Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Conversations About Forgiveness Facilitator Guide


Published on

The Forgiveness Facilitator Guide provides information on the Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, guidelines for facilitating conversations, thought-provoking essays on forgiveness, discussion …

The Forgiveness Facilitator Guide provides information on the Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, guidelines for facilitating conversations, thought-provoking essays on forgiveness, discussion questions related to campaign films, and suggested activities.

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 2. Table of Contents About this Guide About this Guide ..................................................... 2 This Facilitator Guide is designed to provide you with information, suggestions, and tools Introduction ............................................................. 3 for facilitating conversations about forgiveness Facilitator’s Role ...................................................... 4 in your community, organization, or school. To assist you in your role as facilitator, Conversation Format ............................................... 5 the guide provides three essays that explore forgiveness, suggested video clips (from the Agreements for Conversations public television programs The Power of About Forgiveness ............................................. 7 Forgiveness and Forgiveness: A Time to Love & The Importance of Listening ................................... 7 A Time to Hate), accompanying questions, and ideas for activities. A Participant Handbook Essay: Why Forgive? ............................................... 8 with essays and take-home exercises is available Conversation One: at What is the Nature of Forgiveness? ............... 13 start-conversations. We invite you to use or adapt any of the Conversation Two: material included here so that it works best for Why Forgive? ................................................... 15 you and your group. Essay: The Journey to Forgiveness ....................... 17 We hope that you find this guide useful, and we Conversation Three: thank you for your interest in facilitating these Learning to Forgive .......................................... 21 important conversations. Essay: Forgiving the Unforgivable......................... 23 The Fetzer Institute’s mission to foster aware- ness of the power of love and forgiveness in the Conversation Four: emerging global community, rests on its convic- Forgiving the Unforgivable .............................. 25 tion that efforts to address the world’s critical issues must go beyond political, social, and Letter-Writing Tips ................................................ 28 economic strategies to their psychological and Additional Resources ............................................ 30 spiritual roots. This also reflects founder John Fetzer’s belief that “Love is the core energy that Endnotes................................................................ 34 rules everything, love is the one ingredient that holds us all together.” Forgiveness, a means of removing emotional obstacles to the awarenessFACILITATOR GUIDE of love’s presence, is key to this work. © 2011 Fetzer Institute 2
  • 3. Conversations About ForgivenessFacilitator GuideIntroductionConversations About Forgiveness grew out Ideally, each facilitator will host at least four Forgiveness will notof the Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, a conversations about forgiveness so that thecommunity engagement project of the Fetzer conversations can deepen over time. You may be possible untilInstitute ( that encouraged choose whether to lead the conversations in compassion is bornpeople to bring love and forgiveness into the suggested order, depending on the experi- in your heart.the heart of individual and community life. ences, needs, and desires of your group. WeThrough facilitated conversations, a robust suggest that the conversations take place over a ´ . —Thích Nhât Hanh inwebsite that offers activities, reflections, and a period of four to 12 weeks, and last at least two The Power of Forgivenessthoughtful curriculum, the campaign touched hours each. This guide for conversation facilita-thousands of people during its four-year run. tors offers video clip suggestions, discussion questions, activity ideas, and a suggested struc-The impact of the conversations was significant. ture for the conversations.More than 75% of conversation participantssurveyed reported they would be more likely to: Between conversations, participants will have the opportunity to practice and add to what• forgive themselves for mistakes they are learning via the essays, suggested• forgive others who are close to them activities, and journaling pages suggested in the• talk with friends or family about forgiveness Participant Handbook. or being more forgiving In keeping with the Fetzer Institute’s belief that• consider how forgiveness could be offered as a individual transformation can lead to societal response to a difficult situation change, we hope that as participants learn about different aspects of forgiveness and practiceThe resources at more forgiveness in their own lives, there will beare available for anyone to use. a ripple effect into communities. For example,The Conversations some communities have created a Garden of Forgiveness. Perhaps there is a difficult issue inThe goal of these conversations is to encourage your community where an intentional focus onparticipants to think and talk about forgive- forgiveness can play a role.ness, with the hope that this will bring aboutmeaningful change in attitudes and behavior.For example, we hope that participants mightchoose to start practicing “small forgivenesses,”or be inspired to write a letter to someone theywould like to forgive. Each conversation hasa specific focus and uses essays and a film clipfrom the PBS documentaries, The Power ofForgiveness or Forgiveness: A Time to Love & ATime to Hate, to spark reflection and dialogue.Both films received funding from the 3
  • 4. Conversations About Forgiveness Facilitator Guide (continued)About the Films Facilitator’s Role participants explore any internal or external conflicts in a way that models respect for dif-The Power of Forgiveness uses As you bring your own style to these con- fering opinions and the possibility of “agreeingcharacter-driven stories to exam- versations, we are also relying on you to lead to disagree.” If a conflict threatens to derail the the conversations, and create a welcoming, safe,ine the role forgiveness can play group in a way that would not illustrate the and comfortable environment for alleviating anger and grief, as concepts being discussed, or if the conflict is You may want to recognize the courage it takeswell as the physical, mental, and taking up too much of the group’s time, you to share stories and feelings surrounding thespiritual benefits that come with could ask those involved to set aside some topic of forgiveness, and make participants time after the session for further explorationforgiveness. The film is produced aware that the subject matter may trigger or mediation, and make yourself availableby award-winning Journey Films powerful emotions in them. Ask the group to for private conversation on the matter as youwith major funding from the honor these emotions as they arise (e.g., crying are able. You will have to use your judgment is okay and the group can respectfully holdFetzer Institute. in these situations. If someone is consistently space for someone’s tears without needing to disrupting the group, you may ask themMore information is available: do anything). You can also research additional privately to re-evaluate their reasons for resources and offer them to those who may wish ing the conversations. Maintaining safety and to more deeply explore personal issues outside order for the entire group is most important,Forgiveness: A Time to Love & the conversations. (Ideas include informa- of course, even as the constructive explorationA Time to Hate explores the timely, tion about conflict resolution programs and of conflict within the group can be beneficialnearly ubiquitous applications efforts, substance abuse treatment and recovery to everyone’s learning.and limitations of the concept and programs for families and friends of addicts, programs for those experiencing domestic or We include in this guide a suggested list ofpractice of forgiveness through other abuse, mental health resources, etc.) You shared agreements for you and your partici-a compelling range of stories. will likely find that by sharing your thoughts pants. They could be read at the beginningThe film is produced by Paul and experiences, you will be modeling the kind of each conversation, to set the tone and of sharing and conduct that will keep the con- create a framework for sharing, and they canDietrich and award-winning pro- versations respectful, purposeful, and enjoyable. be amended, expanded, or rewritten by yourducer Helen Whitney, with major group, as desired. And since participants willfunding from the Fetzer Institute. If extremely powerful emotions or conflict be doing a lot of listening, there’s also a page should arise among participants, addressingMore information is available: on the nature and value of focused listening. them in a way that honors both those and the group at large will be important. For example, you could take time to have 4 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 5. Conversation Format as forgiveness. The facilitator acts as a group voice at times like this, and you canAs facilitator, you’ll be responsible for making exemplify honest sharing by mentioning anysure that the conversations start and end on feelings that you may have in this momenttime, and follow the format and agenda that about leading the conversations. You mightyou’ve decided on (allowing for changes and also say something brief about why younew directions that may arise as the conversa- chose to facilitate these conversations, andtions progress). Below is a suggested flow for a what you hope to achieve.two-hour conversation. If you and your partici-pants wish to focus your conversations about 5. Invite participants to briefly introduceforgiveness on a specific topic or issue that may themselves. It’s best to keep this concise,be challenging your community, you might with participants stating their names, whereadapt this flow to your own agenda. You also they live (or work, or go to school, etc.,have the opportunity to make the conversations depending on the group’s identity), and aand the suggested activities suit the particular sentence about how they are feeling in themakeup of your group and tailor them with moment about being part of the conversa- Forgiving isregard to culture, age, ethnicity, etc. tion. You can say that there will be more time later for discussion. This kind of not having to1. Prepare. Review this guide and familiarize “lightning check-in” at the beginning of understand. yourself with the concepts. Read the essays and view the clips ahead of time. each conversation allows people to momen- Understanding tarily release whatever thought or feeling2. Arrive early on the day of the conversation. might distract them from being present may come later, Make sure that the room is ready for partici- to the group. An example: “My name is in fragments, an pants (enough chairs, arranged in a circle Lily and I live in Springfield. I’m stressed insight here and or around a table for conversation, proper because I had to rush to get here and I’m ventilation and temperature, water, flip kind of nervous about being here because a glimpse there… charts, paper, writing utensils, working I don’t know what to expect.” —Lewis B. Smedes video/audio equipment, nametags, signs, 6. Announce the format. Give everyone a etc.). It’s important that you feel as relaxed sense of the conversation’s flow and ending as possible in your role, so give yourself time. Remind them where bathrooms are as much time as you need to prepare. and if there are snacks available, and You might take a few moments to center encourage them to take care of themselves yourself before people arrive, and set an during the conversation (stretch if they intention or hold a vision for how you need to, get a drink of water, etc.). You wish to guide the conversation. may wish to build in a break midway.3. Begin the conversation on time. This sets 7. Distribute and review handbooks. At the a precedent and honors those present. first conversation, you might choose to give4. Officially welcome the group and the participants their handbooks, and join introduce yourself. At the first conversation, them in reading aloud the introductions to it’s important to acknowledge the courage the campaign and conversations. You can and goodwill of those who have chosen to also review the format of the handbooks participate. You can also read the mood/ and note the suggested home practices. body language of the group, and acknowl- 8. Read aloud with participants the suggested edge any nervousness or anxiety that people shared agreements in the handbooks or may feel about joining the conversations create your own. This establishes an identity and sharing about something as personal and code of conduct for the group, 5
  • 6. Conversations About Forgiveness Facilitator Guide (continued) and allows everyone to feel responsible for 11. Lead activities for the conversation. Each honoring it. We have provided a suggested conversation includes a clip from The Power list, which you and your participants can of Forgiveness or Forgiveness: A Time to Love amend and/or expand for your particular & A Time to Hate.This guide includes sug- needs, or use as a reference in creating your gested discussion questions for each clip. own list. It’s a good idea to read the shared Depending on the size of your group, the agreements for at least the first two con- entire time might be taken up by viewing versations. After the agreements are read the clip and having a discussion around the aloud by all who wish to read, you can ask focused questions. You likely also have your whether anyone has a question or need for own ideas for group activities, depending on clarification, and address any of those needs. your conversation format and the group’s make-up. Have a few alternative exercises 9. Center the group. This helps people “land” in mind for anyone who may need them in the room, and invites calm and focus. (e.g., if someone feels uncomfortable about Ideas include: a minute of silence with sharing something personal out loud, theyRather than a favor relaxed or closed eyes (not everyone is could write about the topic instead), and comfortable closing their eyes amongwe do for someone strangers), a brief meditation on breath and give participants permission to skip or alterelse, forgiveness is, body awareness, an invitation to silently any exercises that make them uncomfort- able. You may have to pair with someonefirst and foremost, pray or set an intention, or your own during some of the activities, even as you preferred centering technique. Participantsa favor we do for could also meditate on forgiveness itself— will also be conducting them and keepingourselves. The core where they experience it in the body, how an eye on the time.power of forgiveness it feels, what images or thoughts come to 12. End activities and move to a moment of mind, etc. You could also invite them to silence. This allows everyone to brieflyis that it returns think about a time when they were forgiven “digest” the conversation and identifyto us the power to and how it felt to be forgiven. Afterwards their feelings in the moment. Again, verbalbe happy. you could verbally end the centering, or instructions and/or a soft chime could mark ring a soft chime to bring everyone’s atten- the start of this closing meditation.— Robin Casarjian tion back to the group. Another idea is to 13. Close the conversation with the group. set the tone with a quotation (perhaps from these materials) on the subject of forgive- You and the participants can offer brief ness. You might offer participants the statements about how you feel at the end chance to bring in a quotation of their own of the conversation, and/or what you might for this purpose. take home from the experience. Encourage participants to use their handbooks as a way 10. About the essays. This guide includes to keep the conversation alive and expand three essays: Why Forgive?, The Journey to upon their learning, and invite them to Forgiveness, and Forgiving the Unforgivable. read the next essay in preparation for the These provide background and context upcoming session. Remind everyone of the for the conversations, and include an next conversation date, and stay a few extra overview of relevant research. The first minutes to respond to any questions/com- essay is suggested in conjunction with ments that participants may have. Conversations One and Two, the second with Conversation Three, and the third with Conversation Four. The essays can be read out loud or at home between meetings. 6 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 7. Agreements for Conversations The Importance of ListeningAbout ForgivenessShared agreements among group members As a group, you might take a few minutes tohelp to keep conversations orderly, respectful, discuss the value of listening, and share experi-and conducive to honest sharing. Your group ences where you really felt heard or genuinelymay amend or customize this list, or you might tuned in to someone who needed to be heard.choose instead to brainstorm your own setof agreements. In addition to listening to individuals, it’s Simply put, there important to listen to what is emerging fromYou can vote on your shared agreements at the the discussion. The group will not only be is nothing, nothingfirst conversation, and refer to them as needed sharing ideas, insights, and stories, but they in the world, thatthroughout the remaining conversations. We will also be giving form to an intangible can take the placeinvite you to also consider the power of listen- essence: forgiveness. Short periods of silenting with focused attention as a way to support reflection, especially following periods of of one person inten-all participants in the conversations. intense discussion, give this essence a place tionally listening or in the conversation.1. We agree that any personal information speaking to another. shared in this group is confidential. A discussion about good listening skills — Jacob Needleman might include:2. We intend to balance sharing and listening, allowing everyone to participate, and we’ll • Listening with an open mind and heart. pass whenever we wish. • Allowing others to speak without interruption3. We will allow others to speak without inter- even when we feel impatient to speak. ruption and refrain from giving unsolicited • Accepting that the speaker’s feelings are valid. feedback, advice, or commentary. No matter what we think, we will refrain4. We commit to using “I” statements as often from “correcting” the speaker’s feelings. as possible when we share. • Listening with no agenda other than being5. We will assume good intentions on every- attentive to someone who needs to speak. one’s part, agree that we may disagree at • Imagining that we are speaking and listening times, and learn together about respecting to ourselves. differences. • Listening without trying to solve or fix a6. If an exercise makes us uncomfortable, we problem unless feedback or advice is sought. can skip it or ask the facilitator about an alternative. (Add other skills suggested by the group.)7. We strive to begin and end our conversations on time.8. We will listen with focus and attention.(Add other agreements unique to your group.) 7
  • 8. Essay: Why Forgive? This essay may be used for Conversations One Drawing from those who’ve studied it, we’ll use and Two and can be read individually or out the following definition as a starting point for loud as a group. understanding and practicing forgiveness: The concept of forgiveness should come Forgiveness is a conscious, willful choice to turn naturally to us. Why? Because we are unique away from the pain, hurt, resentment, and and fallible human beings. Because we make wish for revenge that arises from a betrayal, mistakes. We see the world differently. Our offense, injustice, or deep hurt. Forgiveness preferences, foibles, personalities, and needs involves a willingness to see the transgression differ. Our religions, cultures, and world and transgressor in a larger context, and to views differ. replace negative feelings with compassion and tolerance. These differences, combined with the daily frustrations, hurts, and injustices we witness Robert Enright, PhD, professor of educational and experience throughout our lives, can cause psychology at the University of Wisconsin, us pain and even inflict deep wounds in our Madison, points out that by forgiving “we are hearts and psyches. For those wounds, forgive- acknowledging that the offense was unfair and ness can be a powerful, self-administered salve. will always continue to be unfair. Second, weForgiveness is In fact, research has revealed that forgiveness have a moral right to anger; it is fair to cling can contribute to our health, happiness, and to our view that people do not have a rightboth a decision peace of mind. to hurt us. We have a right to respect. Third,and a real change For some of us, forgiveness isn’t something we forgiveness requires giving up something toin emotional think much about. For others, it is a central life which we have a right—namely our anger or resentment.”1experience. That practice. For many, it is misunderstood. When you think of forgiveness, what is the first thing Forgiveness is an opportunity for transforma-change in emotion that arises? A thought? A feeling? A memory? tion, both individually and collectively. Itis related to better What does forgiveness mean to you? Whatever not only helps relieve mental and emotionalphysical and you think of when you think of forgiveness, anguish, but it offers the possibility for change, it is a starting point for coming to a common for redemption, for restoration—for hope andmental health. understanding of this timeless and powerful even love to blossom from pain and suffering. It— Everett Worthington practice. That is where we will begin. can stop a cycle of hurt and create opportunity where there seemed to be none. Most of all, it If forgiveness is a hard concept for you to grasp, has the potential to heal and open our hearts you aren’t alone. It’s not an easy practice or to love again and more fully, strengthening process, especially if you’re just starting out. and building our capacity for compassion and The first time forgiveness crosses your mind or understanding. lips is just one moment in a process to untangle yourself from the pain and repercussions of For each person, there is a unique history experiencing a hurt, transgression, or injustice. and set of reasons why we choose to forgive or not to forgive. If you’ve experienced someone You may be afraid that forgiving an offense will forgiving you, you likely have an idea why diminish the affront itself. It won’t. Forgiveness this practice is important. If you’ve forgiven is not forgetting. It is not accepting or justify- someone who hurt you and you have felt the ing the offense. It is not pardoning, excusing, tension within you begin to ease, you may condoning, or even reconciling. And you don’t understand the significance of forgiveness. necessarily have to understand the offender or But there is more. the offense to forgive. 8 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 9. Until fairly recently there was little research to Why People Forgive Love is the onlysubstantiate the tangible benefits of forgiveness.In the past decade, however, interest in the According to Robert Enright, the reasons that force capabletopic has exploded both inside and outside people forgive fall into the following eight of transforming categories:academia. Researchers are exploring the role an enemy intoof forgiveness in our health, well-being, andrelationships, and in healing intergroup con- 1. You forgive to quiet your angry feelings. friend.”flict. Through their research, they are finding 2. Forgiveness changes destructive thoughts — Martin Luther King, Jr.effective ways to bring this practice into many into quieter, more healthy thoughts.aspects of our lives. 3. As you forgive, you want to act more civillyGood evidence associates forgiveness withemotional, mental, and physical well-being. toward the one who hurt you.Research has shown that forgiveness can reduce 4. Forgiveness of one person helps you inter-depression and anger, increases hopefulness and act better with others. Perhaps your angerself-confidence, and helps improve the health of with your supervisor has spilled over tomarriages and families.3 Forgiveness educationhas also shown promise in preventing crime by your relationship with children. Forgivingreducing vengeful responses that can lead to your boss would be a gift to your children.criminal acts.4 5. Forgiveness can improve your relationshipIn addition, researchers are testing the use of with the one who hurt you.forgiveness training in reducing and healingintergroup conflict such as that experienced by 6. Your forgiveness actually can help the oneProtestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland who hurt you to see his or her unfairnessor Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda. In a study and take steps to stop it. Your forgivingconducted by Fred Luskin, PhD, co-director of can enhance the character of the one whothe Stanford-Northern Ireland HOPE Project, hurt you.and Reverend Byron Bland, associate director ofthe Stanford Center on International Conflict 7. You forgive because God asks you to do so.and Negotiation, which brought together You forgive as an act of love toward God.Protestants and Catholics from NorthernIreland for group forgiveness training, par- 8. Forgiveness, as an act of kindness andticipants who had family members murdered love toward the one who hurt you, is areported less hurt, anger, stress, and depression moral good regardless of how the otherafter the training, as well as improvement in is responding to you. Loving others, whilephysical vitality and general well-being.5 And protecting yourself from harm, is a morallySouth Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation good thing to do.2Commission (TRC) showed the power of for-giveness to transform a country, help its peopleheal from their injustices and wounds, and looktogether toward a brighter 9
  • 10. Essay: Why Forgive? (continued) Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chair of the TRC, In a study by the University of Michigan believes that “…to forgive is indeed the best Institute for Social Research, nearly 60 percent form of self-interest since anger, resentment, of Americans reported they had forgiven them- and revenge are corrosive of that summum selves for past mistakes, while almost 75 percent bonum, that greatest good, communal harmony said they felt God had forgiven them.8 “I think that enhances the humanity and personhood of all of us, at one time or another, when we’ve all in the community.”6 made the same mistakes over and over again, have felt that we must be a disappointment in To forgive is also deeply rooted in many of God’s eyes. Yet there’s a remarkably high level the world’s religious teachings, beliefs, and of confidence across the country that God practices. For many, religious beliefs provide forgives us, compared to a much lower level of a roadmap and a resource for forgiveness— forgiveness for oneself and others,” explained a touchstone that helps to deal with what Loren Toussaint, psychologist and author of the otherwise might be too overwhelming. study.9 Religion and spirituality offer a way to see life’s experiences in a larger context. Rituals,Forgiveness According to authors Michael McCullough and Everett Worthington, PhD, executive direc- traditions, and sacred practices help us navigatebreaks the silos tor for A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, the forgiveness process with a greater purposeof a disconnected “The concept of forgiveness has dual natures: and, for many, are a divine guide. a common one and a transcendent one. In thehumanity. common, material world, forgiveness is just As long as we remain imperfect beings, there will be a need to forgive ourselves and others. If— Bonnie Wesorick one more social-psychological phenomenon… forgiveness seems like a faraway concept—too But forgiveness has another nature as well. hard to contemplate—take heart in the exam- It is spiritual, transcendent, timeless.”7 ples of forgiveness all around us, like the Amish community in Pennsylvania who responded to the shooting of ten Amish schoolgirls by forgiv- ing the man responsible. Or Heidi Coffee, who, when she lost her husband to a car accident, invited the man allegedly responsible to her husband Gavin’s memorial service. According to Heidi, Gavin often invoked the saying, “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and waiting for someone to die.”10 The practice of forgiveness holds hope for transforming not only our individual health and well-being, but also the health of our rela- tionships, schools, workplaces, communities, and beyond. While researchers continue to explore why and how forgiveness works in our lives, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, having wit- nessed the power of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation process, believes simply “thereLiesbeth Gerritsen in Forgiveness: A Time to Love & A Time to Hate is no future without forgiveness.” 10 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 11. Different Beliefs “ In the act of forgiveness we are declaring our About Forgiveness faith in the future of a relationship and in the capacity of the wrongdoer to make a new“ The most basic kind of forgivness is ‘forging the other’s indebtedness’ (mechilá). If the beginning on a course that will be different offender has done teshuva [a process requiring from the one that has caused the wrong. the offender to acknowledge their offence, We are saying here is a chance to make a Forgiveness is not a new beginning. It is an act of faith that the express remorse, make restitution, and take single magnanimous steps to prevent repeating the behavior], wrongdoer can change. According to Jesus [Matthew 18:22], we should be ready to do gesture in response and is sincere in his or her repentance, the offended person should offer mechilá; that this not just once, not just seven times, but to an isolated is, the offended person should forgo the debt seventy times seven, without limit—provided, offence; it is part of the offender, relinquish his or her claim it seems Jesus says, your brother or sister who of a continuum of has wronged you is ready to come and confess against the offender. This is not a reconcilia- human engagements tion of heart or an embracing of the offender; the wrong they have committed yet again.” 12 in healing broken it is simply reaching the conclusion that the —Archbishop Desmond Tutu relationships. offender no longer owes me anything for whatever it was that he or she did… — Marina Cantacuzino “ Why is compassion so important? Someone The second kind of forgiveness is…selichá. must take the initiative to move beyond the It is an act of the heart. It is reaching a deeper cycle of old choices and responses that brings understanding of the sinner. It is achieving an more pain and suffering and recognize the empathy for the troubledness of the other. opportunity for a healing response to life itself. Selichá, too, is not a reconciliation or an This is also true of the forgiveness that results embracing of the offender; it is simply reach- from a compassionate heart. Today we face ing the conclusion that the offender, too, is many problems, and the time has come for us human, frail, and deserving of sympathy. It is to think on a deeper human level where we closer to an act of mercy… understand and respect the humanness of everyone. Though we might regard someone The third kind of forgiveness is ‘atonement’ (kappará) or ‘purification’ (tahorá). This is a as an enemy, this enemy is also a human being total wiping away of all sinfulness. It is an who is trapped by his or her own demons and existential cleansing. Kappara is the ultimate who has a right to happiness.” 13 form of forgiveness, but it is only granted —His Holiness, The Dalai Lama by God.” 11 —Rabbi David Blumenthal 11
  • 12. Essay: Why Forgive? (continued) “ To receive forgiveness from God “ The first step towards forgiveness is to there are three requirements: understand the negativities that are created by non-forgiveness and become aware of the 1. Recognizing the offense itself and its futility and irrationality of nursing grudges. admission before God. We need to understand the law of karmaThe giant pine tree 2. Making a commitment not to repeat and know that the non-forgiveness is against the offense. God, and then sincerely decide to forgive.grows from a tiny Merely understanding the need to forgive issprout. The journey 3. Asking for forgiveness from God. not enough. It is crucial to take a decision toof a thousand miles f the above three conditions are met in I forgive, because it is only then that the wholestarts from beneath sincerity, forgiveness from God is assured. process of unraveling begins. Forgivenessyour feet. Sincerity protects a person from repeating is not an action or emotion, it is something the same offense. If a person is sincere much deeper. It is the state of my being. When—Lao Tzu he will be helped by God not to repeat; in forgiveness happens there is no need to say addition, God will change his punishment anything. It is a state where there is no hatred for the offense into a reward.” 14 or sense of revenge that remains.” 15 — M. Amir Ali, PhD, founder, Institute of —Swami Nikhilananda, director, Islamic Information and Education Chinmaya Miss 12 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 13. Conversation One:What Is the Nature of Forgiveness?Since this is likely the first time that your group The Power of Forgivenessis meeting, you may want to “take the pulse” of “The Amish and Forgiveness” Clipthe participants by doing the following activ-ity. Place individual poster-size flip chart sheets This three-minute clip revisits the Octoberaround the room. Write one of the following 2006 shooting at Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania,statements (or use your own) on each sheet. and explores why the Amish were able toDraw a horizontal line in the middle of each offer forgiveness to the killer’s family. Donaldchart with “agree” on one side and “disagree” Kraybill, PhD, senior fellow, The Young Centeron the other. As people arrive in the room, for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, explains thatgive them stickers or markers and ask them to the Amish are rooted in the forgiveness calledplace a sticker or mark an “x” at the place on for in the Lord’s Prayer and in accepting thethe line that represents their view. (This will will of God.give everyone a quick visual overview of the“pulse” in the room.) Discussion Questions A typical saying, • How do you feel after seeing the video clip? repeated many timesStatements: What is your reaction? in Amish culture,• There is someone I need to forgive. • Kraybill says that Amish children see their is “Forgive, forget,• Not forgiving someone is adding stress parents forgiving or extending forgiveness and that is how they learn about forgiveness. and move on.” to my life. How did you learn about forgiveness? What — Donald Kraybill,• I have been hurt, betrayed, and/or let down. do you think the children in our community author of Amish Grace• I am carrying a burden of pain because learn about forgiveness? What changes would I haven’t forgiven someone. you want to make?• I need to be forgiven for something I did • According to Kraybill, one element that or said. enables the Amish to forgive is the strength of their community, which, he says, helps them• Justice is more important to me than “absorb” hatred and deal with anger, because forgiveness. they don’t need to defend themselves indi-After you have reviewed the shared agreements vidually. How do you think our communityand other logistical issues and centered the might learn to absorb hatred and anger? Howgroup, you may wish to invite comments on the might that help us as individuals?responses. If time permits, you may choose to • What can you learn from the Amish approachdo one of the suggested activities to further to forgiveness? What aspects might you wantexplore the topic. to include in your own life?Video Clips andDiscussion QuestionsSelect and screen one of the following clips.Then lead a discussion using the questionsprovided for the clip or create your own.Depending on your group’s size, you can carryon this discussion with the full group or in pairsor trios of participants, with one member ofeach team reporting highlights of their discus-sion to the entire 13
  • 14. Conversation One: What Is the Nature of Forgiveness? (continued) Forgiveness: • What is your experience with forgiveness A Time to Love & A Time to Hate within your family or with someone close to you? “Intimate Woundings” Clip • Have you experienced a major loss, upheaval, This 16-minute clip tells the story of Dan Glick or estrangement within your family or a close and his former wife Liesbeth friendship? How did forgiveness or the lack of Gerritsen, a seemingly ideal couple it affect you? with two small children, whose family is torn apart by Liesbeth’s Group Activities decision to leave the family to The following are additional suggested activities start a new life thousands of miles to use as you see fit. away. Earning forgiveness from her husband, son, and daughter Heart Versus Mind is complicated, but not nearly as Begin by asking the group to demonstrate, by difficult as forgiving herself. show of hands, to say how many people think the Amish let their hearts prevail in thinking Discussion Questions about forgiveness. Then how many let their • How do you feel after seeing this clip? minds prevail. Ask the group to talk about what What is your reaction? they think the difference between acting from the heart and acting from the mind. InviteThe search for • Koyla says he doesn’t know if his mother them to consider how they approach forgive- has forgiven herself and, perhaps, that’s whyforgiveness is the she’s seeking forgiveness from her chidren. ness in their own for a healing What do you think? How important is Hand a sheet of paper to each person and askof an ache of the self-forgiveness to the overall process of everyone to make two columns: one titled forgiveness? What’s your experience withhuman heart. self-forgiveness? “Heart” and the other “Mind.” Now invite them to think about a situation where they—Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete • Zoe says that she needs to be careful how need to forgive or be forgiven. (They do not in Forgiveness: A Time to need to share this situation.) Suggest that with she goes about the process of forgiving her Love & A Time to Hate mother because it’s one of the most “damag- that issue in mind, they fill in each column ing things that’s ever happened to me.” What with what their heart says and what their mind would it take for you to forgive someone for says they should do. As a large group, invite an offense you considered to be this damaging? participants to talk about how they approach (After discussing this question, mention to forgiveness and what it would be like to let participants that the next essay provides steps either the heart or mind prevail. to forgiveness, as recommended by a number Close the conversation by going around the of forgiveness experts.) room and asking each participant to share • Dan says that one of the important moments something they learned or want to learn more in this experience was when he looked at his about, allowing people to pass. role in the split and took on some of the blame Encourage participants to review their himself. What do you think of his accepting Participant Handbook, and remind them of some of the blame? Why do you think this was the date of the next conversation. important for him? 14 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 15. Conversation Two:Why Forgive?After welcoming participants, invite them Discussion Questionsto share any insights, thoughts, or meaning- • How do you feel after seeing the clip?ful experiences about forgiveness that have What is your reaction?occurred since the last conversation. To refreshtheir memories, or if participants had not read • Think about a time when you forgave some-the first essay last time, you may wish to begin one or were forgiven. What were the benefitsby discussing the essay, “Why Forgive.” Explain to you?that the focus of the conversation will be based • Think about someone you want to forgive oron your selection of the clips. Play the video who you want to forgive you. How does notclip you’ve selected and follow up with discus- forgiving affect you?sion. If time permits, you may choose to do thesuggested activity to further explore the topic. • In her research, Lawler Row has identified If we let go of characteristics of “forgiving people.” SheVideo Clips and says that they are “a little less aware of the pain in theDiscussion Questions being affected.” What do you think makes memory, we canSelect and screen one of the following clips. it possible for people to reduce the impact have the memory, of injustice or injury?Then lead a discussion using the questions but it doesn’tprovided for the clip or create your own. • Lawler Row says in the film ,“I don’t thinkDepending on your group’s size, you can the severity [of the offense] determines the control us.carry on this discussion with the full group health effects. It’s really how the person is — Alexandra Asseily inor in pairs or trios of participants, with one able to incorporate the experience into their The Power of Forgivenessmember of each team reporting highlights lives.” What do you think she means byof their discussion to the entire group. this statement?The Power of Forgiveness • Worthington says that forgiveness can work hand in hand with justice. What would be a“Forgiveness and Biology” way that this could happen? Choose a situa-This seven-minute clip begins with Everett tion in your community as an example.Worthington, PhD, lecturing about how thebrain’s pleasure center is active during thoughts Forgiveness:of revenge, and then moves to Kathleen Lawler A Time to Love & A Time to HateRow, PhD, professor emerita at the University “The Language of Anger” Clipof Tennessee, who has been researching the In this 23-minute clip, author Terri Jentz tellsbenefits of forgiveness and the traits associated her personal story of being savagely attackedwith “forgiving personalities.” The clip ends while camping as a college student, her searchwith Worthington talking about the relation- for her attacker and justice, and, ultimately,ship between forgiveness and justice. her journey from denial and depression to “righteous anger” and a sense of a purposeful 15
  • 16. Conversation Two: Why Forgive? (continued) Discussion Questions Group Activity • How do you feel after seeing this clip? Qualities of a Forgiving Person What is your reaction? If time permits, engage the group in the • Terri Jentz described how, after the attack, following activity. she experienced years of feeling paralyzed Ask each participant to talk with the person because she “defaulted” to a forgiveness beside him or her (you may have to partner mode based on religious training. But, she with someone) about someone who they said, it was “an easy forgiveness [and]…was think is a “forgiving person.” They should tremendously detrimental, because it left meWe must develop with this legacy of powerlessness.” What do describe the qualities or personality characteris- tics that person has. Tell participants this isand maintain the you think she means by an “easy forgiveness”? an opportunity to practice focused listening.capacity to forgive. How did granting an “easy forgiveness” affect Each person gets two minutes to speak, Jentz’ feelings about the attack? How was thisHe who is devoid realization important to her? uninterrupted. When the first speaker’s time is up (as indi-cated by timer or facilitator),of the power to • In talking about the community of Redmond, the partners pause in silence, and the firstforgive is devoid of Jentz said, “I felt a profound feeling of for- speaker becomes the listener for two minutes,the power to love. giveness of this community because there was repeating the exercise. so much struggling, just as I had struggledThere is some good to come to terms with what had happened.” Invite participants to share some of the qualities that they described, and encourage discussionin the worst of us How do you think learning about community about how to cultivate those qualities.and some evil in members’ struggles in the aftermath of this event helped Terri? Why do you think she Close the conversation by going around thethe best of us. When was willing to forgive Redmond community room and asking each participant to sharewe discover this, members who had, in some ways, protected something they learned or want to learn more about. (Allow people to pass.)we are less prone to the man accused of the attack?hate our enemies. • Upon realizing the pattern of violence her Encourage participants to read the next essay, attacker had exhibited, Jentz says, “I believe and remind them of the date of the next— Martin Luther King, Jr. that people commit evil deeds sometimes conversation. for the sheer joy of doing it, because they like to do it. And I have to say, then, how can you forgive an act like that?…It’s, indeed, unforgivable.” Are there deeds that are unforgivable? What makes them so? Does the background of the perpetrator or the circumstance of the transgression matter? 16 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 17. Essay:The Journey to ForgivenessThis essay may be used for Conversation Three. Where can you start to incorporate forgive- ness in your life? Perhaps you might forgive aImagine meeting a man for coffee to help you friend who didn’t keep a confidence, a spouseprepare for a presentation. You find out that as who did something hurtful, or a stranger whoteenagers you both hung out at the same ham- spoke harshly.burger stand. Then, as you look into his eyes,it dawns on you—he and his friends beat you One of the seemingly most difficult placesunconscious 25 years ago—because you are gay. to start is with yourself. We are often hardest Forgiveness of self on ourselves, and that can spill out into how emerges when weWhat would you do? Could you forgive him? we approach most aspects of our lives and understand thatIn this case, Matthew Boger did. Boger, our relationships. According to Luskin,floor manager for the Museum of Tolerance “forgiveness of self emerges when we under- even with our ownin Los Angeles, inadvertently came face-to-face stand that even with our own actions we do not actions we do notwith his attacker, former skinhead Tim Zaal, have total control. Everybody makes mistakes. have total control.a volunteer at the museum, who had since We all make bad decisions and act from poorturned his life around. After their first dramatic information…. Being human allows us to offer Everybody makesmeeting, the two didn’t speak for awhile. Then, forgiveness to ourselves, never forgetting that mistakes.Boger said, he realized that forgiveness provided we have resources at our disposal to improve —Fred Luskinthe only way to move forward. Zaal apologized ourselves and help others.”18and, over time, the two developed a friendship. Researchers have established a variety of effec-They now speak to groups about their experi- tive approaches and specific steps to achieveence, both hoping to help end hatred and forgiveness. The bottom line: it begins with andinvoke tolerance.16 requires a willingness to change. It is importantAdmittedly this is a dramatic example of to find the unique approach that best fits you.forgiveness. Not all of us would forgive such a The good news is that studies have shown thatpainful act. As a result of Boger’s gesture, how- there is more than one road to forgiveness.ever, the two men provide a moving exampleof the transformative power of forgiveness. Making a Decision to Forgive Luskin frames it as a choice, a decision toForgiveness is more difficult for some of us reclaim and reframe your story, moving fromthan others. Psychologists who have studied the role of victim to the story’s hero—a personpeople’s tendency to forgive note that there are who, despite suffering, chooses to forgive. Youpersonality traits—such as being empathic and may come to this choice, as Matthew Bogeremotionally engaged with others—that predis- did, because it seems the best option, or to endpose some people to forgiveness. Our genetic your own suffering, or for some other reasonmakeup, our upbringing, and our personal- altogether. Whatever the reason, it marks theity, all contribute to our proclivity to forgive. start of your journey.Regardless of our starting point, however, weeach can learn the steps to forgiveness or how Changing Your Emotionsto forgive, and reap the benefits of better Everett Worthington encourages forgivenessphysical and emotional health and well-being. by getting in touch with emotions andFred Luskin suggests you start by forgiving gaining empathy for the person who hurt you.small things. “Practicing forgiveness,” he writes, “Forgiveness occurs,” he notes, “by emotional“allows us to develop forgiveness muscles in the replacement,”19 substituting the emotions ofsame way that going to the gym develops physi-cal muscles.” 17
  • 18. Essay: The Journey to Forgiveness (continued) unforgiveness—anger, bitterness, resentment— person’s behavior, and recognizing that their with emotions of forgiveness, such as empathy primary motivation was likely not to cause you and compassion. pain, but rather reflects their own issues and needs, can be helpful. Worthington himself used the process he devel- oped and studied to forgive an overwhelming This doesn’t mean that forgiveness supplants personal tragedy—his mother’s murder. In justice or condones what was done. Seeking his book Five Steps to Forgiveness, he explains, reconciliation and justice are separate choices “…trauma seems to cause the emotional you can make at any point along the way. centers of the brain to become extremely active, When it comes to reacting to devastating and it changes emotional experience strongly. events in our lives, it’s important to be gentle Imagining a traumatic scene and pairing it with with ourselves. Dark feelings may arise in the emotion of compassion most likely repro- response to hurt or betrayal, which is perfectly grammed my emotions of rage and fear.”20 normal. Holding on to or feeding these feelings There are common elements to the various is what causes us to remain stuck in a pattern approaches to forgiveness that researchers of pain and anger. Forgiveness is one of the first have developed. Clearly, we must acknowledge steps to our healing as we try to move on withIt’s not a quick fix. the transgression, the hurt, anger, and other our lives after a painful or traumatic event. emotions that arise in response to it. DenyingWe can’t give some- or ignoring any part of our experience inhibits It’s also important to understand that recover- ing from the pain you experienced takes a forgiveness our ability to move beyond the pain of the Neither emotional recovery nor forgiveness canpill and then they event itself. be rushed. Sometimes we feel the need to takesmile and hug Depending on the magnitude of the transgres- the high road and put on a strong front, only sion, forgiveness frequently requires finding to find later that the hurt is still there; we justeach other. people to support you. Our culture, particularly built a moat around it. Instead, the fortifi-— Robert Enright in popular media, often feeds and glorifies the cation we constructed keeps the hurt inside The Power of Forgiveness notion of revenge. Family and friends may be and, ironically, prevents us from being able overly protective, suffer from hurt and anger to receive support. for what was done to you, and seek revenge If talking about what happened is too difficult, on your behalf. Finding people who can listen journaling may help. According to studies by without judgment and help you consider psychologist James W. Pennebaker and his col- forgiveness as an option is important to leagues, writing about difficulties in our lives the process. correlates with improved health and mood, Worthington points out that “people who hurt even raising immunity.22 Journaling might or offend us often do so because they’re condi- provide a way to get another perspective on tioned by their past.”21 Looking at the offender emotions and events. as a whole person, with a history that led them Whatever road you choose to travel, forgiveness to behave the way they did and immediate is possible. Find a road map that fits you, and circumstances that may have fueled their behav- begin. It may be one of the greatest gifts you ior, allows a seed of empathy to be planted. give yourself. And the results of your efforts When we can see others’ vulnerability, pain, may surprise you. and difficulties, it’s easier to build a context for their actions and, perhaps, see that all of us are capable and guilty of hurting others in some way at some time. Trying not to judge the other 18 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 19. Steps to Forgiveness from 5. At the moment you feel upset, practice a Leading Researchers simple stress management technique to soothe your body’s flight or fight response. The following provides a glimpse into the for- giveness processes put forth by experts in the 6. Give up expecting things from other people, field. We encourage you to consult their books, or your life, that they do not choose to give listed below, for complete details. you. Recognize the “unenforceable rules” you have for your health or how you or other Nine Steps to Forgiveness people must behave. Remind yourself that All people are (From Fred Luskin’s “Learning to Forgive” you can hope for health, love, peace, and website: capable of being prosperity and work hard to get them. See also Forgive for Good: A Proven perpetrators or 7. Put your energy into looking for another way Prescription for Health and Happiness.) victims—and to get your positive goals met than through 1. Know exactly how you feel about what hap- the experience that has hurt you. Instead of sometimes both. pened and be able to articulate what about mentally replaying your hurt, seek out new — Father Michael Lapsley the situation is not OK. Then, tell a trusted ways to get what you want. couple of people about your experience. 8. Remember that a life well lived is your 2. Make a commitment to yourself to do what best revenge. Instead of focusing on your you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is wounded feelings, and thereby giving the for you and not for anyone else. person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty, and 3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean kindness around you. Forgiveness is about reconciliation with the person that hurt you, personal power. or condoning of their action. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be 9. Amend your grievance story to remind you defined as the “peace and understanding of the heroic choice to forgive. that come from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less per- sonally, and changing your grievance story.” 4. Get the right perspective on what is happen- ing. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you two minutes—or 10 years—ago. Forgiveness helps to heal those hurt 19
  • 20. Essay: The Journey to Forgiveness (continued) Guideposts for Forgiving Phase 3: Working on forgiveness. Simply making a decision to forgive isn’t (From Robert Enright’s Forgiveness Is a Choice: enough. People need to take concrete A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger actions to make their forgiveness real. This and Restoring Hope, pp. 78, 79.) phase culminates with the giving of a moral gift to the one who hurt you. Phase I: Uncovering your anger. To forgive, you must be willing to examine Phase 4: Discovery and release how much anger you have as a result of from emotional prison. someone else’s unfairness toward you. Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and anger are like the four walls of a prison cell. Phase 2: Deciding to forgive. Forgiveness is the key that opens the door Forgiveness requires a decision and and lets you out of that cell. a commitment. The Pyramid Model of REACH Forgiveness From Everett Worthington’s Five Steps to Forgiveness: The Art and Science of Forgiveness, p. 38 Hold on to ForgivenessThe weak can neverforgive. Forgiveness Commit Publiclyis an attribute of to Forgivethe strong.— Mahatma Gandhi Altruistic Gift of Forgiveness Empathize Recall the Hurt 20 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 21. Conversation Three:Learning to ForgiveAfter welcoming participants, invite them What do you think about his statement?to share any insights, thoughts, or meaning- Could it apply to you?ful experiences about forgiveness that have • Worthington says in the clip that he andoccurred since the last conversation. Introduce his siblings were able to forgive the mur-today’s conversation, which focuses on learn- derer, and they felt that in so doing, theying to forgive. Discuss reactions to or insights were honoring their mother and providing agained from the essay, “The Journey to testament to what their parents taught themForgiveness.” Explain what the focus of the about forgiveness. How do you feel about thisconversation will be, based on your selection statement? How does his statement connectof clips. Play the video clip you’ve selected love and forgiveness?and follow up with discussion. If time permits, • In the “two chairs” activity that we saw inyou may choose to do the suggested activity …almost neverto further explore the topic. the clip, the student has to speak from the perspective of his friend who committed do we hear publicVideo Clips and suicide, as well as from his own perspective. leaders declaringDiscussion Questions What insights did the student gain from the exercise? How helpful do you think the their belief thatSelect and screen one of the following clips.Then lead a discussion using the questions activity was in taking him toward forgiving forgiveness canprovided for the clip or create your own. his friend? bring peopleDepending on your group’s size, you can Forgiveness: together, healcarry on this discussion with the full group A Time to Love & A Time to Hate their wounds,or in pairs or trios of participants, with onemember of each team reporting highlights “Atonement” Clip and alleviate the In this 32-minute clip, we follow the storiesof their discussion to the entire group. of 1960’s war activist Kathy Power and Clare bitterness andThe Power of Forgiveness Schroeder, the daughter of a police officer resentment caused“Practicing Forgiveness” Clip killed in a foiled bank robbery in which Power by wrongdoing.In this six-minute clip, Everett Worthington participated. This segment follows the crime, — Robert D. Enrightdescribes how his mother was murdered and Power’s surrender to authorities after decades and Joanna Northhow he and his siblings were able to forgive the on the run, her imprisonment and search formurderer. The clip then shows Worthington forgiveness from Schroeder and her family.helping a student whose friend commit- Discussion Questionsted suicide see the situation from his friend’sperspective. • How do you feel after seeing this clip? What is your reaction?Questions for Discussion • When Kathy Power first appeared in court,• How do you feel after seeing the video clip? she was still angry, feeling as though military What is your reaction? leaders and politicians should be taking some• Worthington describes how he had been of the blame for what happened. Power said, studying forgiveness as a researcher and “What people who had been wronged saw practicing as a therapist for many years was a really incomplete statement that didn’t before his mother’s murder. He says: “when express genuine remorse, because I didn’t see the moment came where I needed to put the harm that it had caused.” Have you ever that into practice, the gift was already there.” experienced a time when your anger or denial clouded your ability to accept 21
  • 22. Conversation Three: Learning to Forgive (continued) for your actions? Have you experienced a time How Many F’s? when someone else’s anger or denial clouded Write the following statement on a flip chart. their ability to understand the effect of their Ask participants to silently count the number of behavior on others and/or that the pain they “f ’s” in the following sentence. Forgiving oneself may have inflicted? What do you think is is often one of the most difficult things for average behind the anger and denial? What did Power folk to do. do to help see the transgression more clearly? (Note: There are eight letter f ’s, but it isThe past is over. • Clare Schroeder, one of Walter Schroeder’s extremely rare for everyone in a group to see all daughters, said in the victim impact statementForgiveness means that she couldn’t take comfort in knowing eight. Ask by show of hands how many of the letter “f ” people saw.) Start by asking how manygiving up all hope Power felt remorse because Power never saw four, then five, six, seven, and eight.of a better past. apologized or mentioned any of Schroeder’s family. How do you feel about Schroeder’s Use this exercise to help people understand—Jack Kornfield statement? What roles do remorse and that there is often more to a story than what apology play in forgiveness? you think you see, and that different people • At Power’s parole hearing, Clare Schroeder see different things. Discuss how this applies to said that even though Power was now forgiveness and/or do the “two chairs” activity. remorseful, her expression of remorse was Two Chairs suspect because it was tied to the possibility of her parole. Power’s response was to “detach” Invite participants to practice the “two her statement accepting responsibility for her chairs” activity demonstrated in The Power of actions from her request for parole. What do Forgiveness video clip. Place two chairs side you think about Schroeder’s statement and by side. Ask for a volunteer who is willing to Power’s response? share a situation requiring forgiveness. Invite the volunteer to sit in one of the chairs and • Though she admired the fact that Power tell the story from the point of view of the rescinded her request for parole, Schroeder person asking for forgiveness. Now ask the said she could not forgive her. “…what she person to switch chairs and tell the story from did is not something that I have the authority the point of view of the person being asked or the power to excuse or forgive. I don’t. I’m for forgiveness. Afterward, discuss the ways in not the dead person… . My father’s the dead which the stories are the same and/or different, person.” What do you think of that state- and the implications for offering or receiving ment? Is it a matter of forgiving on behalf of forgiveness. someone else? If not, what are we forgiving? Close the conversation by going around the Group Activity room and asking each participant to use one The following are additional suggested activities word to say how they are feeling. (Allow people for you to use as you see fit. to pass.) Encourage participants to read the final essay and to engage in some of the home You may want to do the first at the beginning practices. You may want to ask them to notice of the conversation and the second following small acts of forgiveness that they engage in the discussion questions. until the next conversation, and remind them of the date of the next conversation. 22 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 23. Essay:Forgiving the UnforgivableSometimes the enormity and brutality of an the Holocaust, atrocities of Cambodia,offense overwhelm us, and we deem such acts Rwanda, 9/11, rape, murder, or even the Enronunforgivable. Events such as the Holocaust, debacle be forgiven? Should they? What would9/11, or the Rwandan massacres spill out forgiveness accomplish in such situations?and touch many lives beyond those directly In No Future Without Forgiveness, Archbishopaffected. The pain and repercussions of even Desmond Tutu writes about “ubuntu”—anthe most personal transgressions often cannot African worldview of interconnectedness—andbe contained. Perhaps it is because we are so its role in the development of South Africa’sinterconnected that we consider the merit in Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).forgiving the “unforgivable.” “A person with ubuntu,” Tutu writes, “…has aIn Simon Wiesenthal’s now-classic book proper self-assurance that comes from know-The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits ing that he or she belongs in a greater wholeof Forgiveness, he shares his experience as a and is diminished when others are humiliatedprisoner in a Nazi concentration camp when a or diminished, when others are tortured ordying SS soldier, guilty of a horrific war crime, oppressed, or treated as if they were less thanasked Wiesenthal for forgiveness. Wiesenthal who they are.”25asks religious leaders, scholars, and otherdistinguished thinkers to mentally put them- South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Forgiveness is about Commission provided a forum for people’sselves in his place and answer the question, experiences of the horrors and injustices of healing suffering“What would I have done?”23 apartheid to be heard and, ostensibly, for for ourselves andThe question of whether to forgive atrocities, the seeds of national unity and reconcilia- others. Until weinstitutionalized injustice, murder, and other tion to be planted. In that forum some spokehorrific acts triggers strong emotions, con- eloquently—in words and actions—of forgive- develop compassiontroversy, deep discussions, and collective soul ness. Offers of forgiveness have arisen, too, within ourselves andsearching. The carefully thought out and com- from where some of the most hideous reflec- a concern about theplex responses to Wiesenthal’s question explore tions of human failings have been played out.whether and/or when it’s appropriate to offer Sometimes these gestures are met with awe welfare of others, weforgiveness, whether it can be offered on others’ and sometimes with anger and disbelief. cannot truly forgive.behalf, and whether atrocities of the magnitude One such story is that of Beth Savage, who — His Holiness,of the Holocaust should be forgiven at all. survived a deadly grenade attack by the Azanian The Dalai LamaAre there actions that are unforgivable under People’s Liberation Army (APLA), the armedany circumstances? If not, are there any limits wing of one of South Africa’s liberation move-to forgiveness? If so, is there redemption from ments, the Pan Africanist Congress. Badlythe darkest part of our souls? injured in 1992, she endured months in inten- sive care and a difficult recovery. Four yearsIn his response to Wiesenthal’s challenge, later her father died from what she believes wasHans Habe, writer, reporter, and news editor, a broken heart. Still, she said the experiencewrote, “One of the worst crimes of the Nazist had enriched her life. And when asked how she(sic) regime was that it made it so hard for us to felt about amnesty for a member of the APLA,forgive. It led us into the labyrinth of our souls. Savage said, “It’s not important to me, but…We must find a way out of the labyrinth—not what I would really, really like is…to meet thatfor the murderers’ sake, but for our own.”24 man that threw that grenade in an attitude ofWhat, if anything, does forgiving horrific, forgiveness and hope that he could forgive memurderous acts or injustices offer us? Can such too for whatever reason.”26blights on our humanity as slavery, apartheid, 23
  • 24. Essay: Forgiving the Unforgivable (continued) Many may find that story hard to For Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Tutsi survivor of the believe. How could she ask the per- Rwandan genocide, forgiveness grew from a petrator to forgive her? Why does she deep faith. Her father, mother, and two broth- think she needs to be forgiven? It is ers were killed by Hutus while she and seven easy to stand in judgment. Especially other women hid, crammed in a tiny bathroom when it comes to others’ travesties. in the home of an Episcopal priest. For three And when we are injured, or some- months she survived in that bathroom, hearing one we love is injured, we are often murderous Hutu gangs threatening to kill her. blinded by our pain and outrage. While on the floor of the bathroom, she fought Part of our judgment may be a wish feelings of hatred and prayed for forgiveness. to separate ourselves from those who According to Ilibagiza, “The people who’d hurt are capable of horrific transgressions. That is my family had hurt themselves even more and human. Yet how many of us are immune to our they deserved my pity. There was no doubt thatNo less than shadow side? In the heat of the moment, do we they had to be punished for their crimes against know what we would do? Living in an unsafe,any nation, the unjust, or violent environment, do we know humanity and against God … But I prayed for compassion as well. I asked God for thecountry of an what we would do? forgiveness that would end the cycle of hatredanguished heart Forgiveness requires us to traverse mental, —hatred that was always dangerously closealso cries out to emotional, ethical, and, for many, spiritual to the surface.”28 Even while fleeing machete- territory. It cannot stand apart from the need wielding Hutus after leaving the priest’s home,forgive and to for justice, grieving, emotional healing, and, in Ilibagiza prayed for God to forgive her forgiven. some cases, reconciliation and restitution. And And when, after his capture, she came face to it does not and should not trivialize, condone, face with the man who killed her mother and— Forgiveness: A Time to Love & A Time to Hate or absolve the wrongdoing. Whether it can help brother and would likely have killed her, she heal the pain, anger, hatred, and destruction left offered forgiveness.29 in its wake is, however, an important question Forgiving horrific acts does not require religious to ponder. faith, nor is it just for the saints among us. For The experience of South Africa’s TRC, many some, however, it has been too trivialized in a believe, did help begin the process of healing. culture that popularizes and commodifies even “We have survived the ordeal and we are real- the most personal and sacred. For some it seems izing that we can indeed transcend the conflicts to demean the victim and downplay the crime. of the past, we can hold hands as we realize What role could forgiveness play in stopping our common humanity…” Tutu wrote. “The present day horrors such as Darfur? State- generosity of spirit will be full to overflowing sponsored torture or terrorism? Entrenched when it meets a like generosity. Forgiveness conflicts such as those between Palestinians will follow confession and healing will hap- and Israelis? Indians and Pakistanis? How could pen, and so contribute to national unity and forgiveness help people affected, either directly reconciliation.”27 South Africa’s example allowed or indirectly, by acts of terror or injustice? a peaceful transition to a democratic state while Forgiveness for the unforgivable? It’s a question acknowledging and providing a forum for its that deserves contemplation. citizens to express their pain, hurt, and forgive- ness for the injustices of the past. While not all agree with Tutu or the success of the TRC in achieving reconciliation, he held and still holds a vision of hope and healing. 24 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 25. Conversation Four:Forgiving the UnforgivableAfter leading the official welcome and other • Fred Luskin suggests that through the“housekeeping” items, you might begin garden, “You reflect on ways to keep your-Conversation Four by inviting participants to selves safe without having to be as hate-filledshare some of the “small forgivenesses” they and as vengeance-minded as the people whohave practiced since the last conversation. did this to us.” What do you think about his statement?Video Clips and • The remains of the loved ones of the threeDiscussion Questions women in the clip were sent to a landfill.Select and screen one of the following clips. Rose Foti says: “I want him out, and nowThen lead a discussion using the questions I’m mad and now I’m not going to forgiveprovided for the clip or create your own. anybody.” She also supports the idea of aDepending on your group’s size, you can Garden of Forgiveness. What do you thinkcarry on this discussion with the full group of this apparent contradiction?or in pairs or trios of participants, with onemember of each team reporting highlights • Diane Horning says, “I’m learning moreof their discussion to the entire group. and more that forgiveness is something you do for yourself. You don’t do it for someThe Power of Forgiveness one else. If I learn to forgive myself, I will“Garden of Forgiveness” Clip be unburdened.” What is your reaction to her statement?This 14-minute clip begins by showing plans fora Garden of Forgiveness at Ground Zero, based • Lynn McGuinn, whose husband died in If we let go of theon one in Beirut, Lebanon. Psychotherapist the 9/11 attacks, says, “It is a big step forAlexandra Asseily talks about the relationship me to be able to forgive myself, to say, you pain in the memory,between for-giving oneself and others. We see know what…I should have gone down there we can have thethree family members of 9/11 victims plant- and found him.” How might self-forgiveness memory, but iting a tree in Beirut’s Garden of Forgiveness. help her move on with her life?They reflect on their loved ones’ remains and doesn’t control us.” • Alexandra Asseily talks about the Gardentalk about how difficult it is to forgive. The of Forgiveness as being a way toward peace, — Alexandra Asseily inAmerican women meet with Lebanese women The Power of Forgiveness saying, “If we’re going to go down a road towho also lost loved ones to acts of terrorism. peace, we do have to cross that bridge. WeFinally one person talks about the need for a do have to take the bridge of forgiveness.”Garden of Forgiveness in New York City. Do you agree?Discussion Questions • Alexandra Asseily says, “If we forgive• How do you feel after seeing the clip? ourselves, it’s a wonderful beginning to What is your reaction? forgiveness … it’s our lack of compassion for ourselves that makes us so upset with• Do you consider the events of 9/11 to be others.” What is the relationship between unforgivable? Why? self-forgiveness and love?• Lyndon Harris says, “What we hope to do is create a meditation garden where people can come and at least reflect on the possibility of forgiveness. We want to help people decide intentionally to opt out of that cycle of violence and revenge.” What do you think about the idea of a Garden of Forgiveness? 25
  • 26. Conversation Four: Forgiving the Unforgivable (continued) Forgiveness: • What do you think of Elie Musibyimana A Time to Love & A Time to Hate and Celestin Bundha’s story of forgiveness and reconciliation? What’s your reaction to “Confronting Evil” Clip the moment that melted the fear and hatred This 23-minute clip examines the Rwandan Celestin had for Elie? What role does working genocide of 1994 through first-hand witness together play in their relationship? testimony. Gacaca, the native process for resolving local disputes, is spotlighted as a way • Rutayisire said, “I remember one person the new Rwandan government encouraged asked me, ‘Don’t you think we are desecrating reconciliation and restorative justice. the memories of our people who got killed by forgiving?’…I said, ‘What do you prefer, to Discussion Questions die twice or to simply forgive and live?’ Again • How do you feel after seeing this clip? What it’s a matter of living with the tension.” WhatIn the end, is your response to this statement? How have is your reaction?forgiveness begins you experienced living with a “tension” like • Pastor Antoine Rutayisire, Rwanda’s Rutayisire describes?and ends with Vice Minister of the National Unity andone person Reconciliation Commission said, “Every per- Group Activities son we lost left behind a trauma in the heartfacing another. The following are additional suggested activities of somebody. Reconciliation is a must, it’s for you to use as you see fit.— Forgiveness: A Time to Love not just an option. I often tell people that it’s & A Time to Hate very easy to rebuild a school. It’s very easy to Spreading the Word rebuild a hospital as long as you have enough Invite the group to break up into small groups, money to do it. But, if you don’t rebuild the and ask them to create an advertisement for hearts and the relationships then you’re in forgiveness. It can be designed for a maga- trouble because it’s like a landmine planted in zine, newspaper, radio, the web, or television. that soil and in the future it’s going to be det- Provide paper and pens. If they are designing onated and you destroy again those things.” a print version, they should write the copy What do you think of this statement? Have and/or draw the illustration; if they are you experienced the “planting of a landmine” designing an audio or video version, they in your own life? Has your community? What should write the script and/or perform it was that like? for the group. • Rutayisire believes there is something essential Garden of Forgiveness missing from the Gacaca, “We simply utilize Discuss with the group whether they would like the Gacaca as a judicial system, but we didn’t to create a garden or other place of forgiveness use it as a reconciliation process. In our tradi- in their home or community. What would it tional system of Gacaca, apology was always take to make it happen? If there is interest in due. And that apology was always part of the a community garden of forgiveness, help the process to cement the new relationship... . group decide what the next steps should be and At this moment we have peace, but we don’t who will follow through. have reconciliation.” What is your reaction to Gacaca? What role do you think apology should play in the process of national forgive- ness? What happens without it? Do you think it’s possible to have authentic apologies arise from the Gacaca system? 26 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 27. Unforgivable ActsIn pairs or triads, invite participants toshare what they consider to be unforgivableacts and why. What would be necessary toturn an unforgivable act into one that couldbe forgiven?Forgiving MyselfPair participants up and ask them to share witheach other something about their life that theyneed to forgive themselves for. What is holdingthem back? What is one step they could taketoward self-forgiveness? How would that helpthem? When you reconvene the group, invitecomments about the exercise.Forgiveness StoriesInvite individuals to share a story of a timewhen they felt they had “successfully” forgiventhemselves, been forgiven, or forgiven someoneelse. What were the important elements? Didit feel different for them to forgive themselvesor someone else?Finally, lead a discussion among participantsabout how the four conversations have affectedthem—asking about any shifts in their aware-ness of the power of forgiveness to transformtheir lives and any commitments they aremaking about practicing forgiveness.Thank them for taking the time to participatein the 27
  • 28. Letter-Writing Tips We encourage you to take a pause from e-mails, • E-mail has made it easy to jot down a few voice mails, and phone calls to write a note to words, spell check, and hit “Send.” But when someone you care about. Express your thanks hand writing a special note, use a scratch for a kindness, share how you miss them, pad and draft your letter first. Check spelling or recall a memory or story. A handwritten and grammar. Save your good stationery or a note, no matter the length, may handmade card until you have a clean draft deepen, renew, or mend relation- to copy. ships…and maybe even make • Choose beautiful paper to write on and someone’s day! A letter written a pen you enjoy writing with. Embellish from the heart can be a thought- with ribbons, snaps, brads, glitter, or hole ful practice capable of making punches—the possibilities are endless. a difference to friends, family, Coordinate your postage stamp with your even your community. envelope color or the theme of your letter. When writing your letter, If you can draw, sketch, or doodle, add consider these tips from Lilia something from yourself. Fallgatter, author of The Most • Enhance your letters and notes by including Important Letter You Will Ever Write, and the a favorite poem, a beautiful prayer, song people at Paper Source: lyrics, personal mementos, or keepsakes. • Before you even pick up a pen, create Consider sharing a photo your recipient surroundings that will evoke the inspiration might have forgotten about or never seen, a to write. ticket stub from the play you saw together (special original material can be photocopied,Forgiveness is the • Make a deliberate effort to clear and quiet rather than sending the original), or a leaf you your mind, and focus on the person to whomfinal form of love. you are writing. picked up while walking together. Line your envelope with giftwrap from the present you—Reinhold Niebuhr • Create a list of words or phrases that describe are thanking them for. the person to whom you are writing. • Encourage a response by sending a • Create a list of memories or significant pre-stamped card. occasions and events you have shared with • Don’t let any of the above frighten you— this person. the most important thing of all is to • Using the lists you’ve created, write the first just do it. draft of the letter. Review and edit the first draft; then re-write the letter with the changes you made. • Write from the heart, tell a story, remind them of your history together, a favorite time. Share one thing about that person that you admire—everyone loves a compliment. • Hand write your letters. Your penmanship, no matter how eccentric, is a piece of you. Hand writing your letters and notes gives the recipient something special. 28 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 29. If you want to forgive or ask for forgiveness, • What you have learned from what happenedputting your thoughts in writing can be a good and how that might affect your futureplace to start. It will give you the opportunity relationship with this personto thoughtfully consider what you want to say, When offering forgiveness, consider letting thewhy, and how to say it. And the recipient will person know:have time to absorb the contents of your letterbefore responding. • Your reason for offering forgivenessWhen asking for forgiveness, some things you • Your feelings toward the person, as opposedmight want to put in writing are: to the action he or she took• What your intention was (most people don’t • What, if anything, you would like the person set out deliberately to hurt others) to do to make restitution• How you are feeling about what happened • What you hope will happen (or not happen) in your future relationship with this person• Why you want to be forgiven• What, if anything, you are willing to do to apologize and/or make 29
  • 30. Additional Resources We are grateful for the many organizations and Let’s Talk About It: resources that promote love and forgiveness. Love and Forgiveness We invite you to explore the list below and to add your own to the pages that follow. This program from the American Library Association examines contemporary life and Love and Forgiveness Resources culture through literature, offering selections Conversation Cards from our culture’s most outstanding works. Be sure to check out the full list of themes and corresponding resources, including these three Each of the 52 cards provides a quote to that were developed with the Fetzer Institute in ponder, questions to discuss, and a suggested support of conversations about love, compassion, action for incorporating more love and forgiveness. and forgiveness in your life. The deck can be used for personal inspira- • Love and Forgiveness in the Light of Death tion; to spark conversations among • Love and Forgiveness in the Presence of family, friends, or colleagues; for book the Enemy discussion or support groups; and/or to • Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom challenge you to be more loving, forgiving, and compassionate. Love and Forgiveness Conversation Guides Free from the link above while supplies last. Conversation Facilitators These guides are designed to help group Share Tips via Podcast facilitators and individuals explore the power of love and forgiveness. Each resource includes suggested video clips, questions, essays, homeForgiveness does Two seasoned conversation facilitators share practices, and resources for further exploration. tips on how to lead conversations on love andnot change the forgiveness, including how to manage grouppast, but it does dynamics, creating a safe space for sharing, using the conversation cards mentioned above,enlarge the future. and how young people respond to the— Paul Boese conversations. Forgiveness Experts via Podcast In separate podcasts, forgiveness experts share research, experience, and thoughts on the power of forgiveness. The podcasts feature Frederic Luskin, PhD, author of Forgive for Good and director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, and Everett Worthington, Jr., PhD, author of Five Steps to Forgiveness: The Art and Science of Forgiving. Dr. Worthington is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. 30 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 31. MediaForgiveness:A Time to Love & A Time to documentary explores the timely, nearlyubiquitous applications and limations of theconcept and practice of forgiveness througha compelling range of stories from personal Helen Whitney, Producer, A Time to Love &betrayal to national reconciliation after A Time to Hategenocide. Produced by Paul Dietrich andaward-winning producer, director, and writerHelen Whitney, with major funding providedby the Fetzer Institute.The Mystery of Lovewww.themysteryoflove.orgA documentary exploring love in marriage,family, community, science, forgiveness, thesearch for the divine, friendship, even war.Actor, playwright, and author Anna DeavereSmith hosts this two-hour special produced bythe Independent Production Fund, with majorfunding provided by the Fetzer Institute.The Power of Forgiveness Anna Deavere Smith The Mystery of LoveThis documentary examines the power offorgiveness in alleviating anger and grief causedby the most dramatic transgressions imaginableand those that are more commonplace. Amongits subjects the film features families of victimsfrom the tragedy of 9/11 and forgiveness educa-tion in Northern Ireland, where forgiveness hasbeen a way of life for generations. Produced byJourney Films, with major funding provided bythe Fetzer Institute.Krista Tippett on Being (previously Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett)www.onbeing.orgOn Being is a new kind of conversation aboutreligion, spirituality, and large questions ofmeaning in every aspect of life. Hosted byKrista Tippett on public radio, this weeklyshow is also available by 31
  • 32. Additional Resources (continued) Websites Forgive for Good Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education The site of Dr. Fred Luskin, director of Stanford’s Forgiveness Projects, provides information and resources on the benefits of forgiveness. This center, housed at Stanford University, undertakes rigorous scientific study of the Greater Good Science Center neural, mental, and social bases of compassion and altruistic behavior. It draws from a wide Based at the University of California, Berkeley, spectrum of disciplines, especially neuroscience, the center studies the psychology, sociology, and psychology, economics, and contemplative neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills traditions. that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassion- ate society. This site highlights groundbreakingYour task is not Center for Investigating Healthy Minds scientific research on compassion and altruism. www.investigatinghealthyminds.orgto seek for love, Located at the University of Wisconsin– The Institute for Research but merely to seek Madison, the center conducts rigorous on Unlimited Loveand find all the interdisciplinary research on healthy qualities www.unlimitedloveinstitute.orgbarriers within of mind such as kindness, compassion, forgive- The Institute focuses on the science and spiritu- ness, and mindfulness. The CIHM engages in ality of the unselfish love that shapes the lives ofyourself that research and outreach with the goal of cul- people who find energy and joy in the compas-you have built tivating healthy qualities of the mind at the sionate service of others. Information about the individual, community, and global levels.against it. institute’s activities, publications, and funding is Fetzer Institute available on this site.—Rumi Self-Compassion: A Healthier Way The Fetzer Institute engages with people and of Relating to Yourself projects around the world to help bring the power of love and forgiveness to the center of This site, developed by Dr. Kristin Neff, individual and community life. Find project associate professor of human development information, resources, videos, news, and and culture at the University of Texas, Austin, upcoming events on this site. provides information and resources on self- compassion, including exercises, meditations, and research. Spirituality & Practice This site shares ways to practice spirituality in everyday life and includes book, audio, and film reviews; ideas and links for 37 essential practices; and e-courses for spiritual growth and self-improvement. offers resources from multiple faiths and belief systems. 32 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 33. Charter for Compassion In 2008, Forgiveness is Karen Armstrong key to action andA result of 2008 TED Prize recipient Karen won the 2008Armstrong’s “wish to change the world,” the freedom. TED Prize for herCharter was unveiled in November 2009 and — Hannah Arendthas evolved into a multi-faceted project with wish to createpartners around the world. Supported by the a Charter forFetzer Institute, the work of the Charter, in Compassion. Thousands of people contrib-both public and private life, is to find creative,realistic and, above all, practical ways of making uted to the process and the Charter wasthe Golden Rule a dynamic and positive force unveiled in November 2009. The Charter hasfor change in our troubled, polarized world. inspired community-based acts of compas-Armstrong’s latest book—Twelve Steps to a sion all over the world. From Seattle toCompassionate Life—offers an impassioned andpractical guide supporting her request that each Karachi, Houston to Amsterdam, in schools,of us work diligently to cultivate and expand houses of worship, city governments, andour capacity for compassion. Resources online among individuals everywhere,include a community for the Charter, TEDTalks on compassion, Twelve Steps reading the message of the Charter isgroup guidelines, and curricula. transforming 33
  • 34. EndnotesLove is a canvas 1 Enright, Robert D., Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-by- Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope 14 Ali, M. Amir, “Forgiveness,” The Institute of Islamic Information and Education,furnished by (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001), 25. Forgiveness-in-Islam.pdf.Nature and 2 Ibid, 45, 46. 15 Swami Nikhilananda, “The Art of Forgiveness,” Chinmaya Centre, 3 Worthington, Everett L., ed. A Handbook of Forgiveness (New York: Brunner-Routledge 2005). 16 Gorman, Anna, “Unlikely allies join to fight hate,”by imagination. 4 “Research Into the Strength of Forgiveness,” The Seattle Times, July 18, 2006, A5. 17 Luskin, Frederic. Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription —Voltaire 5 Luskin, Frederic and Byron Bland, “Stanford- for Health and Happiness (San Francisco: Harper Collins, Northern Ireland Hope 2 Project,” February 2001, 2002), 184. 18 Ibid, 198, 199. hope2.htm. 19 Worthington, Everett, Five Steps to Forgiveness: 6 Tutu, Desmond, No Future Without Forgiveness, The Art and Science of Forgiving (New York: Crown (New York: Doubleday, 1999), 35. Publishers, 2001), 35. 7 McCullough, Michael E. and Everett L. Worthington, Jr., 20 Ibid, 60. “Religion and the Forgiving Personality,” Journal of 21 Ibid, 75. Personality, 67:6 (December 1999): 1141, 1142. 22 “Open Up! Writing About Trauma Reduces Stress, 8 “How link between forgiveness and health changes with Aids Immunity,” APA Online, Psychology Matters, age,” University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, December 11, 2001, Releases/2001/Dec01/r121101a.html. 23 Wiesenthal, Simon. The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness (New York: 9 Toussaint, Loren L., et al, “Forgiveness and Health: Schocken Books, 1997), 98. Age Differences in a U.S. Probability Sample,” Journal of Adult Development, 8:4 (October 2001): 249–257. 24 Ibid, 157. 10 Sullivan, Jennifer, “Man’s family invites driver to service,” 25 Tutu, Desmond. No Future Without Forgiveness. The Seattle Times, August 23, 2006, B1. (New York: Doubleday, 1999), 31. 11 Blumenthal, David R., “Repentance and Forgiveness, 26 Ibid, 147. ”CrossCurrents, 27 Ibid, 120. 12 Tutu, op. cit., 273. 28 Ilibagiza, Immaculée with Steve Erwin. Left toTell: 13 Borris-Dunchunstang, Eileen R., Finding Forgiveness: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust A 7-Step Program for Letting Go of Anger and (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2006), 197. Bitterness (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006), 67–68. 29 Ibid. 204. 34 CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: Facilitator Guide
  • 35.
  • 36. 36