Author Archive: directorifi

FORGIVE – you will never regret it!

Catholic-link.com – Sometimes words are not needed. Sometimes actions do indeed speak louder than words. And here is a case in point.

“Moments of Mercy: The embrace of forgiveness” is a powerful 6-minute movie that has absolutely no dialogue. It’s about a homeless man who is reunited with his daughter and his wife. Yet, the video is mysterious in the sense that the viewer doesn’t know why the family was originally separated, and there also seems to be a team effort whose objective is to reconnect this man back with his family. The viewer doesn’t learn the purpose of this operation until the movie is brought to a climax when the daughter embraces her father – the ultimate act of acceptance and forgiveness.

“We all must actively make a choice to forgive and take that step forward – to embrace one another and reach out in a loving gesture,” says writer Anna Carochi in describing the video. “We all strive for acceptance with one another and when we achieve this, we are able to become the best version of ourselves.”

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“Professor Enright, can you help me save my country?”

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Educational Psychology – It’s not a question university professors typically get asked during office hours: “Can you help me save my country?”

Of course, Robert Enright isn’t exactly typical, himself.

It’s closing in on three decades now that the UW–Madison professor of educational psychology has been pioneering the study of forgiveness by researching how people forgive and examining the benefits this action can have on emotional health.

Over the years, Enright has tested his program on a range of groups — including incest survivors, adult children of alcoholics, and children in classrooms in Milwaukee and Belfast, Northern Ireland — helping them work through the process of how to forgive. And the results have consistently shown improvement in themes such as anger, anxiety, depression and self-esteem.

Aware of Enright’s work, Josiah Cheapoo dropped in on the professor last year during office hours. Rev. Cheapoo, a Madison resident who fled his native homeland of Liberia amid the African nation’s bloody tribal wars a decade ago, sat down and looked Enright in the eye.

“I asked him to help me bring freedom to my country,” says Rev. Cheapoo, who runs Grace Network International, a small non-profit based in Madison. “I asked him to reunite the people to become one so we can rebuild the country and have a lasting peace. I asked him to help save my country.”

Thanks to that conversation, a forgiveness education initiative is launching in Monrovia, Liberia, which still is emerging from horrendous civil war conflicts in which it is estimated more than 200,000 people were killed between 1989 and 2003. The highest levels of the Liberian government and education systems have agreed to Rev. Cheapoo’s pitch for making forgiveness education for children part of the reconstruction effort, with the hopes of breaking the cycle of violence.

“I believe we have the knowledge, curricula and experience to help the Liberian people learn about forgiveness and to help put a stop to further unrest,” says Enright.

Read more: Could power of forgiveness hold key to snapping cycle of violence in Liberia?

Help spread forgiveness education, reconciliation and peace throughout Liberia, West Africa. Click the “Donate” button below to become a hero to the children of Liberia.

 

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Enright’s Forgiveness Intervention: “The Results Were Glowing”

Here is a brief excerpt from yet another article that features the forgiveness research and philosophy of Dr. Robert Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute. “The Power of Forgiveness” was written by Steven Pomeroy, assistant editor for Real Clear Science, a science news aggregator. This article appeared on August 27, 2013 on BIG THINK–a New York City-based website that bills itself as “a knowledge forum.” The website was voted Time Magazine’s #1 Website for News and Info in 2011.

For most Americans, the Amish way of forgiveness is difficult to comprehend. It’s sourced deeply within their way of life, which is grounded in compassionate, unyielding faith.

“Rather than using religion to bless and legitimize revenge, the Amish believe that God smiles on acts of grace that open doors for reconciliation,” Donald B. Kraybill, a distinguished professor at Elizabethtown College explained in 2007.

But forgiveness is not only grounded in faith, but also in science. In 1996, University of Wisconsin educational psychologist Dr. Robert Enright developed a process model of forgiveness. It can be broken down into four phases: uncovering anger, deciding to forgive, working on forgiveness, and discovery and release from emotional pain.

robert-enright 3Dr. Enright tried out his forgiveness training on 12 female incest survivors. Six of the women served as an experimental group, and immediately received Enright’s intervention, which was delivered in a set number of sessions spread over 14 months. The remaining women — serving as controls — were wait-listed and received the intervention only when their counterparts finished.

The results were glowing. Members of the experimental group became significantly more hopeful, and their levels of anxiety and depression decreased dramatically. Fifteen years later, the benefits remained.

A popular view in American society is that forgiveness is weakness. But the conducted science clearly contradicts that pervasive view. Forgiveness makes you stronger.

“[Forgiveness] does not make you weak,” Dr. Enright affirmed to OnWisconsin. “The love you cultivate and develop in your heart is stronger than any injustices anyone can ever throw against you. And once you live that, you realize how very, very strong you can be, because that’s a buffer against all of the poison that unfortunately visits us just by being alive.”

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR RESEARCH PROJECT

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