|2.3 billion earthlings "struggle" with their Christian Spirits to understand "HOW DO WE FORGIVE" on this planet Earth full of "violence" partaking of |
Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on December 23, 2012
HOW DO WE HUMANS FORGIVE?
.....A THOUGHT FOR REFLECTION....
2.3 BILLIION LIVING EARTHLINGS
OUT OF 7.1 BILLION TOTAL TODAY
ON THIS PLANET EARTH
CELEBRATE IN DIVERSITY OF BELIEFS OF THE SAME
WITH THE SPIRIT OF
CHRISTMAS ON DECEMBER 25, 2012...
|The year 2012 is about to end as per Julian Calendar on December 31
leaving the earthlings on this planet Earth with many continuing and
potential "pandemic calamities" with "reciprocal" and "two-way"
implications to deal with in the pursuit of life, liberty
and happiness that earthlings call God has created for
all-creations-harmonious-coexistence through living daily life with
simple Golden Rule
of Natural Law
of as understood by the entire humanity of
evergreen infinity of lifestyle choices of daily changing belief and
cultural practices.....This universal Golden Rule is a
ethical code, or
morality that essentially states either of the following:
|(Positive form of Golden Rule):
"One should treat others
as one would like others to treat oneself."
|(Negative form of Golden Rule):
"One should not treat others in ways
that one would not like to be treated."
concept describes a "reciprocal", or "two-way", relationship
between one's self and others
that involves both sides
equally, and in a mutual fashion.
PVAF's primary mandate since its self-birth in 1996 is to live by
this Golden Rule in all its activities....and based on this it has been
PVAF's prime goal and objective to facilitate removal of POVERTY among
earthlings...POVERTY is evergreen in human-life and is of infinite kinds in humanity and all fellow
Creations...POVERTY naturally caused as well as self-caused by
Earthlings mainly out of "lack of
Knowledge" about the existence of its
fellow creations in relation to themselves supplemented with/by the
Thirst for Knowledge" in the "innate and inherited greed" for the daily
pursuit, of better life,
without regard to what this pursuit means and/or is understood
differently by his/her fellow
Creations... and a lot of times, this pursuit
among humanity per se
is at "any cost" to one-self and others regardless of the "end result"
implications to cause pain and
suffering to One-Self
and as co-lateral
damage to others of different "mode of
|Keeping the above existential philosophy at the fore-front....PVAF
publishes today a "take" on all and more that is stated above... by
Brown, a feature writer for the Globe and Mail published as a National
Edition from Toronto, Ontario, Canada....Ian Brown is a Canadian
journalist and author, winner of several national magazine and newspaper
| Ian Brown has shared with humanity... in very simple language and
life-anecdotes of the year 2012 in context with the currently known
human history on this planet Earth.... but with fundamental human
thought that has "plagued" humanity in its currently known history of
life-travels in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness..."HOW DO WE
FORGIVE"...after breaking bluntly, blatantly and most of the time
"knowingly" the Golden Rule which we very much to aspire to live by at
the core of human existence for self-preservation and preservation of
human pursuit of life, liberty and happiness before we go to sleep every
day and waking up in the HOPE of a little better life, liberty and
happiness than we went to sleep with......
|and thus without much further ado....please click on the next line to continue with your acquiring
year-end saving grace through the pursuit of LIFE-KNOWLEDGE shared on
the next PVAF webpage......
FACILITATE YOUR SELF-JOUNEY OF FORGIVENESS....
As is the
acquisition " and sharing tradition
at PVAF, you have been provided
throughout today's sharing
with hyperlinks to "words and thoughts "
to their current internet explanation sources ....
....just keep on clicking on these hyperlinks
at your leisure
to learn more and
quench your thirst for knowledge-based living
a little more today and tomorrow than yesterday.....
How do you forgive
The Globe and Mail
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada): Saturday, Dec. 22 2012:
By Ian Brown, a feature writer for Globe and Mail and
also is a Canadian journalist and author, winner of several national
magazine and newspaper awards..
to learn the latest about Ian please click
here...when you understand
Ian you will understand his life-sharings
through his writing and other life-activities from simply a human
Until a week ago, this was a season of forgiveness – the piney advent of a
new year and a new chance to renew the world’s
hope by turning over a
new, more forgiving
self. Hostilities abound, of course: 34 Americans
are killed by guns every day, on average, to say nothing of the
casualties of wars and revolutions in
Still, when the holiday season hauls around, usually the timid prospect
of a less vengeful world foolishly pokes its head above the horizon
But there has been very little talk of
forgiveness since Adam Lanza
killed 20 first-graders and six of their adult minders at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Certainly no talk of forgiving Adam Lanza; nor his mother, whom he also killed, but who owned the outsized
guns her son used.
The mere idea of forgiving such
atrocious crimes seems unthinkable. But
I will make you a wager: Eventually, not soon but before you expect it,
one or more of the parents who lost their kids that awful December day
will forgive the killer.
The question is why. They will forgive, not on
religious precepts or out
of human kindness, but because they have to – to make the life of their
dead child mean something.
I suspect their reasoning will go something like this: If no one is
forgiven, even for such a crime, then everyone can be blamed by everyone
else, and no one will have to take responsibility for it. Then the
progress we might have made, at such enormous and heartbreaking cost,
toward preventing a future Adam Lanza from wreaking havoc on the world,
will come to naught.
Astonishingly, people afflicted by
tragedies as devastating as the Sandy
Hook killings do forgive their perpetrators. Sometimes their stories
climb into you and stay there.
tells that kind of story. An
gynecologist, now based in north Toronto, he lived most of his life on
the Gaza strip (where he was born and raised in the
camp) while training and working as a doctor in Israel. He speaks
fluently and has
Israeli and Palestinian friends on each side of that
In September, 2009, Dr. Abuelaish’s wife, Nadia, discovered that she had
acute leukemia. Two weeks later, she was dead, leaving him with their
eight children. The youngest was 6.
It was an especially bad time in Gaza.
Hamas had been re-elected, and
rockets had been fired into
Israel. Israel had responded with a
full-throttle blockade, weekly bombings of the supply tunnels to Egypt,
and troops and tanks in Gaza itself. The bombing was severe enough that
Dr. Abuelaish and the children hauled their mattresses into the dining
room to sleep every night. By day, they stored them away.
Dr. Abuelaish understood that most
peace. He realized (though never approved) that desperation drove some
Palestinians to suicide bombs and homemade rockets. He was able to
imagine (though never support) the defensive fear that made Israel’s
leaders respond with multiples of that force. He thought of the
situation as a cycle of vengeful
mental illness perpetuated on both
Then, on Jan. 16, 2009, as his children were beginning to recover from
the death of their mother, Israeli tanks shelled their home and killed
three of the girls. One was Bessan, his beloved eldest; another was Aya.
The third, Mayar, was beheaded in the explosion. Two other daughters
were severely injured. Dr. Abuelaish was in the house when it happened,
and was the first to find them. One thought played over and over in his
head as he moved from room to room: This is the end .
A father in that position could easily vow vengeance, or disappear into
permanent grief. Dr. Abuelaish did neither. Instead, he went on Israeli
TV and explained what had happened. He renounced any desire for revenge.
Israel’s prime minister
saw the program and broke down in tears.
Dr. Abuelaish has since written a book,
I Shall Not Hate
, and created
foundation to encourage educational exchanges between Israeli and
Palestinian girls. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Revenge is not going to change what happened,” he tells me. “Revenge
destroys. We can’t treat negative with negative. I could want to get
revenge against those who killed my daughters, but they’ll never come
He had to forgive his daughters’ killers, he says, because it was the
only way “not to feel angry, not to feel hate – I will never fill my
body with hatred that will destroy me.” He says it fiercely, again and
again, as if the words were a strap to hang on to.
I tell him I couldn’t have forgiven it. I would have carried my grief
with me forever, as if it were my only possession.
The forgiveness industry doesn’t need a special time of year any more.
Two decades after truth and reconciliation commissions in South Africa
proved that victims of apartheid and genocide might forgive their
perpetrators, the movement is a juggernaut – everything from a school of
therapy to a way to sell things.
Books, documentaries and websites about forgiveness proliferate.
Forgiveness Project, founded by journalist Marina Cantacuzino, has
inspired similar ventures around the world. Her site posts first-person
stories like that of Sokreaksa Himm, who in 1977, aged 14, watched Khmer
Rouge soldiers kill 13 members of his family. By the age of 49, he had
forgiven his tormentors. It took 35 years, but he did it.
“I began a new mission,” he writes, “one that still included finding the
men responsible for the deaths of my loved ones but for a new purpose. I
no longer wanted to seek their deaths, but to tell them of the life and
hope that I found.”
Still, a few questions nag at the skeptical mind: What, exactly,
qualifies as forgiveness? How is it possible? Is it necessary?
Desirable? As therapeutic as revenge? Is it the same as turning the
You would think we might have figured these things out by now. We
certainly need to.
Some affronts are easier to forgive, because they are explicable. Last
spring, in a courtroom in Brampton, Ont., a judge was reduced to tears
when Edward Tamminga publicly forgave the killer of his 23-year-old
She had been jaywalking when she was struck by the car of a 60-year-old
father of four named Jose Cobaria. Mr. Cobaria left the scene of the
accident, and did not turn himself in for two days.
“As Christians, we want to tell the court that we forgive him,” Mr.
Tamminga told the court.
A remorseful Mr. Cobaria apologized publicly, and the judge gave him 90
days, to be served on weekends.
Mr. Tamminga credits his Christian faith. “We grew up with the
Rule,” he tells me. “Forgive others as you would have them forgive you.”
“It’s not always your first reaction, that’s for sure,” he adds. His
voice never wavers. He was furious when he first learned of the
accident, but as the facts surfaced, he felt he had no choice but to
pardon Mr. Cobaria. The knowledge that he has killed someone, even
inadvertently, will be “a life sentence, and we knew that,” Mr. Tamminga
“I don’t know if I would say forgiving him made the loss any less of a
burden,” he continues. “But what it did was assure us that we did the
right thing. We still miss her, but we don’t sit and stew on this guy
who took our daughter away.”
He adds: “I think forgiveness speaks to that mysterious part of people,
that separates us from our pets – that we have the ability to do
something like forgive, as much as we have the ability to perpetuate
atrocities. They’re at equal ends of the spectrum, but they’re both
Mr. Tamminga believes that Lindsay is in heaven, “in a better place” and
a very specific one, without the baggage and pain of the living.
Who would not choose to believe that if they could? But even with faith,
forgiveness is sometimes impossible.
When Julie Nicholson’s daughter Jenny was killed on a bus in the London
terrorist bombings of 2005, Ms. Nicholson – a vicar in the Church of
England – renounced her ministership. She did not blame Muslims; she had
no desire for revenge. But she could not bring herself to do what her
church requires – to forgive the nameless zealot who planted the bomb.
Instead she wrote a book, A Song for Jenny , a deft description of the
hole of anger, the fury of loss where her much-loved daughter used to
I read such stories slack-jawed, at once astonished and terrified. It’s
lovely idea, forgiveness. But actually forgiving someone? That’s
another, more complicated matter.
There have been other days like Dec. 14, 2012. One of them was Dec. 6,
1989. The date has gradually become less emotional for Laurent
Haviernick, whose sister Maud and 13 other women at
Polytechnique in Montreal died that day at the hands of Marc Lépine, who
thought feminists were ruining the world.
Mr. Haviernick was 24 and on his way home from work when he heard the
dreadful news. He was himself a graduate of the Polytechnique, knew the
building room by room, and could see what had happened clearly in his
That Marc Lépine killed himself at the end of his rampage gives Mr.
Haviernick no satisfaction. Forgiveness, however, would be a step too
“The answer is easy for me,” he says. “It’s a straight no. I don’t think
that such an action, that destroys families, that was planned all along,
I don’t think we can forgive that. I’m sorry, but that’s my position.
Maybe I’m a bad person.”
He is not angry any more, but he is not budging. He admits that the
tragedy brought his mother and surviving three sisters closer; that it
made him a more responsible father. He does not even favour gun control.
But he could not forgive Marc Lépine, in part because there was no Marc
Lépine left to receive it.
This is the second crime of those who take lives and then take their own
– their crime against the survivors.
“Maybe if Lépine had lived, maybe there would be some answers,” Mr.
Haviernick says. “Maybe he would have said something. Running around,
shooting 14 people, and then kills himself. For what?” He pauses. “To
forgive, it would be a bit politically correct. And I think there is too
much political correctness.”
Jean-François Larivée took another route. He had been married to Maryse
Laganière for four months when Mr. Lépine shot her. “And yes, it is
still fresh in my mind,” he tells me.
Mr. Larivée never remarried. He still bottoms out in the weeks before
the anniversary, he says; this Dec. 6, he wanted to cry at work, all
day. He imagines the family of three they wanted, kids he thinks would
be 22, 18 and 12 today. He thinks of her whenever he vacations in Cuba,
where they honeymooned, or when he sees cats, because she loved cats –
the stab of the ordinary.
He remembers the details of the day too clearly, endlessly reworking
them as he tries to find the one that might have changed the outcome of
that evening, when police forced him to wait outside the building even
as his wife was dying inside. He cries as he recounts it, 23 years
“I thought about Marc Lépine many, many, many times,” Mr. Larivée says.
“Bizarrely, only very, very, very few times have I felt any physical
violence. I don’t see myself killing him with his own gun, or running
him down in my car. I see myself stopping him from continuing the
rampage, on the stairway.”
In other words, Mr. Larivée tries to forgive himself for not saving his
wife, and this saves him from rage at Lépine. “The fact that I don’t
have anger towards him makes me think that I did forgive him, somehow,
Because there was no one alive to confront and hold responsible, Mr.
Larivée instead threw himself into the causes of gun control and
violence against women. “I wake up at 3 in the morning, asking, ‘What
was the meaning of her life?’ Was that what she was supposed to do? To
die at 25? What does this thing mean?
“I cannot give a meaning to the life of someone else. I can only do
those things – gun control, violence against women – to give meaning to
my life that lost her. To calm down the pain in myself.”
The direct result of these efforts was the
federal gun registry. Today,
in part as a result of the dismantling of that same gun registry by the
Harper government, the Ruger Mini-14, the gun Lepine used, can be easier
to purchase, which does make Mr. Larivée angry: “It’s a big slap in the
face of the memory of my wife.”
Had he lived, Marc Lépine probably would have been found insane in a
court of law, just as Adam Lanza probably would have. The random act of
a psychotic person, paradoxically, we at least excuse, if not forgive:
The law assumes that he or she is not responsible (which may or may not
be a comfort to the relatives of victims).
Having a choice in how we behave increases our responsibility to others.
At the heart of the act of forgiveness is the suggestion that we can do
What we most easily forgive is also revealing. The heavily massaged
post-Sandy Hook debate is rapidly expanding beyond
gun control to how
mental illness ought to be monitored and policed. At least two senior
Republican legislators in
Washington have stated that it would be
easier, and certainly more desirable, to organize mass control of the
mentally ill than
to insist on rules about stocking semi-automatic
weapons. In other words, they would rather forgive the gun user than the
Many people assume that forgiveness is a feeling, a pure instinct, a
one-way grant (the original meaning of the word forgive) bestowed in a
swoop by the forgiver.
But more recent thinking among contemporary scholars of forgiveness
maintains that to truly forgive someone, two elements are essential:
have to have someone to blame, and they have to want to be forgiven.
Only then do you experience the mutually healthful benefits of
forgiveness – a newly rinsed past, a clear conscience, a fresh start.
Without a shared recognition of what has happened, of who did what to
whom and why, without some kind of repentance and forgiveness, there is
no progress. Without the possibility of progress, there is no hope.
Without hope, there is no point. What other solace could there be for
the parents of the children who died at Adam Lanza’s hand in
Forgiveness is actually a fairly new concept. It’s hard to find ancient,
pre-Christian societies that thought forgiveness was a good idea at all.
The ancients were skeptical that human beings could change – they
preferred moral re-education techniques such as beheading.
The Judeo-Christian tradition began to change that, as did the
Testament notion that a man named
Jesus died to
atone for our
Christian forgiveness is still highly conditional, and often confusing.
One morning, mired in philosophy – you have not experienced stroke-like
incomprehension until you have tried to read a Danish intellectual
analyzing Jacques Derrida’s
On Forgiveness – I decided to call the Most
Rev. Colin Johnson, the Anglican Archbishop of Toronto.
“All people stand in need of forgiveness,” Archbishop Johnson stated,
right off the bat. The idea seemed to give him a bit of a lift.
A sinner who wants to be forgiven by someone he has slighted has to do
at least three things, the Archbishop said: acknowledge his
promise to amend his ways. “Until he does, the sinner is
controlled by the sin. Similarly, the offended party needs to learn to
forgive, as much as is possible. Sometimes it never happens, and that
moment or event dominates the person’s life, and limits their capacity
for fullness of life.”
The church’s rules are strict, but at least they are dependable. For
many of us though, in our increasingly
secular lives, without
wield his judgment that passeth all understanding, postmodern men and
women have to sort out whom and what we can forgive, and how, on our
Even small affronts are complicated: Your boyfriend sleeps with your
best friend, you gossip treacherously about a pal behind his back, your
supervisor sells you down the river to further her own career – the
first reaction is rage and resentment.
“Resentment is a perfectly natural thing to feel when someone hurts
you,” says Charles Griswold, a philosophy professor at Boston University
and one of the
world’s foremost authorities on forgiveness. He is the
Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration , and has a new paper
coming out on the ethics of revenge.
Rage and resentment can lead to more of the same, Prof. Griswold says –
hence the need to break the cycle by forgiving.
“Forgiving is, first of all, forgoing revenge,” he says. “And in my view
forgiveness also involves giving up vengeful anger.”
But we need a reason to do that, and so we look to the perpetrator.
According to Prof. Griswold, he or she has to take responsibility (“yes,
I slept with Sally”); repudiate the wrongful deed
(“what I said about
Giorgio was just nonsense – I have no idea if he snorted coke at that
office party”); and express regret (“I’m sorry I wasted three days of
your life by making you work on that crappy project just so I could look
good to old Squirrel Paws”).
Finally, the person has to commit to learning from their mistakes, to a
change of self.
None of this has anything to do with the law; as Prof. Griswold says,
“interpersonal forgiveness and matters of judicial punishment are
entirely different.” You can forgive a thief and also want him to do
Here’s the hard-to-believe news: If these conditions are met, Prof.
Griswold insists, there is no such thing as an unforgivable person.
Archbishop Johnson agrees. Adam Lanza, Marc Lépine, even Osama bin
Laden, if they had lived and repented – publicly taken responsibility,
repudiated their actions and committed to changing their ways – were all
Whether they would be forgiven by their victims, which is the other half
of the equation, is a different story.
“I do think that there are cases when forgiveness is very, very
difficult, and may take a tremendous amount of time,” Prof. Griswold
“The victim has to come to terms with anger, and the perp has to repent,
and that can take too long” – during which one party can slip back into
the revenge cycle, as the Middle East proves almost daily.
“Forgiveness is not a magic bullet,” he says. “There may well be cases
where forgiveness is impossible, because the offender will not take the
steps to be forgiven. Then you have to take other steps to get rid of
one’s toxic anger. But when it is possible, I think it’s right to
Why? Wouldn’t it be simpler to assume, as some social conservatives do,
that people cannot change, and that we should therefore take an
instructive moral stand and punish those who break the rules, rather
than forgive them?
If you hit me, I will hit you back – not out of revenge but because you
need to know that you should not hit people.
Besides, forgiveness is notoriously unreliable. We sin, repent, and go
right back to sinning.
Prof. Griswold says no, “because forgiving someone who has done
everything he can to be forgiven reflects the morals we all cherish: the
goodness of reconciliation, the desirability of a new start, and the
goodness of love over hatred. …
“Forgiveness is sort of sold as the medicine that will solve all
problems. And it won’t. It’s really about holding the offender
responsible, and both parties being held to keep their best selves.”
Pardoners are idealists. Their motto is: We can do better.
I was having a drink with an old friend. It was the end of the day, and
dark and noisy in the bar, which was full of Christmas shoppers. Through
the window, I could see the lights of the city spread out like a lazy
I said to my friend: “Maybe it’s like this: Maybe your husband has an
affair; maybe you retaliate. You can’t bring yourself to leave him, but
you can’t forgive him. Instead, you hold his affair over his head, using
his transgression every time you need it, as leverage, as a way to keep
him there but also at a distance. Eventually this makes you feel so
lonely that you actually forgive him. And suddenly, in an instant, you
can leave him.”
“Yes,” my friend said, “forgiveness is mostly for the forgiver. I think
you have to forgive just to go on living.”
But the act always feels huge, ancient, slightly sacred, as if we are
struggling to find within ourselves the trace of a long-lost ritual and
pattern. Forgiving someone feels impossible and yet familiar at the same
There’s a reason for that. “We have a model for forgiveness,”
psychiatrist Vivian Rakoff told me not too long ago. “Alas, it’s a model
I am only too familiar with these days.”
Dr. Rakoff’s son David, a well-known writer, died this year at the age
of 47. “It’s grief, and mourning. How can you forgive a deity who would
do such a terrible thing? Forgiveness is a slow accommodation to
reality. Then you move on.”
Even Julian Lennon has forgiven Mark Chapman, his famous father’s
killer, who is still in jail.
“What am I going to do?” he told The Times of London last year. “If I
don’t forgive, I can’t be at peace. It’s not a religious statement. It’s
a question of self-preservation.”
These days, in its most contemporary form, forgiveness looks like this:
70-odd people listening to public confessions in the rotunda of Metro
Hall, an undistinguished pile of offices. It’s 7 in the evening.
Everything is grey: grey walls, grey floors, grey chairs. It’s like
sitting in a dead lung.
This is F-You, the Toronto Forgiveness Project. This is its second
meeting in two years, organized by Tara Muldoon, a public-relations
specialist “from a background of sexual trauma.” Most of the audience is
under 40; there is a large contingent of local hip-hop artists who have
taken enthusiastically to Ms. Muldoon’s initiative.
Arda Ocal, a local TV sports journalist, is at the front of the room
saying, “Hey, guys – how’s everybody doing out there?” Next to him is a
screen that flashes quotations, such as “TURN YOUR WOUND INTO WISDOM
The crowd is instructed to greet one another with what one leader
explains is a Swahili greeting (it means, “I see your soul”): One person
says sawubona and the other replies yabo sawubona . When Nova, the woman
teaching the crowd to do this, says, “Thank you for doing that,” someone
in the audience says, “Thank you for teaching us that.” Then Nova says,
“ Sawubona .”
You can make fun of this earnestness, but the crowd is eager for the
encounter, full of enthusiasm. To judge from the confessions of the
people speaking – rape victims, former addicts, gang members, people who
were once lost to themselves – it’s a public absolution, a washing away
of their sins in the world – not to be guiltless or irresponsible, but
to escape the self-perpetuating burden of shame and judgment.
No one knows if this works in the long term, but they are trying it
anyway. In two years, the movement has attracted 2,200 participants.
Rev. Sky Starr, a grief therapist/minister/educator/life
coach/consultant, offers a cogent summary of the new forgiveness and its
goal of “personal freedom.” Forgiveness, Ms. Starr says, “used to be a
spiritual thing. But now everyone is realizing that forgiveness is a
Forgiveness is “a skillful means of promoting internal harmony, free
from regret and inner conflict. … It’s not for the person who hurt you.
It’s for you.” Why? Because “holding a grudge is letting someone live
rent-free in your head.” And because “hurt people hurt you because
they’re feeling hurt.”
“One thing I learned,” a rapper named Friday says, “when you can’t
forgive, and can’t take accountability for your actions, you’re always
playing the blame game.” Friday was a perpetrator, not a victim, but
this is what he needed: a break from feeling like a bad guy. “I’m not
perfect. I think it’s harder to forgive yourself than to forgive
Eventually I speak to Stephanie (Ivory) Conover, a woman in her 20s who
was raped when she was 13. She is a singer, dancer and model, a former
Miss Canada Plus. I want to know why she felt she had to forgive herself
for being raped.
“For accepting the fact that there was nothing I could have done,” she
says. When she finally reported the assault to the police, they asked
her if she had led the man on, and she never pressed charges. She had to
forgive herself, she said, “because I had serious anger and trust issues
that had arisen from not making peace with this catalyst that was
literally thrust upon me, forgive the pun.”
If the world has treated you badly and left you to blame yourself for
your misfortune, and you hate yourself hard enough, you come to hate the
world. Perhaps this is what happened to Adam Lanza.
But if you can forgive yourself, maybe you can love the world again. All
these people are trying.
In the nearly four years since Izzeldin Abuelaish’s daughters died, the
Israeli Defence Forces have admitted that they fired the shells that
killed them. To this day, however, the doctor is still waiting for a
formal apology, and has sued the Israeli government in hope of getting
“I’m doing it because I want all of us to take responsibility, finally,
for our acts,” he says. “From goodwill, not to blame.”
He forsook hatred of his daughters’ killers, forsook revenge, not to let
the Israel Defence Forces off the hook – as some Palestinians accuse him
of doing – but, again, to break the familiar cycle of despair,
provocation, retaliation and revenge. He was hoping to make it possible
for the Israeli military to admit its responsibility without vengeful
reprisals, and to find in stout forgiveness the root of a lasting peace
– a meaning for his lost daughters’ lives.
“Forgiveness is to move forward,” he told me, as if it were the most
self-evident truth. “Not blindly: You touch it, and you engage with it.
Forgiveness is to move forward stronger, more determined, and to
challenge the perpetrator, and not be the victim.”
But that is a two-way street, and that is the problem. “No one has
approached me to ask for forgiveness,” he says. “That’s the issue. … Why
all the time is the focus on the victim? It’s an injustice to ask the
victim all the time to forgive. We need to change it, and ask the
perpetrator to come forward and ask for forgiveness.”
That is the hard part. Asking for forgiveness is always terrifying, not
just because it might not be granted, but because of the implications of
the request – that we are somehow responsible for one another, that we
have a collective hand in one another’s losses, that we owe each other
amends, sometimes even by assuming the burden of responsibility for the
random and the inexplicable.
Not that we are all to blame for the sins of the world, but that we are
responsible for them. What else are the massive public outpourings and
debates and conversations that follow tragedies like Newtown but an
effort to come to terms with the collective
loss, to admit to our
So far, in a small, unspeakably sad town in Connecticut, only one young
man is said to be guilty, and he is no longer alive to give the grieving
comfort. Perhaps it lies to the rest of us to step up and ask for their
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|....WE AT PVAF LEAVE YOU TODAY
TILL YOUR NEXT REGULAR VISIT
IN SEARCH OF LIFE-KNOWLEDGE
with the following universal message....
|PVAF THANKS TODAY'S SHARING CONTRIBUTORS
|PVAF is what its humanity volunteers it to be in the pursuit of
life, liberty and happiness representing all diversity of universal and
collective human beliefs, cultures, traditions and customs with
individual lifestyle choices....
Today PVAF thanks Ian Brown for his contribution to understanding
forgiveness as universal human innate and inherited trait....
Also PVAF continues to appreciate the continual volunteering of
Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada...today not only
he brought to the attention of PVAF world-wide visitors Ian Brown and
his sharing on forgiveness but provided the first webpage write-up and
preparing the entire today's sharing for publishing....with the
|"Forgiveness is the general "need-based"
human trait and particularly to empower the attainment of the "fundamental
human needs" in all aspects of daily life-living.... from
procreation for human race continuation to parenting to family to
communal to national and international mutually harmonious and
prospering lifestyles solely based on co-existence and not on
narcissistic way of
life.... not only for the sake of the entire collective and
individual humanity but also to care for all fellow Creations as per the
Forgiveness is part of what is called
DHARm in the
sNskRUt language and
explained in "vEDik" meaning Universal Knowledge and Knowing given to
humans at the dawn of Creation by the Creator... and which is also found
universally in varying forms and degrees in all the belief systems among
humanity past and current...
Forgiveness is founded on universal morals and ethics and made
functional by universally explained daily life-acts of
altruism and as is
hip to say today "pay
it forward" and "alternate
giving" life-giving and not life-taking life-concepts....
May we all be blessed as an individual human and and as a human collective with age old wisdom
of human evolutionary
summarized as follows:
YOU learn to know how to forgive yourself through
believing in "it
is human to err"...as self-explained in all diversity human tribes
cultures and civilizations, YOU cannot forgive others:....
....and "forgiving" will and can never be complete till the "forgivee"
also through the process of "contrite
....and the community/tribe of the "forgiver" and "forgivee" must also
do the same required to the extent the "forgiver" and "forgivee" and
their community/tribes mutually interact on the complex life-matrix of
daily living wanting to
.....simply put the "forgiver",
the "forgivee" and their community/tribe must "heal" together willingly
and concurrently for change with
restorative self-acts".....and for all
this to happen the nation must provide all the self-less resources
necessary with national concept of mandated
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