NYDailyNews.com. “I forgive my son’s killer,” says Phyllis Ferguson after her son, Demetrius Hewlin, was killed in an Ohio high school. “Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you don’t know what made him come to this point.”
The parents of a teen killed in a shooting at an Ohio high school cafeteria on Monday have forgiven their son’s suspected killer, saying it was “God’s will” that their boy was taken from them in the morning rampage.
Phyllis Ferguson, the mother of Chardon High School shooting victim Demetrius Hewlin, told ABC News that if she had the chance to talk to suspected gunman T.J. Lane, “I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say.”
Nelson Mandela’s words reveal a powerful truth, “Harboring resentment is like drinking poison, expecting if will kill your enemies.” Ongoing studies show that lack of forgiveness has a negative impact on our bodies, resulting in chronic health problems and diminished quality of life.
Rehashing old hurts, past wrongs, regrets can have a negative and toxic effect on all systems in the body, but particularly the heart. We wear down our cardiovascular system by replaying the toxic tapes and stories from our past, wreaking havoc on ourselves, our bodies, in innumerable ways, increasing our heart rate, blood pressure, while flooding our bodies with stress hormones that linger, creating an unhealthy inner environment of discomfort and disease.
Do yourself a favor. Focus your time and energy on cultivating a practice of forgiveness. Read the full story.
Huffington Post. Marina Cantacuzino, founder of The Forgiveness Project in London, reports on a recent talk by Azim Khamisa, a Sufi Muslim from Kenya who lost his son to murder on an American street 17 years ago. His heart-felt sense of forgiveness has led him to speak “in front of a million young people,” as a way to reduce violence and increase forgiveness. According to Khamisa, “I reached the conclusion that there were victims at both ends of the gun.” The full story is here.
Mr. Khamisa’s story also is featured in the award-winning documentary film, The Power of Forgiveness. Watch a short video clip of Dr. Robert Enright, who was also featured in that documentary, talking about justice, forgiveness and mercy.
Alaskadispatch.com. An excellent article in the Alaska Dispatch discusses not only President Obama’s recent apology over the burnings of the Koran at a NATO base in Afghanistan but also reviews some of the incidents of apology by other recent American presidents. It is worthy of note that when two Americans were killed in the recent violence in Afghanistan, “the Afghan defense minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, called up Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and apologized. It was heartily accepted.”
LivingstonDaily.com. A tearful Corrine Baker asked the judge, who sentenced her to 13-30 years in prison for the second-degree murder of her young son, for forgiveness “for the horrible choices” she made. She lives with the death of her son “every single day.” Full story is here.