Part 1: The person doing harm
Forgiveness: what is it?
- Ask students what they think ‘forgiveness’ means (there is a definition on the slides).
- Ask students to individually make a list of things/actions/crimes that they could forgive and a list of things that they could not forgive.
- Ask students to get into small groups and compare their lists. Do they agree with each other? What do they disagree on?
- Thinking about the lists that the students have come up with, ask them what forgiveness actually involves: how do we move from being offended and hurt, to being able to wish the person who has hurt us well?
Forgiveness in action: Jon Howe and Simon Pierce.
- Play the 30 minute video from The Gift
- Pause after 6 minutes 45 seconds and explain the idea of shame. Shame is the normal emotional response when we recognise we have got something wrong. It causes any one of 4 reactions (on lesson slides) and this is called the compass of shame.
- Ask the students to describe the effect that shame has had on Jon Howe.
- There are some questions on the slides about the remainder of the story:
- What happened that needs to be forgiven?
- How has being a bully affected Jon Howe over the course of his life?
- Ask the students what they think about Jon Howe, the man who bullied Simon Pierce at school. What kind of person is he? What do others think of him?
- What did Simon Pierce think about Jon Howe before they met?
- What happened when they did meet?
- What do you think it was that enabled Simon to forgive Jon?
- Do you think Simon should have forgiven Jon?
Discuss these questions as a class.
Prep: ask students to reflect on times when they have harmed others and what their experiences of shame were. Ask them to write about their experiences.