The more I do the workshops, the more I see how needed and beneficial forgiveness is for ourselves, for relationships, for minimizing conflict at home and in the workplace, and for dealing with all the bigotry, hatred, and prejudice in the world. Ours is a culture of “If I am wronged, I get back.” Most people’s accounts of all the injustices and hurts that were done to them are overflowing and they use these accounts to justify blame and anger. They build up these accounts and carefully save them. Anytime someone performs some horrible act, you can know for sure their victim account is overflowing.
Our culture loves retaliation. Movies are full of it. The hero is wronged and the whole movie is about him taking “justifiable” revenge. So our kids grow up thinking, “If someone hurts me, I must take revenge. Forgiveness is a sign of weakness.”
People guard their victimhood. It is a story upon which they can justify their failures. If they lose that story, how can they justify their blame and anger? Anger makes them feel powerful. Ask them to forgive and they fear they will lose their power. But all anger and blame do is hide their pain, the pain they don’t want to face. Forgiveness is the only door out of the prison of this pain.
Because forgiveness is so much needed in our world, and because practicing forgiveness brings people to a higher level of God-consciousness, my intention is to expand forgiveness workshops around the world.