Forgiveness and the ability to forgive has long been a subject of interest to me. It is interesting to look at the personality traits of people who are more inclined to forgive than others, as your guest does in the article cited in your post. But I think that forgiveness is not generally something that comes easily to any human, regardless of personality inclinations. It is something that needs to be worked on; one needs to make the choice and then actively work at it. Granted, it may be easier for some people to recognize and opt to make that choice than it is for others, but I think it does not come naturally.
Many years ago I participated in a workshop on "Active Forgiveness". It transformed my life at the time and, although I no longer remember any of the specific content details, the concept has stayed with me all this time. The premise of the discussion was that one must actively engage in the process of forgiveness. It is not something that comes naturally, regardless of the nature of the transgression, transgressor and/or victim. But the effort will be worth it in the end. Simply put - it is not easy to forgive, but if you actively and honestly make the effort you will be rewarded.
In my own life I have found this to be true. When I make the conscious effort to acknowledge the need for and then actively work at forgiving, I am indeed rewarded, often in unanticipated and unexpected ways. Sometimes it is a daily choice that needs to be made over and over again. Similarly, if I don't take these steps I suffer consequences.
Although I consider myself to be a spiritual person, I am not a part of any religious group and do not consider myself to be religious. But I have often been baffled by the lack of focus on forgiveness among many people who claim to be religious. To me it is one of the central tenets of the teachings of all of the most prominent religious prophets throughout the ages.
From a researcher's standpoint, I can understand why it would be useful to know if there are people who because of their personality traits are, perhaps, constitutionally incapable of forgiving. Is it something that can be taught? There is a researcher in Boston who teaches a course on forgiveness to inmates in a local prison. Perhaps this type of effort could/should be expanded. Seems like it couldn't hurt!
Anyway, I am eagerly looking forward to this program!
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