Category Archives: FORGIVENESS

Trees like to have kids climb on them, but trees are much bigger than we are, and much more forgiving. Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider


Tree by Kevin Hart

It takes a life to understand a tree.

You start by climbing high, by holding eggs

Like eyes in the curved eyelids of a young hand,

Then take away plump scratchy nests, still warm,

By thinking other things. Branches will wave

As though to seek your help, but then they go

Just like the ants and leaves marked hard with lines.

Summer will pass with rich dark smells of earth

And then the sound of wind in branches—yes,

That too will slide into the void you hold

With next door’s silky oak that vaguely sighed

One early morning, deep in the pulp of Spring,

Then fell on power lines and through a house.

It takes a life to understand a tree

But life climbs quickly, climbs with claws, and so

You haven’t stood beneath a tree for long

And all that’s left is a sparkle up there, high,

A glistening that you can hardly see,

That beckons you toward it, nonetheless,

And somehow tells you that there is no void.

Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)


The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 15 April 1933

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW - 1842 - 1954), Saturday 15 April 1933

As distance tests a horse’s strength, so does time reveal a person’s real character.

This saying tells us that a long period of testing is needed to understand one’s nature and capabilities.

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Kathy Earsman


Forgive (Rondeau Redouble.)

Forgive yourself, my son, for errors past,
for weaknesses are only strengths reflected;
mistakes that seem so glaring, when recast
may bring solutions if they are respected.

Adventures led to outcomes unexpected;
and some were bound to leave you quite aghast,
in light of reason, do not be dejected,
forgive yourself, my son, for errors past.

Oh hold your self-respect and hold it fast!
Your tender heart deserves to be protected,
and self-recrimination cannot last,
for weaknesses are only strengths reflected.

Your strengths are vital, let them be directed,
for deep within you lies a wisdom vast;
you’ll see how inexperience affected
mistakes that seem so glaring, when recast.

And when the benefits you have amassed,
when all the stepping-stones have been connected,
be proud my son that journeys unsurpassed
may bring solutions if they are respected.

Then when your future course has been selected,
please know that strengths and weaknesses contrast;
they complement each other when inspected,
there never was a need to be downcast.
Forgive yourself my son.

When grasping for the last breath in the stranglehold of life, a close inspection will show that the hands around your throat are your own.

– Bill Deslippe

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Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they must remember the wrong or they will not learn from it. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Through the power and intelligence of the heart, the release of forgiveness brings expanded intelligence to work with the situation more effectively.

– David McArthur & Bruce McArthur

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart, or burn down your house, you can never tell.


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“Freedom continues to be the thing I prize most in the world. Of course, this has led me to drink wines I did not like, to do things I should not have done and which I will not do again; it has left scars on my body and on my soul, it has meant hurting certain people, although I have since asked their forgiveness, when I realized that I could do absolutely anything except force another person to follow me in my madness, in my lust for life. I don’t regret the painful times; I bear my scars like medals. I know that freedom has a high price, as high as that of slavery; the only difference is that you pay with pleasure and a smile, even when that smile is dimmed by tears.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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“If you are a member of a small group or class, I urge you to make a group covenant that includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).”

― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?

It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend.

Madame Dorothée Deluzy

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“I always feel happy, you know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone; expectations always hurt. Life is short. So love your life. Be happy. And keep smiling. Just Live for yourself and always remember: Before you speak… Listen. Before you write… Think. Before you spend… Earn. Before you pray… Forgive. Before you hurt… Feel. Before you hate… Love. Before you quit… Try. Before you die… Live… That’s Life…Feel it, Live it and Enjoy it.”

― William Shakespeare

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.

– Edward Hoagland “Dogs and the Tug of Life”

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“I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family’s, and my country’s past, holding in my hands these truths: that love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. This much, at least, I’ve figured out. I know this much is true.”

― Wally Lamb, I Know This Much Is True

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.


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“In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of — moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m grateful for you.” That’s what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.”

― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

“Courage comes with action. The minute you step forward, the minute you declare your decision, the minute you say, “This is how it’s going to go,” courage comes. It floods through you and energizes every single fibre of your being. You don’t have to wait for it. It’ll be there.” ― Gail Blanke

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“Have you forgiven me?’ I asked.
‘How can I say I have, when I never had anything to forgive?’
‘Well then, I must go unforgiven for I cannot forgive myself.’ I said.
‘O Mrs. Percivale! If you think how the world is flooded with
forgiveness, you will just dip in your cup, and take what you want.”
― George MacDonald

The path to paradise begins in hell. ― Dante Alighieri


“Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering–remembering and not using your right to hit back. Its a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don’t want to repeat what happened.”

― Desmond Tutu

It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.

― Thomas Henry Huxley


“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”

― Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

“Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren’t rubbed in but rubbed out. Fellowship happens when mercy wins over justice.

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?


“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

People in general would rather die than forgive. It’s THAT hard. If God said in plain language. "I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die," a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.

― Sue Monk Kidd


“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“Long marriages have ended in ruin over tiny and insignificant grievances that were never properly aired and instead grew into a brittle barnacle of hatred.”

Augusten Burroughs


“Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.”

Lance Morrow, The Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons

The sword is not to be used against him who has asked forgiveness.

"Turkish Proverbs"

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Now bury with the dead years conflicts dead
And with fresh days let all begin anew.
Why longer amid shrivelled leaf—drifts tread,
When buds are swelling, flower—sheaths peeping through?
Seen through the vista of the vanished years,
How trivial seem the struggle and the crown,
How vain past feuds, when reconciling tears
Course down the channel worn by vanished frown.
How few mean half the bitterness they speak!
Words more than feelings keep us still apart,
And, in the heat of passion or of pique,
The tongue is far more cruel than the heart.
Since love alone makes it worth while to live,
Let all be now forgiven, and forgive.

Alfred Austin 1835-1913

foto – sunset raleigh 2010

He who forgives ends the argument. African


In any controversy, the instant we feel angry we have already ceased striving for truth and begun striving for ourselves. Goethe.

foto – autumn in bellingen showgrounds. 2010

There is no room within my heart for revenge, fire or hate there is no room within my mind for any thoughts like these.

(‘No room for hate’ by David Gould
In response to our daughter being killed in the London Bombings of 7 July 2005)


"As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind."
Isabelle Holland

foto – ulmarra tree 2010

Peace is when the world forgives, forgets and smiles. Peace is when all nations stand together as one.Rosie and Rohaana Kilvington Junior School Victoria, Australia.

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If you want to know your past life,
look into your present condition;
if you want to know your future,
look into your present action.


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foto – tree in Bello. xmas 09.