The Power of Forgiveness

This is another quote that seems to run counter to our intuition. But if you look at examples from life, it is interesting to to observe how people with similar experiences can end up with completely different results or outlooks. I am sure, for example, that the typical reaction to the death of a loved one in a terrorist attack is to want revenge. You certainly hear a lot of stories like that. How refreshing, therefore to recall the attitude of some who lost family members in the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bombing of 1987.

The IRA had decided to sabotage the annual commemoration of the British war dead. 10 civilians and a police officer were killed, and 63 were injured. Gordon Wilson was injured in the bombing, and his daughter Marie was killed. In a BBC interview that evening he said “I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge.” Instead of plotting revenge he forgave the bombers and became a peace campaigner. His calls for forgiveness and reconciliation came to be known as the Spirit of Enniskillen, and were a major influence that eventually brought about a fragile peace in Northern Ireland.


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