Most world religions and wisdom traditions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness. From the notion of divine forgiveness to that of humans practicing forgiveness, there are countless spiritual myths, lessons and teachings that explore the complex nature and process of forgiveness and reconciliation in their various forms.
Outside of the spiritual realm, psychologists, sociologists and doctors are among the scientific disciplines researching this perennial human need. The desire to forgive is widely recognized by the public, but they are often at a loss for ways to accomplish it. A 1988 Gallup poll found that 94% of people asked said it was important to forgive, but 85% said they needed some outside help to be able to do it.
This episode of Global Spirit explores forgiveness and healing on a personal and societal level, illuminating how spiritual practice and compassion can aid us on this most critical of journeys. Host Phil Cousineau brings together three guests who each approach the topic from a different angle. We see Ed Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt take a group of traumatized Vietnam War vets back to the land where they fought and killed, to help them learn the art of “forgiveness of the self” for what they did during a war almost 40 years ago. Program guest Azim Khamisa practices “forgiveness of the other” as he traces how he learned to forgive the boy who murdered his own son. Now Khamisa works with the killer’s grandfather to foster forgiveness and healing with young audiences all over the world.
He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.