Friday, October 24, 2008

Thomas Fuller on Forgiveness

I read a quote from Thomas Fuller posted by William Cooney which said, "Nothing demands as much, nor rewards so completely as forgiveness. In its purest form, the act of forgivning requires the ego to suspend its need to prevail. A profound selflessness is at the core of the perfect offering of forgiveness.

I think the line "the act of forgiving requires the ego to suspend its need to prevail" is at the heart of forgiveness. I feel that we need to be able to look at ourselves and what is coloring our perceptions such as anger, fear or guilt for us to truly be able to forgive. When we can see the humanness in ourselves and forgive ourselves for it, then true forgiveness for others becomes much stronger.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A father's Forgiveness

I am always thankful to see the story of Azim Khamisa which I find so inspiring. I first heard about the story in 1995 and what touched me most was Azim's comment, "there were victims at both ends of the gun." Azim already was demonstrating the kind of thinking that each one of us should strive for - choosing to see the world not from the eys of our anger, but through the eyes of understanding. Azim demonstrated so much compassion inspite of his pain and grief. He understood that healing was needed for all those concerned and what inspires me most is that he has dedicated his entire life since the tragedy to do just that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Legacy of Amy Biehl

The Los Angeles Times ran a beautiful article written by Scott Kraft on the Amy Biehl story. For those of you who do not know the story it is about Amy Biehl who at the time was a graduate student from Stanford University living in Cape Town, South Africa in 1993. Amy had been in South Africa for nearly a year researching constitutions and bills of rights around the world for ANC leaders. It was her last day in South Africa and she was taking a colleague home in Guguletu when an angry mob spotted her, started throwing rocks at her car, and as she was trying to escape was murdered.

What is amazing about this story was what Amy represented and how her parents Linda and Peter Biehl dealt with their daughters death which was not only to forgive the mruderers but to also found the Amy Biehl Foundation in 1994 which to this day runs after-school programs for youth in the area where Amy was killed. Two of the men who murdered Amy now work for the Foundation whose purpose is to help stop violence by giving youth something positive to participate in.

Linda and Peter Biehl were able to transcend their anger and hatred through the process of forgiveness and in so doing were able to transform themselves and those around them whose anger and pain drove them to this unthinkable murder. This speaks to the power of forgiveness which enables us to open our hearts to healing instead of hatred.