|Giving negative feedback yet improving
|An introduction to a strategy called "Win-Win Finesse,"
in a wonderful little book by Dr Paschal Baute which has significance for better forgiving
and for spirit in the workplace and at home
|One of the most important underlying questions which people have about
forgiving is "How can I forgive myself?" - indeed many ask, "Is it
actually even possible to forgive oneself?"
Answering this shows us an important dimension to self-knowledge.
|Is there ever a strength or moral
grandeur in not forgiving?
we want to convey disapproval, we may believe it is correct to withhold forgiveness.
Does this belief in a moral high ground have moral or spiritual value? Desmond Tutu
on South Africa's experience, and Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower.
| The Godfather Part 3:
Can a destructive man of power be forgiven?
exploration and reappraisal of the masterly and often mis-construed conclusion to
Francis Coppola's The Godfather movies, in which the cold and terrible Mafia don
Michael Corleone seeks forgiveness and peace.
|Forgiving the people on whom we depend
|It's often hardest to forgive the people we depend on most in our
lives - our parents and parent-figures, sometimes including life
partners. They give us our very sense of who we are. Sam Mendes' magical
movie Road to Perdition has some helpful insights.
|Pre-emptive action and forgiveness
|Pre-emptive action, particularly the new US foreign policy, stirs up many
reasonable fears in those who are not doing it. Our mistrust of pre-emptive
action makes it harder to celebrate one priceless form of pre-emption - active,
unconditional forgiving. With helpful words from Gregory Jones and Donald
|Seeing through the consequences when someone says 'No'
Bevin said, "The first thing to decide before you walk into any negotiation is what
to do if the other chap says 'No'." Applying this to the preparations for war
on Iraq, with helpful words from Rollo May, JFK, Rupert Cornwell and John Shelby
|Permanently criminalising someone
Hindley, who with Ian Brady tortured and killed five young people in the early 1960s.
After her death the media suggested she was beyond forgiveness, asking "Should she
have been forgiven?". But 'should' is the wrong word - the point is that some
|The desire for closure
of us too eager to tie up loose ends, whether with al-Qaeda or Iraq, or witnessing an
execution, divorce, changing jobs, etc? Can we tolerate unfilled spaces in our
lives? With helpful words from Ron Carlson, William Bridges, and Wilfred Bion.
|Forgiveness in the workplace
only response to workers' personal flaws or incompetence to sack them? How do we recognise
personal worth? We need to be more aware of the different forms of
"communication relationship" and the power they give us. With helpful
words from Bob Ainsworth, Juan Carlos Ortiz, Adam Curtis and Charles Handy.
|The grace to change the subject
the subject, raising new and more pertinent questions, is a sign of mature, wise
leadership. Yet forgiving goes further, allowing us also to re-examine and learn
from the old issues. With helpful words from Lord Robertson of NATO, Jack Spong and
|Leadership, organisation and forgiveness in the Middle East
idolising of nation-statehood is one kind of leadership, but it cannot bring peace here.
Are there leaders who can put issues in a larger perspective, creating rather than
defending? With helpful words from Desmond Tutu, Michael Lerner and Tony Blair.
|Forgiveness: a world of 'both-and'
get a bigger and less simplistic picture of our world from inside forgiveness.
Rather than relying on a theme of unity or oneness all the time, forgiveness sees two dimensions at once - the faulty and the
improved versions. With helpful words from J R R Tolkien and Tom Trzyna.
|Creative authority: convening a 'just
with real authority can 'author' a new beginning for wrongdoers and those affected by
them. They create space to tell our story, and to hear others'. With helpful
words from Carly Fiorina, Henri Nouwen, and Nelson Mandela.
|Responding to another person's lie
and lies are neutral in themselves. It is the use we make of them - to build up
people and relationships, or to destroy them, to condemn people or to educate and help -
which has deeper value. With helpful words from Rob Sitch and Arun Gandhi.
|Taking sides against evil
This e-letter received many heartfelt and
grateful responses, and is now presented as a full article
the build-up towards armed response after 11 September. Are some people irredeemably
evil - so that their removal or destruction is the only response?
We need to understand the 'things' which drive people, and oppose or take
sides against these things, but if possible not against the people. Loyalty can be
just such a 'thing,' not a spiritual virtue. But we also need to be honest and
realistic about our lack of power and consequent defensiveness. With helpful words
from Jesus, JFK, Robert Bolt, Michael Griffin and others.
|Justice : making restitution rather than retribution
|If our only concern is the 'eye-for-an-eye'
view of action and response, we turn justice into an 'equivalence to crime.' Retribution becomes masked retaliation.
Some modern lawyers are recovering the wiser, earlier view of 'restoring peace' through
|When forgiveness gets a bad name
Clintons' departure from the White House illustrates how easy it is to cheapen
forgiveness. It is not a single act, but the power and the personal freedom and
authority to live out transformed relationships in society.