A Definition Of Forgiveness....

From: Helen Dynda (olddad66@runestone.net)
Sat Jun 10 22:47:46 2000


Based on Philosophical, Traditional (Hebrew, Christian, Islamic, Confucian, and Buddhist traditions, among others), Psychological and Developmental principles. Gleaned from a large survey of readings, professional dialogue, and stories of forgiveness written by volunteers. 1. What it is:

a.. Moral It is a response to an injustice (a moral wrong). It is a turning to the "good" in the face of this wrongdoing. b.. Goodwill Merciful restraint from pursuing resentment or revenge. Generosity or offering good things such as: attention, time, remembrances on holidays. Moral Love or contributing to the betterment of the other. c.. Paradoxical It is the foregoing of resentment or revenge when the wrongdoer's actions deserve it and giving the gifts of mercy, generosity and love when the wrongdoer does not deserve them. As we give the gift of forgiveness we ourselves are healed. d.. Beyond duty A freely chosen gift (rather than a grim obligation). The overcoming of wrongdoing with good. 2. What it is not:

a.. Forgetting/Denial Time passing/ignoring the effects of the wrongdoing. b.. Condoning Nothing that bad happened. It was only this one time. It won't happen again. c.. Excusing The person did this because.....it wasn't really their responsibility. d.. Condemning She/he deserves to know they have wronged me. "Forgiving" with a sense of moral superiority. e.. Seeking Justice or Compensation Forgiveness is not a quid pro quo deal--it doesn't demand compensation first. 3. Important Distinction:

a.. Forgiveness: One person's moral response to another's injustice b.. Reconciliation: Two parties coming together in mutual respect http://www.forgiveness-institute.org/ifi/whatis/definition_of_forgiveness.html

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