Forgiveness Part 2

Part 2: The person harmed

Lesson powerpoint here

Two approaches to harm.

  • Introduce students to the idea that there are two ways of dealing with harm: firstly, we can approach it from the perspective of law-breaking and ask who has broken what law and how should the law-breaker be punished. This is the typical approach in criminal justice (and schools). Secondly we can approach from the perspective of injury, loss and harm and ask who has been hurt?; what are their needs?; and who is responsible for meeting those needs?
  • Go back to the Jon Howe/Simon Pierce story from last lesson. (A good clip to play to remind them is 6:45-15:45).
  • Ask the students to apply the two different approaches to harm to the story and speculate about the outcomes of using the ‘left’ and ‘right’ approaches (see slides).

Is it natural to forgive?

  • Play students the clip about Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish. Please warn the students that this clip contains some distressing scenes.
  • Ask students to put themselves in Dr Abuelaish’s shoes. What would their desires be in a situation like this?
  • Ask students to apply the ‘left’ and ‘right’ approaches to what happened to Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish.
  • Read the Michael McCullough extract on forgiveness.
  • Answer the questions about the extract on the slide:
  • What have Izzeldin Abuelaish, Brandon Biggs and Bud Welch got in common?
  • What do you think about the way that these 3 men have responded to what has happened to them?
  • What do you think is more natural; revenge or forgiveness and why?
  • What does the author of the extract think has to happen for there to be more forgiveness?

If time, play the Samantha Lawler story from The Forgiveness Project Youtube channel. Ask students to try to identify what enabled her to forgive her Father.

Prep: ask pupils to reflect on and write about trying to forgive a person who has done them harm. Can they do it? What has to happen internally (thoughts, feelings, intentions) to enable us to being to feel warmth towards a person who has harmed us.