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Definition of Forgiveness

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Peace and Conflict Studies
PACS 202
Betty Pries

Forgiveness Definition of Forgiveness  Accepting an apology  Letting go of the hurt  Absolving someone of guilt  Necessary for reconciliation  Forgiveness is not: o Accepting or tolerating injustice o Forgetting (except when it is) o Just forgoing anger  How can we forgive and not forgo anger?  Anger is an indicator that we’ve been wronged  Not where we end, but can be where we can begin  Forgiveness is: o Deciding you will not allow the action of the other control you – letting go of the pain and hurt o Regarding the other person with compassion  Seeing the other as a complex person who is capable of both good and bad. Wishing the other person well o Letting go of resentment, bitterness, grudges o Giving up right to revenge (this is different from giving up right to justice) o Releasing the other from any obligation they may have to you o Extending a hand of grace to the other o If you shackle yourself to the forgiveness, you’ve given the other person a whole lot of power, and the healing process will be postponed  Likewise, some would argue that forgiveness should not be given unless the offender asks for it o Does forgiveness require an apology first?  It depends on the degree of hurt o Difference between conditional and unconditional forgiveness o Difference between forgiveness and reconciliation Forgiveness Process It’s not until an hour or two later does the pain of reality actually occur. Anger is a secondary emotion; primary is hurt, fear or pain. Hanging onto resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We are rehearsing that hurt in our minds even if the relationship is deterred. How Grievances are Formed  We experience a hurt  We perceive the hurt as being about us and/or unique to us o We forget that the other person has their own mountain they are climbing o We take that hurt personal  We “rent” a lot of space to our hurt; we replay the hurt and allow it to take up a lot of brain space o We give up our power by allowing the other to determine how we feel o We believe that letting go of the hurt equals saying the hurt was OK o If give up how we feel to others, then our healing must also come from them  We believe that letting go of the hurt equals saying the hurt was OK  We hold people to unenforceable rules o We often want people to live to us according to a set of rules that are much higher than what they’d achieve in their lives o Those unenforceable rules keep getting broken because they can’t achieve it Forgiveness Forgiveness quotes  Hanging onto resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” (Smedes in Briggs, 2008, p.38)  “To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest. What dehumanizes you inexorably dehumanizes me. It gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.” (Tutu, 1999, p. 31) Forgiveness Process  forgiveness and the adrenaline cycle  “Pain can sear the human memory in two crippling ways: With forgetfulness of the past or imprisonment in it. The mind that insulates the traumatic past from conscious memory plants a live bomb in the depths of the psyche -- it takes no great grasp of psychiatry to know that. But the mind that fixes on pain risks getting trapped in it. Too horrible to remember, too horrible to forget: Down either path lies little health for the human sufferers of great evil Forgiveness fact  Idea of revenge gives brain a rush (like brain candy) o Anger is associated with adrenaline, rise of adrenaline can be associated with this rush  Loss of adrenaline is associated with depression  Despite what the brain wants, heart seems to want something different o People who forgive are healthier, have lower blood pressure and lower stress levels than those who don’t  people tend to become more forgiving as they age Forgiveness theory  Forgiveness is a choice.  This fact puts power in the victim's hands.  “Forgiveness is a power held by the victimized, not a right to be claimed. The ability to dispense, but also to withhold, forgiveness is an ennobling capacity and part of the dignity to be reclaimed by those who survive the wrongdoing. Even an individual survivor who chooses to forgive cannot, properly, forgive in the name of other victims. To expect survivors to forgive is to heap yet another burden on them.” Hybrid Conflict Resolution Processes Types of hybrids  Med-arb (will be addressed today)  Arb-med (will be addressed today) o it’s a mix between arbitration and mediation  Collaborative Law (will be reviewed today)  Mini-trials  Early neutral evaluation  Ombudspersons  Dispute Resolution Boards  Sky is the limit…. Mediation / Arbitration  Agree to mediate first  Agree up front that if no mediated settlement, then will arbitrate  Mediator turns into an arbitrator o Option – arbitrator is someone else who takes over the resolution process after mediation fails  Advantages  Disadvantages Forgiveness Collaborative Law  Two+ clients, two+ collaborative lawyers  Collaborative lawyers chosen from list of collaborative lawyers  Lawyers represent their clients but work collaboratively with one another and “opposing” client  If process breaks down both parties must hire new lawyers. Arbitration / Mediation  Arbitrate first and reach sealed decision  Mediate  Advantages
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