Mother of Man Shot in $10 Robbery Offers His Killer Forgiveness

WWAY News Channel 3, Wilmington, NC – Nineteen-year-old Joshua Proutey was leaving the Hannah Block Community Arts Center when he was shot in the head and killed on Dec. 13, 2012. Investigators say the killer and three others who robbed Proutey made off with $10, a cell phone and a sandwich.

Detectives eventually captured the gunman, Quintel Grady, who avoided the death penalty the state was seeking by pleading guilty to first-degree murder. His three accomplices still face charges in the case including murder and robbery.Death Row

Proutey’s mother says that in the year since her son was shot and killed, she has struggled to find the will to live. But as Grady pleaded guilty this week, she found the will to forgive the man who took her son’s life.

“This young man touched a lot of lives,” District Attorney Ben David said  of Proutey. “He knew no hate and his mother’s willingness to forgive his killer is beyond admirable.”

Read the full story and watch the newscast: “Victim’s mom offers forgiveness as son’s killer pleads guilty.”

Tips on Reconciliation

Inez: Reconciliation cannot be the same as forgiveness because reconciliation is not a moral virtue. It does not originate within a person, but is a set of behaviors between people.

Sophia: Well said.Damaged Trust

Inez: You mentioned trust in the context of reconciliation, but you have not mentioned that word in the context of forgiveness. Can I forgive and not trust the person?

Sophia: What do you think? How do you read this?

Inez: I suppose that if someone were a compulsive gambler, I could forgive that person and then not trust him with the checkbook.

Sophia: Right. You would not trust him in that one area, but this is not an excuse to write the person off as having no possibility of being trusted in anything at all.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1752-1761). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

My husband is really “into” forgiveness, reading lots of books and viewing documentaries. He has had a big problem with his mother since he was young. He now says that he forgives her completely but I can sense the anger deep in him. His pride, I think, is keeping him from the truth that he still needs work on forgiving. What do you suggest?

Denial of anger, especially toward a parent, is not uncommon.  There is a little test of forgiveness, the Personal Forgiveness Scale, in Appendix C of the book, The Forgiving Life.  You might want to ask your husband to fill this out first on his employer (as a warm-up to familiarize himself with the scale).  Then ask him to fill it out toward his mother as he thinks of one incident that he deems as unfair from the past.  The explanation of the scores is in Chapter 9, starting on page 156.  If he scores between 18 and 63, he likely has some forgiveness work to do.  He should then consider doing some of the work in Chapter 10 of that book.

Widow Forgives Man Who Killed Her Soldier Husband

MailOnline, London, England – The widow of a former decorated soldier who was killed by a single punch during an early-morning fight over a taxi has offered her complete forgiveness to his killer.

David Ryding, 26, died after being knocked out by Ben Hartwell, 22, on July 7 during a heated argument while the pair waited at a taxi stand in Rugby, Warwickshire. The recently married father-of-one, who left active duty in 2011, hit his head on the  ground after being struck by Hartwell. He died in a hospital the following day. An inquest into his death determined that Hartwell acted in self-defense and no charges were filed.

Future-ForgivenessFollowing the inquest, Ryding’s widow Nicola requested a meeting with Hartwell where she told him she did not blame him and wanted him to move forward with his life. 

“Our family and Mr. Hartwell’s family have been deeply affected by the events which took place and just hope that if any good can come from this tragedy, it is that awareness will be raised regarding the tragic results an instantaneous event such as this can lead to,” Nicola Ryding said. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Hartwell and all his family and we hope he can come to terms with what happened and move on with his life.”

“David will be in our hearts forever and live on in the wonderful memories we shared,” she added. “We are satisfied that the inquest was  conducted thoroughly and we respect the verdict made.”

Read the full story: Widow’s extraordinary forgiveness towards the man who killed her soldier husband.

Once Again Bullying Behavior Destroys a Life

BBC News reports that bullying behavior has claimed yet another victim, Izzy Dix, age 14, who apparently killed herself after struggling with cyber bullying.  This kind of tragedy must end.  We at the IFI just recently have published an Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Program focused Cyberbullying 2on helping those who bully to forgive. You see, those who bully usually have pent-up anger…..and they displace their own wounds onto others. Our program is meant to take the anger out of the heart of those who bully so that they no longer bully others. Here is information on that life-giving program, which we hope gets into as many schools, internationally, as possible.

What is particularly sad is that we posted a very similar blog in October of 2012….and the tragedies continue.


Worth-less or Worth-more?

“As we continually live with love withdrawn from us and a resulting resentment (with the short-term consequences of thinking with a negative pattern, thinking specific condemning thoughts, and acting poorly), we can settle into a kind of long-term distortion of who the love-withdrawing person is, who Inherent Worth Heartwe ourselves are, and who people are in general. The basic issue here is that once love is withdrawn from us, we can begin to withdraw a sense of worth toward the one who hurt us. The conclusion is that he or she is worth-less. Over time, we can drift into the dangerous conclusion, ‘I, too, am worthless.’ After all, others have withdrawn love from me and have concluded that I lack worth, therefore I do lack worth. Even later, we can drift into the unhealthy conclusion that there is no love in the world and so no one really has any worth, thus everyone is worth-less.” Excerpt from the book, The Forgiving Life, Chapter 1.


Nelson Mandela and the Power of Forgiveness

The Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, Iowa), hosted a “Nelson Mandela Tribute” on Dec. 9. One of the speakers at the Tribute was Suzanne Freedman, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Psychology and Foundations at UNI. Here is an excerpt from her presentation:

Nelson Mandela was not full of rage and violence when released from prison after 27 years. He developed a vision while in prison, a vision that we are all in this together and that violence is not the solution.  He showed the people in his country and the world that revenge is not the answer to years of injustice and mistreatment.  He showed generosity and mercy when he could have shown revenge and bitterness. He decided not to avenge himself on those who treated him with such cruelty. mandela2

He transformed in prison and realized the humanity in all people, even those he fought against. He stood against apartheid and managed to change a nation without violence and hatred. His actions demonstrated great strength and courage as well as moral principles. He was able to sit down with his enemies and plan a better future for South Africa. He is said to have saved South Africa from civil war and lead a nation to democracy. 

Nelson Mandela’s actions showed his people that forgiveness was possible and as a result, gave the people in South Africa hope for a better future.

Read Dr. Freedman’s full presentation Nelson Mandela and the Power of Forgiveness. Dr. Freedman is a Contributing Writer and Researcher for the International Forgiveness Institute.