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In particular, he cites Dr. Frederic Luskin of Stanford University (who spoke at Augsburg last year), who has researched the role of forgiveness in reducing stress, increasing physical vitality and optimism.
“Fred stands up there and says, ‘Look, I’m a secular Jew, but I’m telling you that this is science; it’s good for your heart,’ ” Seal said. “Forgiveness can save marriages, bring peace to warring nations and create an environment of cooperation and compromise that can untangle the mess in Washington.”
Tippett, while not formally involved with Spirit in the House’s efforts, endorsed the symposium for animating the concept of forgiveness with “three-dimensional lives.”
“Forgiveness is muscular; it’s not flaky,” Tippett said. “It’s not about forgetting but facing reality and making a choice of who you want to be. It’s the work of many years and an incredible inner discipline.”
Tippett cites the work of University of Miami researcher Michael McCullough, who proposes that revenge and the instinct for forgiveness are both hard-wired in the human mind.
“But we get a lot more support in our culture for revenge and not forgiveness,” she said. “If you use the word in conversation, you think of forgiving, having a hug, an exchange and some absolution. It is more complicated than that.”
Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299