Forgiveness and the missing link | Stephen Broughton
I have entered into conversations before on the topic of forgiveness. It has been thrust into our consciousnesses again, since some members of Reeva Steenkamp's family have expressed their forgiveness of Oscar Pistorius. It is not my intention to comment any further on this case here (the BBC News website has its own dedicated section to the incident, subsequent trial and wider issues). Presumably, I am not the only one interested in this act of forgiveness, as the BBC has done one of their "iWonder" pieces, and you can see their overview of forgiveness and its origins in religion here. To simplify greatly (and, perhaps, naively) the message of that page, is that the origins of forgiveness is the realisation that no one is perfect and we should forgive others' mistakes in the knowledge that we have committed and will commit plenty of our own. This simplification does not always hold, clearly. Some refuse to forgive, and there are doubtless many instances where homicide is not forgiven.
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