3 Incredible Stories of Forgiveness
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Everyday we are faced with more tragedy in the world, and our media tends to focus almost exclusively on the negative. These amazing stories of forgiveness show us the power of love, hope and courage and were inspiring to us. Do they inspire you? We would love to hear what you think. Leave us a comment below the post.
1. Amy Biel’s Legacy
Amy Biehl was an American college student who traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright and dedicated herself to ending apartheid in South Africa. In 1993, she was stoned and stabbed to death by a mob of angry black militants. Amy’s family could have been filled with hatred but instead they ventured into the slums of Guguletu, a black township where Amy’s killers had grown up to better understand what would drive these youth to kill their daughter. Seeing the immensity of the poverty, pain and suffering of these people, the Biehls established a nonprofit agency, the Amy Biehl Foundation.
With $500,000 in grants, donations and their own money, they have sponsored programs, including music, art and tutorials for those who want to go to college involving thousands of young people, all in Guguletu. Amy’s father, Peter Biehl said that being able to focus on creating change and helping other’s so that a senseless death like Amy’s will not happen again, has set him free from the pain and hatred that would have otherwise consumed him.
2. The Video that Shocked the World
Gary Ridgeway is an American serial killer who was convicted of 49 murders, and later confessed to roughly twice that number. During his court hearing, one of the victim’s family members gave Gary a massive dose of humanity and forgiveness and his reaction shows us how powerful this was.
3. The Most Hated Man In America
When Westboro Baptist Church’s founder and well-known anti-gay activist Fred Phelps died at the age of 84 the community which he so emphatically hated, and encouraged others to hate, showed compassion instead. Rather than demonstrating the Westboro pastor’s passing, community-held signs read “Live your life and be awesome” and “Sorry for your loss”.
“With love’s antithesis being indifference, forgiveness — the highest of virtues — is surely the real antidote to hate,” Patrick Strudwick of The Guardian writes.
Actor and gay rights activist George Takei made this humbling statement “I take no solace or joy in this man’s passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding ‘God Hates Freds’ signs, tempting as it might be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi