We all know that forgiveness is neither simple nor easy. It can be a challenging process. But new tools are being developed that can help you cut through the clutter, sharpen your “forgive-ability” skills, and become a better forgiver. One of those tools was recently released by the
Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), a California organization that sponsors groundbreaking scientific discoveries.
“Eight Essentials When Forgiving“ is a simple practice technique that provides concrete guidelines while breaking down the forgiveness process into easily manageable components. The 8-step exercise is based on the “backed-by-science” work of pioneering forgiveness researcher Dr. Robert Enright, a University of Wisconsin-Madison educational psychology professor and co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI).
- narrow and understand whom to forgive;
- name and describe your pain;
- understand the difference between forgiving and excusing or reconciling;
- think about the person who has caused you pain in a novel way so you may begin to feel some compassion for them and reduce the ill will you hold toward that person.
The GGSC forgiving exercise also attunes users to residual pain from their experience and encourages them to find meaning and some positivity in it. Step-by-step instructions are included along with scientific evidence that forgiveness works. GGSC also cautions that in certain cases it may help to consult a trained clinician, especially if you are working through a significant traumatic event.
The Greater Good Science Center is part of the University of California, Berkeley. It not only studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being but also “teaches skills that foster a happier life and a more compassionate society–the science of a meaningful life.”
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The International Forgiveness Institute’s website, a global resource for Forgiveness Education and Forgiveness Therapy information, has been named one of the Internet’s best websites of 2022 by TheGoodEstate.
The TGE-AWARD 🏆 – The Best Websites of 2022
Officially called “The TGE-Award,” the annual recognition is based on a point system that evaluates four unique site elements:
- User Experience (UX) / Usability;
- Privacy & Security;
- Information Content & Research; and,
- Services & Communication.
The IFI earned a remarkable 39 out of a possible 40 points in the multi-stage selection, survey, and rating procedure that was conducted by a team of US web experts. Only premier websites selected for the award can display the “Top Website 2022” quality emblem. Newspapers, trade magazines, portals, and foreign websites are not eligible for the award.
The IFI website is one of the most expansive forgiveness resources that exists anywhere in the world. Originally developed and moved online in 2011, the IFI website’s current iteration was built and customized two years ago by Meegaan Technologies, a website and mobile app design and development company in New Delhi, India. In addition to a robust index of 67 unique subject pages, the website features more than 2,273 separate blog posts.
For details about The Best Websites of 2022 Award selection process and evaluation criteria, visit TheGoodEstate website—a multi-thematic review website where users can find high quality information about all kinds of digital and physical products. TheGoodEstate is a project of Global Commerce Media.
Rosemary Kite, founder and president of Forgive4Peace (2008-2018), has been selected to receive the International Forgiveness Institute’s (IFI’s) Healing Hearts Hero award. The award recognizes individuals who have developed collaborative partnerships with the IFI and its co-founder Dr. Robert Enright in order to promote the virtue of forgiveness on an international basis.
Formerly called Possumus International, the organization was created in 2008 with what Rosemary calls “the desire to overcome evil through a superabundance of good. And what better good could be provided to the world than instruction on how to exercise mercy towards one another, bridging the way to peace by teaching the importance and value of forgiveness at home, at school, and at work.”
Shortly after its founding, Possumus International (Latin for the words “we can”) became a 2009 Charter Member of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. Then Rosemary and her colleagues initiated an annual “Family, Friends and Forgiveness” essay competition for girls 10-14 years old with the winners awarded camp scholarships.
In 2013, after learning about and wanting to be a part of the empowering work of the IFI, Rosemary established a “Families and Forgiveness” program that incorporated lessons from Dr. Enright’s A Family Guide to Forgiveness Education into private home settings.
Since then, Rosemary and Dr. Enright have collaborated on school Forgiveness Education projects around the world including those in: 1) Inner City Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 2) Belfast, Northern Ireland; 3) Liberia, West Africa; and, 4) the West Bank, Israel.
Forgive4Peace provided financial support for two IFI-hosted events—the Jerusalem Conference on Forgiveness (2017) and the Rome Conference on Forgiveness (2018). In July, Rosemary was an active participant at the International Educational Conference on Agape Love and Forgiveness in Madison, WI, that was hosted by the IFI and attended by 160 educators from the US, Northern Ireland, Taiwan, Israel, Spain, and the Philippines.
“Rosemary is a fabulous ambassador for forgiveness who has continually impressed me from the first day I met her,” according to Dr. Enright. “She is constantly trying to raise awareness of the importance and value of forgiveness in one’s everyday life. She definitely knows how to heal hearts through forgiveness.”
In her 2019 guest blog for this website, The Art and Science of Forgiveness, Rosemary wrote:
“The art and science of forgiveness suggests that the best medicine we can possibly take to improve our physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health, is forgiveness. Forgiveness is like the pill that offers the deepest healing of the wounds that fester in the human heart.”
Elsewhere she says: “As everyone who has ever had to forgive knows, every act of forgiveness begins with an injustice. We have wounded hearts all around us, everywhere we go. Why not try to be a healing heart to those we come across in our paths daily?”
Rosemary, who has a BA from California State University in San Francisco, has devoted her professional career to educational endeavors in the non-profit sector, primarily through the education of women and girls.
The First International Conference on Forgiving and Being Forgiven within an Inter/Intra Cultural Perspective has been scheduled for February 1-2, 2023, at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Registration is now open and free.
While the concept of forgiveness has been advanced in recent years via multiple fields of study–psychology, sociology, anthropology, moral philosophy, religion studies, ethics, and others–the topic is still expanding. This conference, according to its organizers, “will strive to deepen our understandings of the concept.” The benefits, obstacles, and risks that can result from the experience of forgiveness will be explored from a multi-cultural perspective.
Keynote speakers include some of the world’s leading forgiveness practitioners:
- Dr. Robert Enright, founder of Forgiveness Therapy and K-12 Forgiveness Education as well as co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute.
- Ms. Marina Cantacuzino, founder of The Forgiveness Project, a UK-based charity that works with both victims/survivors and former perpetrators.
- Dr. Suzanne Freedman, Educational Psychology Professor at the University of Northern Iowa and Forgiveness Education curriculum developer.
The conference organizing committee, representing educational institutions in four countries, has also launched its call for papers. The call is directed to scholars, experts and practitioners in relevant fields who can address forgiveness as a process and an experience within an intra/intercultural context. Abstracts of up to 300 words must be submitted by Nov. 30, 2022.
Speaker videos from the International Educational Conference on Agape Love and Forgiveness, held July 19-20 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, (funded by the John Templeton Foundation) can now be viewed online absolutely free in four languages–Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Mandarin–using the links below.
The 26 professionally-produced presentations feature educators from Northern Ireland, Israel (both Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking), Taiwan, the Philippines, and the US. They describe their experiences teaching agape love and forgiveness to their 5th grade students and outline creative Forgiveness Education teaching techniques.