(\o/)(\o/)(\o/) Heartwarmers (\o/)(\o/)(\o/)

(\o/) Forgiving (\o/)

This is a true story.

Amy Biehl, an idealistic white Californian college student, wins a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to South Africa to assist the anti apartheid movement; caught in a 1993 race riot, she is murdered by a black mob.

Following years of grief, Amy’s parents Linda and Peter gave up their fashionable upper middleclass Californian lifestyle and moved to South Africa to try and complete the work their daughter had started. The Biehls not only met two of the young men who killed Amy but, learning of the chaotic circumstances of the riot and the heartfelt remorse of the killers, gradually became friends with the men who helped murder their daughter.

The young men asked if they could atone for their crime by doing public service for a foundation the Biehls established in Amy’s name. For two years they worked with Amy’s parents daily, and eventually became close enough that they addressed Linda Biehl as “mom.”

Few among us could be so forgiving, whatever religions may teach. Amy Biehl must have been an exceptional person to inspire her parents to transform their lives in her memory; her parents must be exceptional as well. Most people will never be tested in the way the Biehls were; in an ideal world; no one very would. What lingers from the telling of this story is that both the elder Biehls (Peter died of natural causes in 2002) reported that they felt happier and more at peace after forgiving two of their daughter’s killers.

That being forgiving is good for you, in addition to the person you forgive, is among the most compelling findings of positive psychology. Research now suggests that those who take a forgiving attitude toward others not only make better friends, neighbors, and coworkers–anyone would guess that–but are themselves happier, healthier people who live longer than others and know more success in life.

From the Progress Paradox by Gregg Easterbrook

Courtesy of Bob Morse

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> Larry Morningstar
> Heartwarmers


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“This is the most profound spiritual truth I know:
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that love can’t conquer all,
it seems to anyway.”

— Anne Lamott


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