by his or her actions, has wounded my heart.”
Inez: I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed at the moment.
Sophia: What is it that seems so big to you?
Inez: The mountain of people. When you’ve lived a while you build up a lot of wounds. Where to begin?
Sophia: We can take it systematically, one person at a time. I recommend that we first make a list of all who have seriously wounded you in your life, from early childhood on to the present time. You need not forgive everyone on that list prior to your turning to forgiving Sterling. Although it may be in your best interest to first forgive certain people, such as your mom and dad or others in your family when you were growing up. These patterns of interactions and the wounds from them can and do make a difference in how we react to other people now.
Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 2140-2149). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.
Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 2135-2140). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.