This is the third of four courses offered in the Healing Hearts, Building Peace forgiveness curricula.
Doing the tough work of forgiveness (Phase 3 of Dr. Enright’s Forgiveness Process Model) can be difficult and tiresome. Giving for the good of others and recognizing the ongoing spider-web effect of forgiveness can fuel our efforts. We have entitled this Course “A Peaceful World Starts Within” because students will learn about the humanity within themselves and how that human-ness within each of them is shared among all of us. Forgiving heals your own heart which in turn heals the hearts of many in the human family. This healing allows us to give of ourselves more freely without passing on the pain we may be carrying. Our acts of forgiveness also help to heal the hearts of those we forgive, allowing them to pass along healing and love rather than pain and vengeance. As we heal, those around us heal, as they heal, others around them heal, and so on, diminishing anger and promoting peace.
The following list of learning objectives will be the main focus of this course. Please read this list carefully in order to incorporate these learning objectives into your lesson plans.
Course 3 Learning Objectives:
In this Course, students will:
1. Recognize and appreciate the inherent worth of individual human persons and the human family as a whole
– Identify common human traits, i.e., physical traits, desires, emotional needs and reactions, intellectual and moral reasoning, deliberate (not purely instinctual) actions, etc.
– Evaluate how we each possess these common human traits in different and varied ways and how this makes each person unique and special
– Explore how these common human traits can also vary between different cultures, in particular the ways others view and practice forgiveness.
2. Understand how we are all connected as one human family - how an individual’s actions and attitudes (including our own) affect others in a chain reaction (legacy of love or legacy of pain)
– Compare and contrast ways in which cultural differences influence how we view and practice forgiveness
– Recognize that at the heart of these different views and practices of forgiveness are some universal human commonalities, i.e., the desire for peace and happiness, for justice and fairness, to love others and to be loved, etc. can be underlying motivations for practicing forgiveness; on the flip side of that, the desire for power, greed, revenge, driven by anger and pain can be underlying motivations for some to deny forgiveness and perpetuate cycles of pain.
3. Realize and appreciate the power we each have as individuals to end cycles of anger, revenge, and pain and to initiate cycles of compassion, justice, mercy, and healing.
4. Apply this understanding of human interconnectedness and cycles of pain in a broader more abstract context to comprehend how forgiveness can restore peace, healing communities cross-culturally and globally.
5. Understand and appreciate that healing others starts within; by healing our own hearts and pain within, we can build a more peaceful world without.
Another major component of this Course will be a capstone project in which students will choose 1-2 culture(s) to research, study, and prepare a presentation on the role, purpose, effects, and perceptions of forgiveness in that particular culture or cultures. Students will have a variety of cultures and presentation formats to choose from. This project will be the pinnacle or capstone of their learning experience and should be a way to synthesize, apply, and showcase their knowledge and understanding of forgiveness, in particular the process of forgiveness and the value of healing others through forgiveness.
Dr. Enright’s book “Forgiveness Is a Choice” is used as an additional text for this Curriculum Guide. Teachers may opt to use the Kindle version that students can access online or purchase the actual book at Amazon.com.