Archive for July, 2015

Forgiveness: How Anyone Can Learn This Virtue, North Strathfield, Australia –

The world is overshadowed by atrocities which cry out for justice – and forgiveness: the World Aseabrutality of ISIS, the abductions of Boko Haram; the Boston Marathon bombing; terrorist attacks in New York, London, Madrid, Sydney, Paris; the Charleston massacre…

We asked Robert Enright, a psychologist and founding board member of the International Forgiveness Institute, as well as author of a new book, 8 Keys to Forgiveness, how some people manage to forgive even crimes like these, and whether it’s an art that can be learned.

That’s the introduction to an article published today by MercatorNet, an Australian online news and commentary site whose goal is “navigating modern complexities.” In the article, Dr. Enright explains:

  • Why some people forgive while others remain full of hate;
  • Why forgiveness is so much more than just a coping mechanism; 
  • Why forgiveness education should be a learning staple for all children; and,
  • How forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, can be learned by anyone in the world.

“Forgiveness is about having love in the heart for those who have not been loving to you,” Dr. Enright explains. He adds that the “how to” of 8 Keys to Forgivenessforgiveness, including even how to forgive yourself, is spelled out in his just-released book, 8 Keys to Forgiveness.

“Forgiveness is open to all people in the world if they choose to exercise this particular virtue when hurt by others,” the article quotes Dr. Enright as saying. “Our research includes people of many faith traditions, as well as those with no faith. When those who choose the forgiveness path finish the work, their well-being tends to improve as seen in the research findings.”

Read the entire article: Forgiveness: why we need to have mercy on the merciless. . .and how anyone can learn this virtue.

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Societal Influence on. . . . . . .All Kinds of Things. But, What About Forgiveness?

Stop smoking!  The message worked at least in America as the number of Forgiveness stonespeople smoking and their frequency of smoking has plummeted over the past four decades ever since the Surgeon General’s warning of the harmful effects of cigarettes.

Societies can alter opinions, norms, and individual behavior.

I find it almost inconceivable that no secular society to my knowledge has ever consciously and deliberately adopted a strategy of encouraging mercy, forgiveness, and justice for its community members and families. I wonder how such a social experiment might work and I wonder what the outcomes would be.
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On Displacing Your Anger

Sophia: When you are angry, do you keep it in or does it sometimes go flying out at others, sometimes to people who are innocent bystanders, such as your stepchildren? Sometimes when people have had a hard day at the office, they come home and yell at the pet dog, when all along the yelling is really meant for the boss.

Inez: I see what you mean. Let me think. Yes, although I hate to admit
it, I canAnger 4 be kind of rough with my stepchildren when Sterling has been huffy with me.

Sophia: Do you see that your anger is meant for him and then you take it out on the children?

Inez: Yes.

Sophia: And they do not deserve it.

Inez: Ouch!

Sophia: Right. You are showing the psychological defense of displacement when you do that—when you take out your anger on others who were not part of the injustice—and everyone does this to a greater or lesser extent from time to time. When we do this, we are not bearing the pain. We are transferring the pain to the innocent.

Inez: No wonder the world is so full of emotional wounds.

Sophia: And our forgiving by bearing the pain helps us not to transfer more wounds to others and into the world.

Inez: I’m listening.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1175-1187). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1172-1175). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

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