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Carpenter's Column: Two out of three isn’t enough

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I read something recently that said the three most important things you can say in a relationship are these: I love you; I am sorry; I forgive you. A fourth, “I’ll clean the cat boxes,” might be added, but that would best be categorized under the affirmation of love .

Of these three, for me, forgiveness is the most challenging. I could indulge myself and endeavor here to exhume the causal agents of this character flaw, but what would be the point? I only have 500 words with which to play. Instead, let’s consider the virtue of forgiveness as expressed by others.

It is not an easy journey, to get to the place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.—Tyler Perry

If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.—Robert Brault

Live is an adventure in forgiveness.—Norman Cousins

Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.—Robert Frost

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.—William Blake

Love in the real world means saying you’re sorry ten times a day.—Kathy Lee Gifford

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass—George Herbert

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.—Indira Gandhi

Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.—William Shakespeare

A happy marriage is the union of two forgivers.—Robert Quillen

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.—Abraham Lincoln

For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed.—bell hooks

The ability to forgive is one of man’s greatest achievements.—Bryant H. McGill

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.—Marianne Williamson

When you forgive, you in no way change the past — but you sure do change the future.—Bernard Meltzer

One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.—Rita Mae Brown

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.—Hannah Arendt

To me, forgiveness is the cornerstone of healing.—Sylvia Fraser

To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.--Confucius

When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.—Alan Paton

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.—Josh Billings

Without forgiveness life is governed by ... an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.—Roberto Assagioli

How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.—Publilius Syrus

All major religions carry basically the same message; that is, love, compassion and forgiveness. The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.—Dalai Lama

The ineffable joy of forgiving and being forgiven forms an ecstasy that might well rouse the envy of the gods.—Elbert Hubbard

Forgive, son; men are men; they needs must err.—Euripede

Forgiveness is the final form of love.—Reinhold Niebuhr


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