Tag Archives: forgive


Recent events made me reflect on forgiveness; why can’t the word forgiveness have more presence in our world?

Embed from Getty Images

Our society was founded on great movements with visionary leaders that embraced the essence – and benefits – of forgiveness to build relevant communities, businesses and families.

There are many leaders that choose forgiveness over revenge, hate or indifference; the Civil Rights movements in the US, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and Gandhi’s peaceful revolution were all sparked by a shared belief in non-violent protest to change the status quo. Forgiveness can cross geographical, religious, racial, social, political, and economic barriers. It can even transcend time. Leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King became incredibly powerful by choosing to forgive. They forgave to be at peace with the present. Whatever happened to them or to their ancestors, they did not believe that ignoring the problem or encouraging hate was the answer. The answer, for them, was forgiveness; it was an action they could take – and they encouraged others to take – that would have a positive influence on a better future. The profound act of forgiveness made them visionary leaders.

I live in South America and far removed geographically from recent events in Europe and Asia. Nevertheless, I know community and business leaders who are victims of crime, of discrimination and of corruption. Some of them live with the expectation that the same negative things will happen to them again and some believe that their future can be different. It could be described as the difference between the fixed and growth mindsets. Naturally, there are also those people that are on the fence about their future; like most human beings, they experience moments when they are positive about the future and others when they keep thinking about the immitigable risks. I believe the gap between the two groups of people (or different feelings within the same person) is bridged by a simple phrase: “I forgive.”

“I forgive” is about creating peace with the present so that we can be open to new experiences. Forgiveness is personal because it has an impact on our lives even if the event happened long before we were even born or only yesterday. Making peace with ourselves and with people around us means acknowledging these terrible things – directly or indirectly – and making the decision that while events like these define part of our lives, they are not all defining, all-encompassing and all being. Human beings are bigger than the terrible things that happen to us and we can make change happen. Things can be different. Just like the brave leaders mentioned before, we don’t have to accept the status quo.

Maybe, just maybe, it is cool, it is relevant, and it is positive to forgive.

My idea is simple – say “I forgive”, post it, share it, write stories about it, make videos, take photos, make music, create art. Get the word “forgive” out there.

If we restore the word forgive to our vocabulary and to our lives, we can use it as an opportunity to build healthier businesses, communities and families. If we talk about building a better future for our children or future generations, forgiveness must be part of it.




Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Forgiveness…even in business


In this post I’m going to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s called forgiveness.

Forgiveness is an important concept– even in business. While venting about an issue at work may help you “let off steam”, forgiveness – and being able to put a disappointment or an injustice behind you – is an incredibly powerful factor in both personal and organizational effectiveness because it restores relationships, it validates communication and it has innumerable health benefits such as lowering your body’s stress levels. There is some great work being done in this field; if you are interested, check out Stanford University’s Project Compassion publications in the Huffington Post.

I think we need to look beyond the limits that we set on the traditional concept of forgiveness; let’s stretch the notion that forgiveness is “personal” or “emotional” or that it weakens us or that it is something to be feared. I think we need to make forgiveness a mainstream concept so that it can be used to build healthier communities, families and organizations (including businesses).

Have you ever thought about how little we use the word “forgive” and what it might mean to our relationships if we reintroduce the age old concept of forgiveness? My wish is to restore the word forgive to our vocabulary and to our lives.

Tagged , , , , ,