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The Power, Necessity, and Challenge of Forgiveness

The power and difficulty of forgiveness can be seen in every day life, in the rough and tumble of routine relationships, but it is highlighted by the difficulties encountered in places like the Middle East, the former Hungary, and in South Africa.  South Africa embraced forgiveness, and avoided the constant terror attacks that have plagued the Middle East for decades.  The Catholic church institutionalizes forgiving in its confessionals, sometimes an object of ridicule because it appears as if forgiving is too easily obtained.  The Jews have an entire holiday devoted to forgiving in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  The American justice system often forgoes forgiveness when victims harangue those found guilty just prior to sentencing. Some crime victims seek "closure", often with limited success.

Is it difficult or easy for you to forgive?  Who reaps the highest rewards: those who forgive or those who are forgiven?  Should forgiveness be given conditionally?  That is, are there situations or conditions under which forgiveness is inappropriate, or not yet earned?  If forgiveness is good for the forgiver, should one forgive as a selfish act, independent of whether the person being forgiven has "earned" it?


As some of you know, it costs me about $144 each year to run this meetup.  If you have the resources and the inclination, a small contribution ($5-$10) each year would help defray this cost. Think of this as my asking you to give me a quarter at each meeting!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great!

    November 10, 2013

  • beth

    Gotta bunch of stuff I've been neglecting....sigh

    November 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Stillness...a return to wholeness, balance and peace beyond all understanding - this has been my direct experience each time I have forgiven self and other.....for "they" are One and the same.

    November 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wonder to what extent NOT forgiving in a situation reflects attachment to power and one's ego. Self-righteous indignation is a pretty powerful feeling, and deliciously addictive. What a fascinating instant...right at the point of choice to forgive or hang on to anger. What a ripe "spiritual" moment! It shifts the focus from the "perpetrator" to the choices of the "aggrieved."
    Wish I could be there for this discussion.

    1 · November 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What cannot be forgiven?

    November 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "Forgiveness is the key to happiness" - A Course in Miracles

    November 4, 2013

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