A post that reviews Bishop Desmond Tutu’s thoughts on forgiveness.

tutu quote

Tutu’s point is that it is enough to refuse to seek revenge.  Moreover, revenge means doing what was done to you — the literal interpretation of an eye for an eye.  

Tutu  headed South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and speaks from the view-point of Restorative or Reparative Justice  In this system,  victims and offenders  meet with the support of their community.  The victim details the hurts; the offender is expected to take responsibility (admit)  the wrong and to make amends.  The amends must involve an apology and some form of   payment for damages, the offending behavior must not be repeated. When those conditions are met, forgiveness is extended.

 Forgiveness is easier to extend under those conditions.  When the offender does not accept responsibility or make an amends, letting go of the hurt and anger is more difficult. 

Emotional Fitness forgiveness tips

Tip one:  Accept that often, you will have to go it alone – forgive without the offender’s participation.

Tip two: The need to forgive needs to be  rated.  You rate two things — degree of hurt and intent.  No hurt is one, intentional hurts are the mid point while abuse and broken trust deserve a ten.

Tip three:  High levels of hurt raise the question of protecting yourself from future harm.  Abuse must be stopped or the relationship ended or maintained at a safe distance.

Tip four: Your goal is to forgive the person for being flawed, not the acts.

Tip five: Forgiving yourself means meeting the same requirements. Admitting the hurt, rating the hurt, making an appropriate amends, stopping  repeat hurts, and forgiving yourself for being flawed.  As you struggle to do this, it may help you to forgive others.

stay strong

The need to forgive is a constant, but like every feeling it can be managed.  Improving your overall ability to manage negative feelings will help.  The Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises  is an easy first step to taking charge of all negative feelings. 

If you like this post share it with another.  You might also find visiting me at Emotional Fitness Training on Pinterest.  If you are a parent, you might find my  When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook Page helpful as well many of my books.

Thank you for your support.



Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.


If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life,  dysgraphia–a learning disability has eaten my energy and diminished my productivity.   Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, try reading it a few days later.  Often I catch the worse mistakes when I read the post after a few days.


Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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