World-renowned psychologist Dr. Robert Enright has teamed up with acclaimed songwriter-performer Sam Ness to produce a “therapeutic music-discussion video” for adults who are struggling with the anguish created by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Called “Forgiveness,” the hour-long video incorporates original compositions written and performed by Ness with related summary discussion bites on the virtue of forgiveness to create what Dr. Enright calls “forgiveness therapy through music” or simply “music of the heart.” The video production is available at no cost on YouTube.
“Every person in the world is dealing with some form of pain or toxic anger from being hurt in the past,” Dr. Enright said in explaining why he and Ness produced the video. “The COVID-19 lockdown has a tendency to amplify those internal feelings and cause additional stress so this is the ideal time to practice forgiveness by being good to yourself (self-forgiveness) and good to others.”
The Forgiveness video includes a rolling discussion between Ness and Dr. Enright, a University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology professor and co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute. The exchanges summarize the four phases of the patented Enright Forgiveness Process Model that has become the standard for forgiveness and forgiveness therapy around the world.
“Sam has added high artistry to the language of forgiveness with his voice and his guitar,” Dr. Enright says. “Instead of reading a book to learn how to forgive, Sam’s songs provide forgiveness therapy through music.”
With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down most television and movie productions for now, would-be viewers of those non-existent productions are looking for something new to watch as they shelter in place, according to Dr. Enright. “This video is just what they need—emotional self-improvement.”
In addition to the song “Forgiveness,” Ness performs two other original compositions on the video: “Storm Inside of Me” (a ballad about self-forgiveness) and “I’ve Come for Grace” (a song he wrote about life’s trials while he was undertaking a 96-mile winter hike through the Highlands of Scotland).
The 22-year-old Ness, a native of Sauk City, WI, began his song-writing career at age 15 and performed in show choir musicals throughout his high school years earning him scores of awards including two Wisconsin Tommy Awards for Outstanding Lead Performer and more than a handful of Outstanding Male Soloist Awards.
After high school, Ness passed up scholarship offers to study theater from half-a-dozen prestigious universities and music conservatories. Instead, he hitch-hiked and hopped busses for nearly a year across Scotland, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland while learning the fine art of “busking” (street performing).
The following year, Ness busked across much of New Zealand before signing on for a 23-show tour across Thailand and Cambodia. Since returning to Wisconsin, he finished writing and recording an album, “Lullabies & Faerie Tales.” He was nominated for several Madison-area music awards and won the Male Vocalist of the Year Award in 2019. Most of his music is available on his website: www.samness.us.
Ness will be traveling throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota this summer (COVID-19 permitting) as part of a solo musical tour featuring performances in 19 separate venues including resorts, lounges, wineries and brewpubs. View the Schedule.
That tour has been arranged and scheduled by Jonathan Little Productions, a talent agency owned by Jonathan Little—a life-long radio broadcaster and promoter of local artists. Little also helped arrange and produce the “Forgiveness” video. He received the Madison Area Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2008.
“As this new video demonstrates, forgiveness is a paradox in which people are kind to those who were unkind to them,” according to Dr. Enright. “That’s something we can all benefit from in this time of coronavirus lockdown. Forgiveness has the power you can use to free yourself from past hurts so you can live a better life.”
For Additional Information:
- Watch the “Forgiveness” music-discussion video on YouTube
- Read the “Forgiveness” lyrics
- Visit the Sam Ness Website
- Read “How to Survive the Coronavirus Lockdown”
When I forgive my husband for his forgetfulness (he forgets to bring in the mail, he forgets to help with the dishes, and other annoying issues), it only seems to encourage his behavior that gets to me. It is as if my forgiving is the ticket for him to keep it up. Can you help me with this?
Yes, I think I can offer some possible insights. I am guessing that your husband is interpreting your act of mercy in forgiveness as permission to keep everything as it currently is. When we forgive, we should consider bringing the moral virtue of justice alongside the moral virtue of forgiveness. When you forgive and your anger diminishes, then might be the time to gently bring up the theme of justice: How can he be fair to you, to share the load? This may get his attention and also send the message that forgiveness also is tough-minded enough to gently ask for fairness.
Learn more at Forgiveness for Couples.
We cannot make an absolute statement as an answer to your question because some college-aged children may forgive to a greater degree than their parents, especially if the student has a lighter injustice to overcome. Yet, we have done studies showing that, on the average, the middle-aged parents tend to forgive to a greater degree than do their college-attending children. I think this is because of the parents’ greater maturity and perhaps because they have suffered more in their longer life and thus have had more to overcome.
For additional information, see Learning to Forgive Others.
Can you give me one major tip for helping a friend to consider forgiving a family member with whom he used to be very close?
As one tip, I would ask this: Suppose you do not forgive this person. Further suppose that you meet this person 20 years from now. How will you feel then if you continue to harbor resentment? Now consider that you may forgive the person…….and you meet 20 years from now. How will you feel then, having forgiven? The contrast between the answers to these two questions might motivate your friend to consider forgiving sooner rather than later.
For additional information, see 8 Reasons to Forgive.
As more cities, states, and entire countries go into full lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, psychologists and pandemic experts are warning that we may soon have yet another health crisis on our hands: deteriorating mental health.
“People really need to prepare for self-isolation,” says Dr. Steven Taylor, author of The Psychology of Pandemics and a clinical psychologist at the University of British Columbia. “It’s not enough to stock up on toilet paper. They need to think about what they are going to do to combat boredom.”
Fortunately, the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) has a solution that will not only provide a diversion from shelter-in-place rules but help you, your children, and all your family members increase your emotional, physical, and mental health despite these stressful times.
LOCKDOWN LESSONS: LEARN TO FORGIVE AT HALF PRICE!
For a limited time only, the IFI is offering its individual and family Curriculum Guides at the never-before-offered price of HALF OFF – a 50% DISCOUNT from the regular price. We’ve reduced the price of all our Curriculum Guides to $15.00 from the regular price of $30.00. That’s the equivalent of purchasing one Guide and getting a second Guide for FREE.
Mix or match, you can select from our 14 grade-level Curriculum Guides (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), our two Family-Learning Programs, and our End-of-Life Manual. These are the same tested and proven study guides now being used by parents, teachers, and homeschooling families in the US and more than 30 countries around the world.
Incorporating the latest social-emotional learning principles, these guides teach both children and adults about the five moral qualities most important to forgiving another person–inherent worth, moral love, kindness, respect and generosity. Each guide encompasses 8 or more lessons (one-half to one hour per week for each lesson) and includes Dr. Seuss and other children’s book summaries that help reinforce moral principles.
THE PERFECT SHELTER-AT-HOME FAMILY PROJECT
- IMPROVE EMOTIONAL HEALTH – by reducing anger, anxiety, depression, and/or PTSD symptoms.
- ENHANCE PHYSICAL WELL-BEING – by lowering blood pressure, reducing stress hormones, and enhancing one’s immune system.
- IMPROVE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS – with family, friends, and community.
- BOOST SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-IMAGE – while increasing hopefulness about the future.
We’ve slashed the price of all the IFI
Forgiveness Education Curriculum Guides by 50% for a limited time only.
Instead of the regular price of $30.00, Forgiveness Guides are now $15.00.
This offer expires on May 15, 2020.