Tagged: “resentment”

Dr. Enright Interviews with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on His CNN Podcast, Chasing Life

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On December 5, 2023 Dr. Enright engaged in a 35 minute interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for his CNN podcast, Chasing Life. It was a wide-ranging interview including what forgiveness is and is not, the scientific evidence for the efficacy of forgiving those who have been deeply unjust, and the psychological and physical outcomes for those who forgive. They even discussed the effects of forgiving on the brain. Click on this link to listen to the episode or read the transcript of the episode!

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Jewish Mother Forgives the Israeli Soldiers Who Mistakenly Killed Her Hostage Son

The Times of Israel newspaper, on December 22, 2023, reported on a story in which one of the soldiers visited the mother, Iris Haim, of an Israeli citizen who was mistakenly shot in Gaza by soldiers from the 17th Battalion of the Bislamach Brigade.  The son, Yotam Haim, was killed on December 15 along with two other hostages, who were mistaken as a threat.

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In a recorded message from Mrs. Haim to the soldiers, she said this as reported in The Times of Israel: ““I am Yotam’s mother. Iwanted to tell you that I love you very much, and I hug you here from afar. I know that everything that happened is absolutely not your fault……I want you to look after yourselves.”

The soldier, as reported in the newspaper, said this to Mrs. Haim: ““We received your message, and since then we have been able to function again…….Before that we had shut down.”  In other words, their receiving Mrs. Haim’s forgiveness allowed them to reclaim their lives.

Such early and sincere forgiveness is not for everyone.  For example, the brother of one of the others slain in this incident expressed bitterness toward the Defense Minister of Israel, blaming him and saying that he would “hunt after him.”  When asked if his anger would consume him, the brother of the slain man replied, again as reported in The Times: ““I don’t have anything left to consume.”

Iris Haim is a living example of how forgiveness, after severe tragedy, can amaze and surprise the world.

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When “forgiveness” is not forgiveness

We recently did an Internet search in which we typed in the term “forgiveness in the news.”  On the first page there were 13 entries.  Of those 13, 12 were about “student loan forgiveness.”  This is a term that has been used for years within the media.  We at the International Forgiveness Institute would like to clarify an important issue.  “Student loan forgiveness” is not the correct term for the following reasons:

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  1. To forgive means that the one forgiven has done something morally wrong, but the students did not act unjustly as they engaged in the proper procedures to secure those loans.
  2. There is a difference between a legal pardon and forgiveness. When there is legal pardon, there is mercy shown, in this case by exonerating the students from paying back the loans or at least part of those loans.  Yet, the ones exonerating are not personally hurt by the students and so they are not engaging in forgiving the students.

The proper term would be “student loan pardons.”  This would be more accurate and not lead people to inadvertently distort the meaning of the word “forgiveness.”

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