I have a concern about forgiveness. As you know, there is a new political movement of giving oppressed people their due. For example, a school district in the United States had a ceremony with indigenous people, acknowledging that the school actually is on land that was taken from this oppressed group. If forgiveness is injected into this movement, I fear that the indigenous people will once again be persecuted as they give in to the oppression, gaining nothing.
I think you are misunderstanding what forgiveness is and what it is not. To forgive is not to excuse or to condone injustices. Instead, forgiveness is goodness offered to those who have not been good to the forgiver. This moral virtue can exist side-by-side with the quest for justice. In fact, forgiving, when people choose to do so, can rid the heart of resentment that can deeply compromise the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness
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