Stories | Questions | Why do people forgive?

"To forgive is not just to be altruistic, it is the best form of self-interest", observed Desmond Tutu. Forgiving can be liberating, it helps victims regain self-control, puts an end to intrusive and traumatic memories and allows people to reconcile with pain.

Countless research studies indicate that forgiveness is good for your emotional, mental and physical health.

Some people forgive for themselves, others forgive to restore relationships, and still others forgive for the greater good, perhaps to put an end to conflicts that have festered over generations.

Michael Watson

"If I had animosity about what Chris had done to me, I’d be breaking myself down mentally as well as physically. How could I then move on?"

Kemal Pervanic

"I decided not to hate because hating would have finished the job they’d started so successfully."

Charlotte Maude

"To blame doctors for what had happened to our daughter would have achieved nothing. The creation of Isabel, on the other hand, could help to save children’s lives."

Arno Michaelis

"Forgiveness is a sublime example of humanity that I explore at every opportunity, because it was the unconditional forgiveness I was given by people who I once claimed to hate that demonstrated the way from there to here."

Desmond Tutu

"To forgive is not just to be altruistic, it is the best form of self-interest."

Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger

"My forgiveness is an act of self-preservation, it comes white-hot from the whetstone and its purpose is solely to sever the ties."

Mwalimu Johnson

"Negative experiences are a kind of cancer, and my choice as a human being is either to encourage the spread of that cancer or to arrest it and apply a solution. I opt to be part of the solution, part of the healing."

Barry and Margaret Mizen

"I'm not shouting from the roof top 'I forgive' but by not wanting revenge I have an inner peace that a lot of people in our position don’t seem to have."

Sammy Rangel

"As long as I tried to collect what my mother owed me, I would never move forward in my life."

Duma Kumalo

"Primo Levi once wrote: I don’t want to be like them. I don’t hate them.' It’s a wonderful and powerful statement."

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