Creator of Thalidomide Asks Forgiveness

Long Island Newsday – The German manufacturer of Thalidomide, Gruenenthal Group, apologized to mothers who took thalidomide during the 1950s and 1960s and to their children who suffered congenital birth defects because of the drug.

“We ask for forgiveness that for nearly 50 years we didn’t find a way of reaching out to you from human being to human being,” Harald Stock said. “We ask that you regard our long silence as a sign of the shock that your fate caused in us.”

Thalidomide, a powerful sedative, was sold under the brand name Contergan. It was given to pregnant women mostly to combat morning sickness, but led to a wave of birth defects in Europe, Australia, Canada and Japan. Thalidomide was yanked from the market in 1961 and was also found to cause defects in the eyes, ears, heart, genitals and internal organs of developing babies.

Thalidomide was never approved for use in pregnant women in the United States.

Read more: Thalidomide Maker Asks Forgiveness.

Forgiveness as an Investment in Your Future

Do you realize that your practicing forgiveness now may pay unexpected dividends for you decades from now? As an example, look at how the Amish community handled the tragedy in Pennsylvania in 2006. The world wondered how the community could stand in forgiveness after 10 girls were shot and 5 died.  The answer: Forgiveness is part of their daily culture.

Please realize that each decision and each act of forgiveness now may pay great dividends for you and others 20 years from now. Forgiveness today is an investment in your future.

R.E.

“We Forgive You,” Says Father of Slain Son to the Killer

Waltham (Ma) News Tribune??-??For the first time in nearly two years, Mamadou Ndiaye got to speak to the man who stabbed and killed his only son, Elhadji.

But, instead of lashing out at Robenson Daniel, Ndiaye spoke of forgiveness.

“We forgive you, from our heart,” Ndiaye told Daniel after Daniel pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court Thursday to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of Elhadji Ndiaye at Regis College.

“We forgive you, person-to-person, we forgive you. As a family, we forgive you,” Ndiaye said. “This is the hardest thing that has ever happened to me. He was my only son. Nothing this hard will ever happen to me again, but we are human and we forgive you.”

Read more:??Father of slain Waltham teen to son’s killer: ‘We forgive you’.

Can Forgiveness Make You Beautiful?

Forgiveness as a cosmetic for the inner you? How could that be? Well, I think it is true. When people are unjust to us, we can scowl and droop our shoulders, and purse our lips…..

or we can fight the tendency to be perpetually angry and give the one who hurt us: kindness, respect, generosity, and love. As we love in the face of cruelty, we scowl less, droop our shoulders less, and even learn to smile again.

The key, I think, is in the inner joy of knowing that the other has not defeated us. We know that we have a way to combat bitterness and it is called love. And love makes us internally beautiful. Augustine of Hippo first said that.

As we experience joy and love within, it somehow finds it way out….to others. And they see your joy and love and call it beautiful.

Forgiveness is more than a cosmetic. Cosmetics cover up. Forgiveness uncovers. Forgiveness reveals the beauty that is underneath…..and by doing so, it makes you more beautiful.

R.E.

Should an Apology Lead to Legal Pardon in the Philippines?

ManilaStandardToday.com, Manila, Philippines??- A man who ran a red light and was ticketed by a law enforcement officer has apologized for hitting the officer with his fist. He is hoping for a legal pardon because his job requires the use of a car. Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino made the distinction between the officer accepting the apology and the Development Authority continuing with justice.

Motorist Robert Blair Carabuena issued a public??apology??for berating and hitting the traffic officer who tried to cite him for going through a red light.??Despite the apology, the Land Transportation Office maintained that Carabuena should be held accountable for his action.

“LTO will not accept the public apology of Carabuena. He violated a law. He should be accountable for his action. Regardless of whether he gets pardoned by the MMDA traffic enforcer, the LTO will determine its own independent course of action,” said LTO Metro Manila director Teofilo Guadiz.

Story is here:??Forgive me, Carabuena asks authorities.

Without the other guy apologizing to me, it seems so phony to offer forgiveness. How am I helping him if i just forgive? If he apologizes, then he sees the error of his ways. Waiting to forgive after the other apologizes is more loving than unconditional forgiveness. Do you agree?

Thank you for your challenging question.?? I think you and I have a confusion of terms.?? To forgive is to exercise a moral virtue of mercy toward an offending other person.?? All moral virtues, whether it is justice, or patience, or kindness can be expressed unconditionally.?? By this I mean we can choose to be fair or patient or kind without permission to do so, without someone else doing something first that then allows us to exercise the virtue.

Why should this not be the same with the moral virtue of forgiveness??? Why should forgiveness be the one and only moral virtue that is conditional on someone doing something (apologize or repent or pay back something) before we can exercise that virtue?

I think you might have in mind the issue of reconciliation, which of course is related to forgiveness (but different than it).?? Reconciliation is a negotiation strategy in which two or more people come together again in mutual trust.?? It probably is prudent (depending on the severity of the offense, of course) to withhold reconciliation until the person sees what he/she did, feels sorry for it, expresses the sorry as an apology, and decides to not be hurtful again (within reason because we are all imperfect).

So, you can lovingly and unconditionally forgive and then hold the person to a high standard in the act of reconciliation.?? This, then, does not render forgiveness “phony,” but instead shows the link between the moral virtue of forgiveness and the negotiation strategy of reconciliation.

Homeschooling Parents: Have You Considered Forgiveness Education?

Back to school ads. The sun setting so much earlier than in June. A flock of birds getting ready to pack their suitcases and head south. It is time to return to academic pursuits.

HomeschoolingAs homeschool parents prepare their curricula for this academic year, we at the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) want to make a suggestion. If one of your goals is strong character in your child, then have you considered a forgiveness curriculum this year? We at the IFI now have guides for homeschooling moms and dads that start at preschool (age 4) and go through grade 10 (age 15).

Each of these guides is available in our Store and we can deliver them electronically to you very quickly.

Each guide helps the parent to present a comprehensive and developmentally-appropriate forgiveness curriculum in about one hour per week for 8 to 15 weeks (depending on the age of the student). The guides suggest specific story books to accompany the curriculum so that the students first sees how story characters solve their interpersonal conflicts. After seeing this, it then is the student’s turn to think about forgiveness for him- or herself.

Many homeschooling websites emphasize the education in virtuous living for the child. For example, at home-school.com there is a family-life books section filled with themes for wholesome living. Forgiveness helps students confront their own anger and to respond with strength and respect.

At homeschool.com, there is anon-line Christian homeschooling section. Our guides come in two forms: a secular version for those parents who wish to teach virtues as moral philosophy and a Christian version for those parents who wish to teach forgiveness as a virtue in the context of Christian love.

At lovetolearn.net, we see a life-skills section. Has anyone cast their net widely regarding life-skills and considered this: Good forgiveness education helps children and adolescents learn how to cope with injustices and disappointments with patience, long-suffering, and respect. Are these not as important and perhaps even more important than learning how to manage money? After all, a balanced check-book without balanced emotions will not make for harmonious family relationships.

Our own research shows that as angry students learn to forgive, then they can increase in academic achievement. It makes sense. What student learns well when emotionally churning inside?

Jon’s Homeschool Resources, one of the largest homeschooling sites on the web, promises “neutrality” in that he is not selling anything to you. We, too, try hard not to influence your teaching of forgiveness by imposing a particular ideology on you or the student. We present forgiveness for what it is: a moral virtue in which the one unjustly treated strives to reduce resentment and to offer goodness to the one who was unfair. This definition of forgiveness is compatible with all of the monotheistic traditions as well as humanistic approaches. Forgiveness, you see, has universal meaning, with the nuances coming from you, the homeschooling parent.

Have a great fall. We hope that your student has a great life by learning to forgive.

R.E.