Re: A Definition Of Forgiveness.........easier to read!

From: Helen Dynda (
Sat Jun 10 23:46:54 2000

My apologies for forgetting that sometimes when I send an article via e-mail to the Message Board, sometimes the article becomes a victim of cyber mischief. I have re-arranged this article as it appeared at the web site. I have also included the Url below. If the entire Url is not highlighted, you will have to enter the Url onto the address-line of your computer monitor (screen).


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 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 .html

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