Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why Forgive?

If you visit my office you will see on the wall over my desk a Newsweek Cover with the title “Why Forgive?” The picture is of Pope John Paul III sitting with Sirhan Sirhan, the young man who attempted – unsuccessfully – to assassinate him.

It is there to remind me about a rarely understood aspect of forgiveness. Forgiveness is, essentially, a selfish act that has much to do with the individual doing the forgiving and little to do with the individuals who are the object of forgiveness. We forgive to make ourselves whole, irrespective of the impact our forgiveness may or may not have on the one being forgiven.

Forgiveness is not about justice. Pope John did not ask that Sirhan be released from prison or be absolved from the consequences of his act. He simply freed himself from the burden of vengefulness.

An act of forgiveness also contributes to good Karma.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when can we start to forgive Ben Ladner?

2:49 PM  

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