Mother Forgives Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed Her Daughter

Yuma Sun, Yuma, Arizona – The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as the girl was skateboarding home in August 2013 says she has forgiven the driver.

Sandy Garcia spoke earlier this month at the sentencing hearing for Edgar Borquez, the driver of the car in that fatal crash. Garcia told Borquez that despite the loss of her daughter, Mary Rodriguez, she forgives Borquez for what he did and that she will continue praying for him in the hope that he can one day become a better person.Skateboard 3

“I want you to know that I truly, truly don’t hate you. I forgive you with all my heart and with all that I am,” Garcia said. “I hope that gives you the peace to move on, never forgetting what you did, so you can grow from it and learn from it. Don’t let this be in vain.”

Mary Rodriguez’s father, Julio Rodriguez, and her stepfather Mario Garcia also spoke during the sentencing, both telling Borquez that they had also forgiven him and hope he can change his life for the better.

Afterward, Borquez was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He had pleaded guilty to a count of second-degree murder last month in a plea agreement.

Read the full story: “Driver gets prison time in fatal hit-and-run” and “First Take: The strength of forgiveness”

I have been fascinated with your blog posts on “Barriers to Forgiveness.” Can you choose the biggest barrier? Do you think there is one major barrier we need to see and fight against?

The biggest barrier to forgiveness, I think, is pride.  Pride clouds our vision so we do not see clearly.  Pride inhibits our behavior so that we do not act correctly.  Pride obscures our feelings so that we feel a sense of entitlement rather than humility, a call for retribution or even revenge rather than love.  Pride does not allow us to move forward in the forgiveness process.

I was the victim of abuse in a relationship I never should have entered into. No one does anything to warrant abuse. Yet, I do wonder about self-forgiveness in this context. Maybe I should have seen the signs before entering so deeply into this disaster of a relationship. Even though I am not guilty of any abuse back to the other, do you think I should try to forgive myself for my stupidity of poor judgment?

Whether or not to self-forgive in the context you describe may depend on the answer to this question: Do you feel guilty in any way?  If the answer is “yes,” then the next question is whether or not this is genuine guilt or a false form of it.  Sometimes, we falsely accuse ourselves and upon further examination, we realize that we did nothing wrong.  If there is a sense of genuine guilt, then there likely is a sense of wrong-doing.  What is the wrong-doing?  Try to be specific.  You say that you should have seen the signs of a poor relationship coming.  Yet, you did nothing intentionally wrong here. As you call it, stupidity is not a deliberate intention to do wrong. And sometimes we just do not see tragic flaws in others until we know them in the greater depth of a marriage, for example.  So, are you experiencing genuine guilt?  If so, forgive yourself. If you did nothing objectively wrong with a bad intention, I would recommend that you try to be gentle with yourself, to be merciful toward yourself, but not necessarily in a context of self-forgiveness in which you see, acknowledge, and correct a moral wrong within yourself.

Mercy on the Hurting

Suppose that each of us had a little red light on the top of our heads.  Further suppose that whenever we are feeling beaten down by the Red light 6injustice of another, that little red light started to blink.

What do you think?  Do you think there then would be mercy in the world as we, each of us, responded to the one whose light-of-pain was going off?

We all kind of hide behind a veneer of civility—well dressed, well mannered….and sometimes dying even a little bit inside.

No one sees the “dying even a little bit inside” because it is hidden.  Others really do not want to see it……It is an inconvenience to see it.

Yet, it is there…..for all of us at one time or another.

That little blinking red light would be a sign to us that we are all hurting.  It would be a concrete sign that mercy is necessary….even more so than flashing-heartcivility.

That little red light would be our teacher….and perhaps soften our hearts…..and help us to learn that offering mercy should be our first response, not our last one after we all dress up in our finery, with our impeccable manners…..that keep the hurting invisible to us.

Try to see that little blinking red light on the top of each person’s head today even if it is not there.  Try to see it anyway.


The Mobile Forgiveness App – Designed to Help You be at Peace with Life

PRWire (Australia and New Zealand’s leading news distribution service) – After years of trying to come to terms with the 2012 brutal killing of her 72-year-old father, Australian businesswoman Sue Henry says she was compelled to develop the    I Forgive You mobile app to help others dealing with grief or personal upheaval.

Using her personal experience in dealing with the emotions of grief and anger and finally letting go, Henry created the I forgive you app which IForgiveYouLGO2-357-172helps users to express their thoughts on forgiveness, or to share their love, declare their gratitude, make apologies or just simply tell someone they care.

“I never imagined the knowledge I gained in coming to terms with my father’s tragic death would completely change my outlook on life,” said Henry. “In honour of his memory I decided to share my experience with others to possibly help them find peace in their own lives.”

The free app offers an easy to navigate menu that includes FORGIVENESS, LOVEGRATITUDE, APOLOGY, and THOUGHTFULNESS. The user has the option of sharing their thoughts with a partner, friend or family member via email and can even choose to receive a return message of encouragement and support.

The app is available in both the IOS and Android marketplace, at the I Forgive You App website, and through the I Forgive You App Facebook page.

NOTE: The International Forgiveness Institute has neither tested nor used the I Forgive You App and this news article is not intended to be an endorsement of the product.

Love Never Dies

Think about the love that one person has given to you some time in your life. That love is eternal. Love never dies. If your mother gave you love 20 years ago, that love is still here and you can appropriate it, experience it, feel it.  If you think about it, the love that your deceased family members gave to you years ago is still right here with you.  Even though they passed on in a physical sense, they have left something of the eternal wTrue Loveith you, to draw upon whenever you wish.

Now think about the love you have given to others. That love is eternal. Your love never dies. Your actions have consequences for love that will be on this earth long after you are gone.  If you hug a child today, that love, expressed in that hug, can be with that child 50 years from now. Something of you remains here on earth, something good.

Children should be prepared for this kind of thinking through forgiveness education, where they learn that all people have built-in or inherent worth.  One expression of forgiveness, one of its highest expressions, is to love those who have not loved us.  If we educate children in this way, then they may take the idea more seriously that the love given and received can continue……and continue.  It may help them to take more seriously such giving and receiving of love.  We need forgiveness education……now.


Family Forgives After Husband/Father Hostage Killed in Yemen

Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa – The day after South African teacher Pierre Korkie was killed in a botched rescue mission in Yemen, his family said they choose to forgive and rejoice in his memories.

Korkie’s wife, Yolande, said that after hearing the news she asked herself many questions and realized she had a choice to make.

“So today we choose to forgive. We choose to love. We choose to rejoiceYemen 2 in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts. We honour Pierre’s legacy and give Glory to God for his life and death,” she said in a statement.

“Even though this pain is overwhelming us right now, we choose to believe that this too will pass.” The statement was sent on behalf of Yolande and the Korkie’s two children.

Pierre Korkie and American photographer Luke Somers were killed in the early hours of Saturday, Dec. 6, during a rescue operation carried out by United States Special Forces in Yemen.

Both Pierre and Yolande were kidnapped in Taiz, Yemen, in May of last year. At the time of the kidnapping, Yolande was a teacher in Yemen and she did relief work in hospitals. She was released and returned to South Africa after 228 days in captivity. Pierre had been a hostage for 558 days.

“The furnace of 19 months has been relentless and red hot,” Yolande said. “Thus I had to really think very hard and long for an appropriate approach in the face of this pain.” The approach she chose was forgiveness.

Read the full story: “Yolande Korkie: The family chooses to forgive”

Barriers to Forgiveness, Part 10: Inexperience

Sometimes a person is not stubbornly closed to consider forgiveness. Sometimes a person is not distorting the meaning of forgiveness or being distracted or even too impatient to walk its path. Sometimes a person even knows the path of forgiveness….but is not forgivingly fit enough to walk it well. Sometimes a person just has not had the experience to get it right. As an analogy, a person might want to join in the marathon run, but has never trained for one. All of the good intentions in the world, all of the knowledge in the world, will not aid the person in finishing the task. It can be the same with forgiveness. The person may have read about “bearing the pain” and understand what this is and what it is not, but it remains strangely vague and unfamiliar because of a lack of experience with it. The person needs practice for it to become familiar.

school 5We all need to be schooled in the art of forgiveness to be able to find and stay on the path and then to complete the journey. Forgiveness education is one way for children, adolescents, and adults to learn about forgiveness… practice it and then to practice it some more…….before tragedy strikes, before confusion and discouragement set in. We have the opportunity to help youth overcome a major barrier to forgiveness—inexperience—by helping them to learn about forgiveness, and to practice it, and to become proficient at it. Can you see the great advantage of meeting injustice while a person already is forgivingly fit, being familiar with the “how to” of forgiveness?  We need forgiveness education…


Excerpt from the book, The Forgiving Life

Sophia: And please recall that you do not practice any virtue in isolation from the other virtues. As you practice forgiveness, you should practice justice and patience and wisdom, for example. Here is a general rule to follow as you begin to examine who wounded your heart: You need not forgive everyone who has ever been unfair to you, at least not right away. Focus on those who have actually done some damage, who have actually wounded your heart. As you examine your life, you The Forgiving Lifewill remember many people who let you down, insulted you, embarrassed you, and disappointed you in some way. It is legitimate to forgive each of them in time, but for now focus on those who have hurt you deeply enough that you can say, “Yes, that person, by his or her actions, has wounded my heart.”

Inez: I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed at the moment.

Sophia: What is it that seems so big to you?

Inez: The mountain of people. When you’ve lived a while you build up a lot of wounds. Where to begin?

Sophia: We can take it systematically, one person at a time. I recommend that we first make a list of all who have seriously wounded you in your life, from early childhood on to the present time. You need not forgive everyone on that list prior to your turning to forgiving Sterling. Although it may be in your best interest to first forgive certain people, such as your mom and dad or others in your family when you were growing up. These patterns of interactions and the wounds from them can and do make a difference in how we react to other people now.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 2140-2149). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 2135-2140). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.