Archive for October, 2016
When we have been treated deeply unfairly by others, there is a tendency to look backward far too often. We brood, we engage in the “what ifs” of life……we begin to live with discouragement.
Forgiveness helps us to tie up the burdens of the past so that we are not continually unwrapping the package of bad memories. Yes, we have been hurt. Yes, we might even have been hurt by our own actions. Yet, that is not the story of whom the other is or of whom we are as persons. Our past does not define us and forgiveness helps us to see that because we can overcome the past so that it is not our obsession of regrets.
Forgiveness helps us look forward……to our new-found ability to love others more deeply. Today, I will try to be of service to those I meet. Today, I will try to ease the pains inside at least one other person because I have been in pain and know what it is like.
Forgiveness points me to a future of being able to love no matter what. Pains of the past will not stop that. Other people’s harsh judgments of me will not stop that. My own past failings will not stop that. I can love…….and I choose to do so……now……and in the future.
I will be defined now by what I can do in love rather than by what has happened to me in the past.
When we study differences between men and women on reliable and valid scales of the degree to which they forgive, we tend to find no differences between men and women. When we do interventions to help people to forgive, we tend to find that both men and women can go through the process of forgiving. Yet, when we hold workshops, far more women than men attend. Women, in this kind of case, seem to be more drawn to forgiveness or at least to attend meetings about it.
The Jerusalem Conference on Forgiveness for Peace, scheduled for July 12-13, 2017, is the first ever forgiveness conference to be held in the Middle East. It is being organized by Dr. Robert Enright, whom Time magazine called “the forgiveness trailblazer,” and an international team of religious and secular leaders.
Day 1 of this 2-day conference will include speakers from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam discussing what it means to forgive in each of those religious traditions, the importance of forgiveness, and how to better interact with others through forgiveness. Internationally-known speakers include Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, this year’s recipient of the Templeton Prize, and Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia.
Day 2 will help us learn how to better understand what forgiveness education is and how to bring forgiveness to our children and adolescents in school and at home. Speakers include educators from Northern Ireland, Greece, Israel, Lebanon and the United States.
The conference is open to all who wish to obtain a deeper understanding of forgiveness across the three Abrahamic faiths and who have an interest in bringing forgiveness to the home, school, and other community organizations.
Early Bird Registration is now available at $150.00 but ends October 31, 2016. For more information or to register, click the link below.