[BOOKS in brief]Lessons in forgiveness are for life

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[BOOKS in brief]Lessons in forgiveness are for life

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One day, a man is fired from his company after 10 years of loyal service. “Why me?” he asks.

He goes through several emotions: shock, then denial, then anger and finally the delusion that he has been grievously wronged.

He finds a new job, but realizes that he’s lost his passion and energy and is on the verge of collapsing from hypertension. That’s why this book is called “Forgive to Live.”

The author, Dick Tibbits, is currently a mental health counselor, public speaker and clergyman at Orlando’s Florida Hospital. Tibbits explains the danger of hanging on to past anger and hurt, and suggests that we should forgive others for our own sake.

The more we obsess about grievances, the more we are likely to lose control of our lives. Tibbits poses readers this question: When you hit the fork in the road that splits forgiveness and unforgiveness, which is the better choice for you?

We must see painful experiences as a small part of the bigger picture of life, he counsels. Forgiveness not only yields emotional and mental peace, it also impacts our physical well-being. Tibbits’ research has shown that hypertension patients who learned to forgive saw relief in their symptoms.

Most of us have been told to forgive someone at one time or another, but we don’t know how or why. Tibbits suggests we learn to change our perspective on the past and try our best to look to the future. Instead of recounting our tales of past grievances, we have to accept that life is neither fair nor perfectly balanced. Standards of fairness are different from person to person, and we cannot control how other people behave.

If there is a shortcut to forgiveness, it’s to develop empathy and humility. Empathy allows us to understand others, releasing us from a self-centered point of view. By Lee Eun-joo
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