The Economy of Forgiveness
By Doug Holladay
The British poet and playwright Hannah Moore referred to forgiveness as the "economy of the heart." She explained, "It saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits."
Along with gratitude, all the world's spiritual traditions also emphasize the importance of forgiveness. For many people, however, forgiveness is a more challenging attitude to embrace. As the great English poet Alexander Pope noted, "To err is human, to forgive divine." Not surprisingly, contemporary science has begun to demonstrate the benefits of this divine attribute.
The practice of forgiveness boosts the immune system, lowers high blood pressure, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep patterns, according to Fred Luskin, PhD, director of the Forgiveness Project at Stanford University and author of Forgive for Good. And Dr. Luskin's research suggests that forgiveness is a skill that can be learned. Developing your skill in forgiveness is easier when you remember the following points.