Forgiveness May Not Always Be the Best Option


Simon Doonan argues that all we have are our lives, and when we start forgiving people for taking them away we are leaving ourselves vulnerable.

Is forgiveness always the best option? Simon Doonan from Slate doesn’t seem to think so. He asserts that the belief in the “healing power of forgiveness,” or as he puts it, “the now-ubiquitous forgiveness movement,” has gone too far. He writes,

The basic idea seems to be that the only way to come to terms with the murder or rape of a loved one is to forgive the perp. This notion has gained serious traction. In days gone by it was only the Man Upstairs who could pardon and absolve. Now everybody is taking a crack at it.

It’s easy to blame Oprah for the hug-it-out quick fix, but I think the responsibility lies with ourselves. We have all gotten a little squishy and confused. I suggest that we take a breath and try to sort the forgivable from the unforgivable. Here’s a start: If some drunken jerk wants to pick a fight or insults your choice of shoe, then by all means turn the other cheek. But rape and murder? Not so much.

Do you think there are “unforgivable crimes?” And if so, what would you classify as unforgivable?

Do you think forgiveness is necessary for a person to truly heal and move on?

Read more about forgiveness:

When “Forgive” Is An Abuse Trigger

Some Thoughts on Forgiveness

“Survivors will be angry for as long as is necessary. Telling them to forgive is pointless at best.”

Photo: sara biljana/Flickr

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.


  1. I believe that no one should do anything that seems unnatural for them. But sooner or later, everyone sees the uselessness of “antiseptic hate”. The hate of the Bible that kills people for what they did as an eye for an eye. It does “remove” the problem. And maybe, there are people who “need” to die. But between that and whatever it is you are going through, sooner or later you are going to come to terms that this person is still alive. Forgiveness is for you more than them. Whatever they did, they will eventually forgive themselves enough so they can survive and began a hopefully new path. Them needing to know that you have forgiven them is not as big a hurdle as figuring out how to get back on the right track.

    The other important rule is that of course, forgiveness does not imply any responsibility on our part for what was done to us. But since we all have to live in the here and now, holding on to anger smacks of wanting to undo the undoable. Fundamentally, forgiveness does not imply that you have to be their friend. In fact, a lot of people hold to the impossible standard that they are “supposed” to be friends with all people and that is the true purpose of forgiveness. Reality is, we will all NEVER EVER be friends with everyone. And that is just reality. We can delude ourselves otherwise, but it ain’t so.

    Don’t you have family members who you would not choose as friends? Of course, we all do.

    So look at forgiveness in a more selfish way. And maybe it will be easier.

  2. Hi Mediahound

    Thank you for the links!
    On a test for facial recognition I score 18 out of 20. The average for women is 11,6

    Was I born this way? I don’t think so.

    • Iben – in the studies I reference facial recognition is not the issue – it’s recognition of facial expression. They are not the same thing. An individual can be 100% perfect on facial recognition and yet still have zero capacity at recognising facial expression and what it means… what is being communicated.

      Think of it as the difference between seeing a face in Colour and Black and White.

      So many grab at big noticeable differences and can’t be bothered with the smaller and subtle one’s. A great deal of communication through facial expression is very subtle, so when the ability to receive such communication is blunted by PTSD it is significant. The people who believe they are communicating clearly start to get pissed off and blame the person with PTSD because that subtle little smirk or the sardonic grin just aint getting the reaction they want, expect and even demand.

      Couple that with the increased use of facial expression in communication by females and it gets very interesting as to who is intolerant around people with PTSD and who listens. There is a marked difference in relationship breakdown between men and women when one partner has PTSD. So many will assume that the relationship breakdown would be caused by the man. Nice Try – Big Fail. If the man Has PTSD the relationship is more likely to fail – but it ‘s due to the behaviour of the women complaining that the male is not reacting to communication signals she is giving off … she just blames him because she is with incapable of change or just not willing to accommodate the disability aspect. Most often the female keeps ramping up demands to response through indirect communication and when this fails they turn to direct communication including physical violence.

      Making it direct and blunt – in a relationship if a man has PTSD a women is more likely to ignore his disability, treat him negatively due to his disability and ultimately divorce claiming cruelty and his emotional coldness whilst ignoring her own Conduct of negating, abusing and misusing his Disability as a weapon. The man is also more lilely to have suffered Domestic abuse at the hands of his female partner, yet it is her who will claim such abuse falsely. The Dynamic is very Clear. Of course, those who supposedly care about men will not deal with such matters as they object to anything which may place responsibility upon anything other than men…. even biology!

      I’m blunt, direct and always make my physical communication clear – so I have no problems with people with PTSD. Also if there is a fail in the dynamic as a supposed expert It’s my fault and I take responsibility.

      That is why I really hate the snake oil merchants with their half baked Oprah Brand fortune Cookie Psycho babble – they just keep using it to play power games and then they get pissed when they get it between the eyes from people it doesn’t work on.

      Pay ten bucks and apparently become an expert?

      Odd that – most intelligent people recognise that $10 is worth jack Shit in education these days. If you want some eduction that counts you’re looking at no change from $100,000 and maybe 3 to 5 years of study. Ten Bucks and a Pulp that you can read in three hours?

      Buying supposed eduction on the cheep is a fool’s game, and the only positive is the authors bank balance. Who would have thought it – Oprah the Biggest Corporate Psychopath in the USA?

      I’m hoping to get a study initiated on how people with PTSD react to such Trite Trademarked Pscyo Abuse, but as all professionals know about it and simply reject the crap on sight. There is no perceived need to PROOVE the reality to idiots who buy the Psycho Schmuck Books and then want to seem intelligent and important. From experience the self educated Psycho Schmuck can’t accept anything that challenges the last Ten Bucks of Ignorance they bought.

      If they had the requisite intelligence they would read the Pulp Fiction Psycho Bable – evaluate it critical and not even give it to Good Will for recycling. As it is – they treasure the cheep on their book shelves, and then get real antsy when they invite people to dinner and they see just how much pulp is being served up.

      • Hi Mediahound
        “Recognition of facial expression” is what I tried to tell about. I have a language problem so forgive me.

        And I did not know that a person diagnosed with PTSD had this problem. It is totally new to me. 

        • Iben – there is so much about PTSD which after 30 years of study and research so many remain totally ignorant about.

          I find it frustrating because the issue is also seen a gendered and so men have PTSD and Women Don’t unless it’s caused by big bad men and Domestic Violence. Actually the number one cause of PTSD in women is incorrect management during medicalised child birth, but why let reality and other facts get in the way of gendered Dogma and all the things it can damage. Us Good Guys are beyond Tired of the Status Quo and the support of abuse that so many perform whilst espousing the opposite. You don’t need even need to do a brain scan to see the issue it lights up all on it’s own.

  3. Hi Media hound!
    What you wrote here is great:”It’s even worse when people are damaged by it because of conditions such as PTSD, where being encouraged to think about a person who has caused that PTSD simply acts to re-traumatise. being abused for not Forgiving when your damaged Brain structures simply will not allow it is by definition Torture – and I don’t tolerate that behaviour from anyone…. no matter the levels of the Ignorance.”

    • Iben – you may also find these threads and dialogues useful too.

      1) Why Forgiving Others Makes Life Better For You – and why being thrown out the back of a plane at 48,000 feet and told to think positive and flap your arms harder just don’t work.

      2) Oh The Abuses Of Science – And the Peddling of Snake Oil

      3) Sometimes a Train-Wreck is Just a Train-Wreck – and why being peddled the latest brand of Survivo™, Celebrate Recovery™, or What ever your Snake Oil is Branded as, all too often causes damage as you run to the bank at other people’s expense.

      I do get so tired when the old Forgiveness is Good for you Psycho babble gets recycled as a gap filler AGAIN! One had hoped with the end of the daily srvice and obeisance at the Tabernacle of the Great Cult Of Oprah things would improve… but it does take time.

      They say round here that it’s supposed to be dialogue – which means listening – but one of the reasons so many no longer bother to visit is that even when They SHOUT out about the reality there is no respect and they are negated – once is an accident, twice a coincidence and the third time it’s evidently policy. You either have to be as editorially fictionalised or you simply don’t exist or have a place.

      The real people will just have to slog on elsewhere – the Fictionalised media types have enjoy their projections.

  4. Hi Leia

    Nobody has a right to invalidate you,your feelings or your story.
    I am thankful you share your it with us.

    • @Iben: Thank you for your support… This space feels a lot safer ….

      Interesting comments above about Judeo-Christian and Buddhist ideas about forgiveness and what it means “to move on” with your life…

      My ex- abuser was brought up a strict Jesuit (Northern European ethnic origin: Danish and Dutch to be more specific)…. Perhaps his feelings about guilt and shame and dogma and sex had to do with this particular religious flavor of upbringing….he would try to control me by being very threatening and punitive as if his word was the law, when in truth it violated all moral, social, and legal codes….

      I suppose he was also a product of his times: coming of age during the 50s and 60s in NE America…. It seems to me that some Northern Europeans have more modern and liberal ideas about sex and shame and biblical traditions (perhaps some religious Americans seems quite Puritannical by contrast)….

      • Hi Leia

        Yes you are right. Northern Europeans attitudes and values around sex and shame is so different from the one I see here on this web page. I feel we live in totally  different planets! 

  5. Forgiveness is something that I’ve admittedly struggled for the longest. Deep within my spirit, I wholeheartedly understand the need to forgive others in order to emotionally move forward and continue along with my journey and purpose in life. And for the most part, yes, I am a very forgiving human being. Yet, there are some “crimes” that I doubt if I’d ever be able to forgive the perpetrators – no matter how hard I tried.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the other.

  7. What my ex-abuser did to me was inexcusable…it went on for 7 years…and certain people did see what was going on and tried to intervene…

    When he stalked me a few years ago after I ended it all 20 years ago, I didn’t know what to do…I couldn’t deal with him one on one….he would always talk over me and argue with me and convince me that my way of thinking was wrong….but I knew he was afraid of the police and of being found out…so I went to the police and I went to his co-workers (via an intermediary)….If I was truly vindictive, then I would have hired a lawyer or filed a restraining order or something along those lines….Instead I kinda felt sorry for him in a way…not that I forgot his crimes or forgave him, but I realized he was really sick and that he had a compulsion disorder or something and that he couldn’t just flick on a switch and behave like a normal person for the rest of his life (i.e., get normal friends, get hobbies, get busy with normal activities…)…I knew he would always be obsessed with me to the point where he would drive several hours out of his way just to haunt me, instead of just moving on….he was stuck on some delusionary dream or vindication scenario that I planned not to take part in….

    If I was really angry with him, I would have yelled and screamed at him, but I think that would have hurt me more than it would hurt him….He would not understand…he would deny and minimize and paint a different picture because he is a classic abuser and psychopath…..I felt that talking to his co-workers about DV/SA/ Childhood Sexual Abuse /Stalking through a third party (without naming names) was the best way to bring up his hidden issues and to warn them of how dangerous he was without making outlandish, salacious accusations that he could easily deny (who would believe a hysterical little Asian girl vs. an older established respected person in power?)….

    If I had done nothing, this would have been gnawing at me forever and given me no rest…..every time I write about him, it relieves some of my angst and I can process him and put him away further and further into the past….at one time, I thought no one else could understand our relationship, …now I know how common it was and how thieves like him operate in secrecy….

    To me, forgiveness is not forgetting …forgiveness is not ignoring what happened and doing nothing….to me, it means not trying to use violence or sneakiness or techniques my abuser would have used or expected to get back at him….I chose a nonviolent way to deal with him and exposed his past in unexpected and non-offensive ways, but with the clear message that he should stop bothering me….Forgiveness means rising above the petty, sick ways that abusers use to control and manipulate us….It also means taking a hard look at yourself and realizing what about you made you vulnerable to an abuser and how you can enlist other people or figure out ways to defend yourself from future attacks, because there are psychopaths everywhere, even in the nice, upscale suburban neighborhood I live in….and they are waiting to pounce…

    • This. This is beautiful. Amen sister.

      • When I read “inexcusable” at first I heard “unforgivable” but in the end you forgave and were able to see clearly and even appraise yourself honestly.

      • @Ben: Thank you for your support… That means a lot to me… sometimes I feel attacked and blamed for what happened a long time ago… Perhaps only in a place where other survivors congregate I can feel safe to share my story in full ( with all of the ugly details… How do abusers get you to comply with their evil secrets?)…. Sometimes it feels like no one else understands… We are constantly told to shut up and just get over it as if wallpapering over a huge hole in the wall will do the trick….

        Thanks for listening… And for not throwing spitballs at my way… That’s what usually happens….(as if the coercive, manipulative techniques my abuser employed were absolved because I was too stupid and too young and too naive at the time)….

        • No, no, Leia. Thank you. I think you just showed us all an incredible example of how to go about reclaiming power in our lives without wasting our energy in the wrong places, because it sure seems like that is exactly what you have done. I see the story of a human refusing to be a victim–in my own life I’ve often found that word to be limiting, you know?–and I find inspiration in that I can’t fully articulate. It’s really powerful.

  8. I’ve never been one for Instant pancake mix psycho babble and even Trademark Survivo.

    I really do wish that there was a federal law banning all pulp pscho books being sold at the checkouts of supermarkets – and for all Oprahesq productions on all media channels to come with a Trigger warning – may cause you to be offensive to others under the belief that your are a qualified Psycho Schmuck.

    The shamming tactics and abuse that goes on around you must forgive is so abusive as to be beyond domestic or physical – and as anyone in the field knows Psycho Abuse is the most damaging and the most invisible.

  9. Hi Kathryn

    We do not have to forgive those that never ask for forgiveness.

    Sometimes we forgive,and it makes it easier to go on.
    Some crimes  can destroyed a persons ability to love and have close relationships for the rest of her or his life. Childhood sexual abuse can have this effect. 

    Is forgiveness simply a choice like some say? I don’t think so. Maybe it is for some.

    If I can not feel tenderness for the person later on,then I have not forgiven.
    Times does not heal all wounds.

    • To forgive is not a choice, but a process. And it doesn’t mean we heal. To heal and to forgive, at least in my experience, don’t have to be connected. A man who looses his legs in war will never heal, never be made whole, but he can forgive those who harmed him.

      • Hi Ben
        I don’t think I know what forgiveness is all about. 

        Imagine  a person say or does something that hurts or partly destroys you deepest core of self. You realize this person does not love you or have the faintest idea who you are.
         And you feel this is not a friend any longer.

        So you choose to set up boundaries for yourself, and find some  new friends instead because that person really hurts you.

        Does forgiving means I have to go on being a friend,or like the person? I just don’t get get it!

        For me that  is emotionally impossible.

        In Christianity forgiveness is a core concept.
        A priest once told me that the main difference between Christianity and  Islam is the teachings about forgiveness.

        • Hi Iben,

          I write as a Buddhist. I need to get that out of the way right off, because I am inherently distrustful when any man or woman of the cloth claims to know the failings of another faith tradition, particularly when dealing with religions of the book–Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. I wonder, for example, if this priest talked about Islam’s recognition of Jesus as a messenger of God, or whether he acknowledges the Sufi mystic poets as Muslim. Forgiveness runs through the work of Kabir and Rumi like wide rivers.

          As a Buddhist, I believe the deepest human core to be indestructible and purely good in every human being, and that even our heaviest spiritual burdens are temporary, though our physical wounds may never heal, at least not in this life.

          To be unburdened by hatred: that is what I call forgiveness. Do I think that means ever even speaking to the person who violates you, much less become friends? No way. No how. No thanks. Maybe it has something to do with seeing their psychopathology and someday coming to know that the he or she suffers far more than we had imagined. I don’t know. Does that make sense?

          • As a Buddhist, I believe the deepest human core to be indestructible and purely good in every human being,…

            Well of course you are at liberty to believe what you wish, but the ideas you are pushing are not part of Buddhist teachings. It’s a Judeo Christian construct grafted onto Buddhism. But then again after decades of study as a Practising Buddhist – A votary without robe – I do wonder why constructs are being passed about rather than actual teachings. It is comical how so many will pick up a few grains of Buddhism and then claim to have a full sack of grain.

            In Buddhism forgiveness is actually irrelevant as karma will out. Where a person has caused damage it’s their Karma and you really can do little to alter it. Even getting them to embrace the Dharma will not negate the karma. Karma and Sin are not the same thing, which is why so many people raised in Judeo Christian settings dabble and end up confused, rather than showing a good example of either latent or manifest Buddhahood, typified by wisdom.

            It’s why I really hate all the Psycho babble and new age anaesthesia peddled for other people’s profit. It’s even worse when people are damaged by it because of conditions such as PTSD, where being encouraged to think about a person who has caused that PTSD simply acts to re-traumatise. being abused for not Forgiving when your damaged Brain structures simply will not allow it is by definition Torture – and I don’t tolerate that behaviour from anyone…. no matter the levels of the Ignorance.

            It’s one thing letting go of things which are superficial to your life, bodily integrity and even your mind … it’s quite another to have illiterate, incompetent amateurs peddling Psycho babble and using it to abuse people all over again.

            It does not matter if your intentions are good – if you damage others your Karma will get you! Play with the Psycho babble and forgive yourself, but sorry Karma is Karma and it’s independent of Dogma. P^)

            • Dude,
              You have no idea what you are talking about. What school of Buddhist teachings do you practice? Specifically. The Judeo-Christian odor in the house ain’t me, brotherman.

              • – A votary without robe –

                I think I made that one clear. Do you nor know of the translation of a monk stroke vassal into English? Free of robe means free of Dogma, a student of all teachings and sutra … and not one for other people’s commentary on teachings and surtra.

                A few Questions to test some knowledge:

                1) In which sutra does does a sex change feature, as an act of enlightenment in one’s present bodily form?
                2) In which sutra does a being attain enlightenment?
                3) When the being attains enlightenment are they human?
                4) What is the sex of the being?
                5) In which year did An Indian Ruler command that all sutras which had been remembered only in verse and handed down as verbal record be written for the first time?
                6) Can you name that ruler?

                For someone who knows so much, these should be a breeze! P^)

                Don’t let your Dogma Bite you and give you bad Karma… any good Buddhist knows that one.

                • Simple question man. To what school of Buddhist thought do you adhere? Hint: Tibetan Buddhism has four.

                  • For the third time – “ – A votary without robe – “.

                    Hint – Votary means a vessel that carries, and in Buddhist tradition means a teacher, monk or nun … it’s old archaic English. A Robe is used to show affiliation to a group or sect – so a Votary without Robe is a teacher free from such limits and free of Dogmas. A robe does not make you a member of any Sangha, living the Dharma does. Take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It don’t mention refuge in robes. People who like robes are of course likened to those of Incorrigible disbelief who upon hearing they had more to learn got up and walked away from a class 101 being taught by that chap called Buddha. It’s just so High School!

                    Perhaps you will consider your fixation upon the group and not upon the teachings? Tibetan Buddhism has four – Yippey – four leaves on a twig!

                    You may like leaves, But I love and live the whole plant – root, trunk, branch twig and leaves. Have you ever seen a Bodhi Tree… A Peepal … Ficus religiosa? They even have aerial roots that acts as trunks, just like a Banyan, that the tree can cover great areas and represent a forest. They have become reduced in scale in the last 300 years or so due to increased population pressures, but in the past one tree could cover many acres and be many hundred and even thousands of years old. Banyans grow fast and Ficus religiosa grows slowly. Sitting under such a tree and attaining enlightenment is not the same as just having four leaves.

                    …. and I’m still waiting for some answers to some basics of Buddhism. Of course those who use but one leaf for shelter in the Dharma may well not know of other leaves or Sutras. It’s happened so many times where the group overtakes the teaching as priority. It seems to be such a human issue and trait… and yet Buddha warned often follow the teaching and not the teacher.

                    Tibbetan Buddhism teaches that some may become lama and be a Bodhisattva, but that is such a limited teaching and only a small corner of Buddhism. Which Sutra teaches that all human beings, including high school drop outs, may and can attain enlightenment in an instant in their present human form? That does make the Tibetan view and bit limiting by comparison!

                    I have to admit to being naughty with Question 1) In which sutra does a sex change feature, as an act of enlightenment in one’s present bodily form? … it contains a double whammy!

                    You see, it’s also the Sutra in which it is taught and explained that even illness, disability and damage can be used to attain enlightenment, and also enlighten others … so I always wonder why any True Buddhist would be pushing an agenda of getting people to not have such things when they are one of the greatest teaching aids there are? Enlightenment in your present form does not mean setting your life aside.

                    Many have been naughty and corrupted the teachings of Karma and used it to abuse others. It’s a bit like that Judeo Chritian absue thing of you’re ill or disabled or even a woman because of your parent or grand parents sin! people use it to abuse and control others – it’s a big power trip. In Buddhism there is the teaching of the Many Bodhisattvas, so many they out number the grains of sand in the Ganges River. All of these Bodhisattvas have attained perfect enlightenment and they have made a choice. They come back and through the teachings take on bad karma to make them human again … so they can teach others and show others that even Karma is not an obstacle to enlightenment just as you are … right now!

                    Which Bodhisattva is praised for using his own illness to teach and enlighten a whole country? .. and why is he reported as a great Bodhisattva teacher and Buddha when he wears only the garb and robes of a lay person?

                    Image aint everything you know, and that’s been a feature of Buddhism right back to the Kālāma Sutta. I do hope you have read them! “‘Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, ….”.

                    Raining Mandara Blossoms are not welcomed by some … but then again, some are just way too serious about themselves to take the scent of Mandara and embrace it. Ask Shariputra , he’s the butt of so many jokes and teachings – the straight man to Buddha’s little chuckles.

                    Don’t forget your homework. It really can be so much fun, and there really is so much humour in the Teachings Of Buddhism, unless you are like Shaiputra and believe that everything has to be so serious and he looses all perspective!

                    Old Sid AKA Buddha keeps telling Shariputra he’s so close to enlightenment, and yet so far! Ah well – better look next time! … and you’ve had enough bread crumbs to show you many roads exists and not just one!

                    • Many roads indeed. I ask you to name four small ones. You reply with many words, but none of the four simple words I ask for. Nothing. I’m done here.

                    • Dear Ben – Votary also means bottle and you left your empty one behind. I would recommend you take it with you. It’s full of Zen and may come in handy someday!

          • Hi Ben

            I don’t know how much this priest knew about Islam. I guess he was thinking of “the Christian God”as one that is forgiving if you believe in him and when you go to communion you are told you are forgiven.( he is a Protestant)    And I lack knowledge about how church people think and about Islam as well. 

            To be able to forgive is a fantastic quality. To let others walk all over you is not!
            Some personalties are unforgiving. And as a woman I feel men for example seldom forgive infidelity ( sexual)  but women often do. 

            Some acts and words are pure evil. And if for example somebody tortured my cat, I would never forgive that person for the rest of my life, because I don’t want to. And for me forgiving is far more than to be free of hate. It is to he able to feel warmth and tenderness again towards that person.

            We use the word “forgive” but it means different things to different people and in different relationships. The forgiveness you need in marriage ,and in families is more than just to be free of the burden of hate.

            If you know where your personal boundaries goes you have to express it load and clear! We can not put up boundaries for others ,only for ourselves. If that boundary is disrespected or invalidated it is best to get away from that person if that is possible. 

            • But in this case you don’t need more than that, Iben. You have no responsibility to maintain a relationship with a tyrant. Period. But let me ask you about the cat. What if you were to learn the torturer was him or herself subject to years of systemic sexual torture by parents or siblings or clergy? Would that change your feelings?

              • Hi Ben
                You ask me:

                 “But let me ask you about the cat. What if you were to learn the torturer was him or herself subject to years of systemic sexual torture by parents or siblings or clergy? Would that change your feelings?”.

                And here is how I think:
                I have never given any thought to persons that are sexually into animals or sadism.
                And I am not a psychologist. As far as I know only a psychotic person can do a thing like that without being able to stop him or herself.

                And this kind of cruelty  is seldom done by a person in psychoses. In other words, the criminal  is  accountable. 

                I am old enough to remember Fred  and Rosemary West. They did not torture cats,but young girls and their own children.
                And they both had a background  , a childhood with serious   abuse.

                They were not psychotic. So they did have choice. You must ask the dead girls or boys if they forgive them.

                • And what I ask is this: could you forgive the child of systemic abuse who had no-one step in to rescue him, for perpetuating that same abuse on others, if, for example he were to be treated and repent in adulthood?

                  • Hi Ben
                    English is not my first language and sometimes I struggle to understand what I read.

                    Do you ask me if I can forgive a person that has undergone treatment and served time for his or her crime?

                    I have never been in that situation so it is hard to tell in advance is it not ? But for a short time I worked in prison,and the men there told me what they had done. We talked all day,I think they felt my humility. I had seen their documents, read about all their different foster care homes. I had read their doctors evaluation of their g( IQ) and  their emotional distress that resulted in stigmatizing diagnoses.

                    It was not my job to forgive them,nor to punish. In fact I wish I could understand anyone that harms others deeply.

                    And I respect anyone that goes into treatment and  honestly try to change. 

                    • And I respect anyone who goes into prisons and does work most people wouldn’t do. Bless you, Iben. It sounds like you live your gospel in a very true way that helps others. I think that is all that matters. By the way, it might not be your first language, but your English is very good. 🙂

                • I don’t want to argue though. I just want to celebrate a very courageous and powerful story told by Leia.

  10. Seems to me the author has a narrow and very Western view of forgiveness. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the perpetrator of the crime. Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves from the self-imposed bonds of victimhood–as a personal matter, not a societal matter.

  11. BeenThereBigTime says:

    Betrayal is unforgivable. But you have to move forward from it and know that, like Judas, the betrayer ultimately has a rope around his neck. His problem now; not yours. That is the closest to forgiveness you can come in serious betrayal, I think, and the recognition that it is frequently a product of sociopathy or some other pathology.

  12. Forgiveness does not mean you can’t work to change the situation so people are less likely to hurt others in the future.

    All violence is a call for help or love. You can extend love by forgiving. Then, working to change the situation will become easier.

Speak Your Mind