Archive for September, 2018
I want to forgive but quite frankly it scares me. I don’t get why I am so scared to forgive. Can you provide some insights for me?
You might be scared because you think that to forgive is to cave in to the other’s demands and unjust treatment. To forgive is to offer goodness from a position of strength as you stand against the injustice, bear the pain of what happened, and offer a hand of encouragement to the other in the hope that he or she will change.
You might be scared because forgiveness is new to you and so, being unfamiliar with the process, it is the change itself that is scary. It is like moving to a new apartment or starting a new job. The unexplored is scary until we adjust. Trying to engage in the process of forgiveness will give you a chance to see its life-giving properties and reduce the scary part of starting this new journey.
Learn more about forgiveness in 8 Keys to Forgiving.
Do we learn more from our failures in our relationships or from our successes? It seems that we learn more about how to seek forgiveness when we fail.
You make a good point that when we fail in our actions within important relationships, we now have an opportunity to seek forgiveness from others and therefore to grow in this process of asking for and trying to receive forgiveness. Of course, when we succeed in our relationships, we become stronger in our understanding and expression of love. Thus, both our successes and failures are opportunities for us to grow as persons.
Learn more at How to Forgive.
ScreenAfrica, Johannesburg, South Africa – Two decades after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission addressed South Africa’s violent history of racial segregation, a new film returns to that time to grapple with the terrible truths of apartheid and its legacy.
The Forgiven, a film by award-winning director Roland Joffé, is a fictionalised account of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s efforts as the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to confront the atrocities of apartheid in an attempt to heal and unite South Africa.
“This is a subject that’s both social and political but also rather personal, because let’s be honest, we’ve all done things in our lives that we need forgiveness for, that we haven’t come to terms with,” Joffe says of the film. “We’re all prisoners of our history, whether it’s social, cultural or family.”
The drama follows Archbishop Tutu and his struggle – morally and intellectually – with a brutal murderer and member of a former apartheid-era hit squad over redemption and forgiveness.
According to the producers, the story is poignant and timely. “It reminds us of Archbishop Tutu’s gift of forgiveness and the healing it brings, and we are honoured to tell this story.”
“The film is a tribute to the remarkable and healing power of forgiveness and the outstanding compassion and courage of those who offered love and forgiveness as an antidote to hate and inhumanity.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Tutu was honored with the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime. His willingness to forgive those who tortured him, his nonviolent path to liberation, and his ability to articulate the suffering and expectations of South Africa’s oppressed masses made him a living symbol in the struggle for liberation.
The film will be released worldwide on Oct. 5, 2018. You can watch the film trailer at The Forgiven.
Archbishop Tutu, an Honorary Member of the International Forgiveness Institute Board of Directors, is the author of several books including:
- No Future without Forgiveness
- The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World
The International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) is a world-wide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people gain knowledge about forgiveness and to use that knowledge for personal, group, and societal renewal.
We believe that forgiveness is a choice. If you have been deeply hurt by another, you can choose to forgive rather than hold on to debilitating anger and resentment. In doing so, an amazing transformation begins. The black clouds of anxiety and depression give way to enhanced self-esteem and genuine feelings of hopefulness. When you forgive, you may benefit the person you forgive. By liberating yourself from the pain and sorrow, you can reclaim your life and find the peace that your anger had stolen.
We are convinced that anyone–individuals, families, communities, even governments–can experience the extraordinary benefits of forgiveness. By learning to forgive and committing to live the forgiving life, we can all help restore healthy emotions, rebuild relationships and establish more peaceful communities around the world.
By signing this Forgiveness Pledge, I affirm that:
- Forgiveness is an important part of my life.
- I will do my best to forgive people from my family of origin.
- I will be a conduit of forgiveness in my family.
- I will forgive in the workplace and do my best to create a forgiving atmosphere.
- I will encourage forgiveness in my place of worship so that it is a forgiving community.
- I will do my best to plant and promote forgiveness in my wider community.
- I commit to living the forgiving life.
We have been helping teachers set up forgiveness education programs since 2002. In our experience, children as young as age 6 can understand the worth of people, including the built-in worth of all people. This is a foundational step in forgiving. Even though young children may not understand the moral virtue of love (serving others for the others’ sake), they nonetheless can see that to forgive is to see the worth in the other and to offer kindness of some kind to the one who offended. As forgiveness education occurs on higher grade levels, then students’ understanding of forgiving as an expression of mercy can become more sophisticated.
Learn more about Forgiveness Education for Children at: Curriculum