Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Taking It Home: Forgiveness

Part of Virtue Ethics

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. — Mahatma Gandhi

IN TODAY'S WORKSHOP... we talked about forgiveness—of others and of ourselves. We envisioned forgiveness as a path instead of a finite act and identified doorways and road blocks along the way. We acknowledged that forgiving can be a gift we give ourselves to stop thoughts of hatred and anger, which can hurt us emotionally, spiritually, and physically. That forgiveness can also help the forgiven is a bonus.

  • The Tao of Forgiveness, by William Martin (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2010), has stories and practices to help the reader partake in the "healing power of forgiving others and yourself." The suggestions in Story 13 might be particularly applicable to forgiveness of an incident from long ago.
  • Watch this video clip on YouTube Forgiveness: How Do Children Forgive?
  • The Forgiveness Project is a UK-based charitable organization which works in prisons, schools, faith communities, and with any group that wants to explore forgiveness, reconciliation, and conflict resolution in a political context or in individual lives. The Forgiveness Project has no religious or political affiliations. Their website features dozens of stories from individuals, as well as essays such as "The Dangers of Forgiving Too Easily."
  • Governments, through the ages, have attempted to institutionalize a forgiveness process in various ways. One of the most famous was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in South Africa after apartheid. Read more at South African History Online.