Forgiveness is Power

The Power of Forgiveness

We have seen it displayed on the world stage again and again: in South Africa, where the Truth and Reconciliation Commission struggles to heal the deep wounds of apartheid; in the United Kingdom, where Prime Minister Tony Blair sought forgiveness for England’s role in the Irish Potato Famine; in Cambodia, where leaders of the Khmer Rouge have recently come forward in search of amnesty; and in America, where political history is currently being written as the entire nation grapples with the issue of forgiveness.


We see its effects in our communities as well: when warring gangs call for a cease fire after years of senseless killing; when a wife accepts an unfaithful husband back into their home; when a drug abuser finally gets straight.
Each time we witness an act of forgiveness, we marvel at its power to heal, to break a seemingly unending cycle of pain.
Forgiveness is something all Americans aspire to, 94% said it was important to forgive but only 48% said they usually tried to forgive others. Perhaps this is because forgiveness is something we don’t fully understand.
Perhaps, as Friedrich Nietzsche did, we associate forgiveness with weakness.


Or perhaps we view forgiveness as an almost saintly quality that imbues only the very special and most certainly cannot be learned. In fact, the opposite is true.


Those who have studied it can tell you that forgiveness is a sign of strength. Research indicates forgiveness can be taught with positive results.

Copyright © 1999, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research

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