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Mistrust requires repair

?The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong,? Mahatma Gandhi once said.

With his country under the control of the British Empire, he refused to give into hate and retribution. Instead he chose to forgive and practiced a non-violent philsophy, Ahinsa.

Forgiveness requires removal of bitter and vengeful thoughts in order to restore a broken relationship. However, the process can be difficult for those who are wronged unjustly.

University of Michigan Institute conducted a survey for Social Research. Results showed that 52%, from a sample of 1,423 Amercians, say they have forgiven others, while 43% say they have actively sought forgiveness for harm done towards them, according to

?I think people have a hard time forgiving because they hold grudges against others, and we have so much pride that we blame everything on the other person,? Janae Ford, ?09, said. ?I have to pray that I would have a forgiving heart in order to look past everything that has happen to me.?

The process of forgiveness begins with love and a commitment to be constructive. Then both parties recognize the problem and try to restore equity as much as possible. Once this has been met, they clarify future intentions in effort to revert a similar problem.

?In our culture we resolve a lot of damaged relationships by distancing ourselves because we use distance to reduce the immediate tension,? Ron Claassen, Director of the Center of Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University, said. ?It doesn?t resolve anything, continues to take energy and simply distancing ourselves doesn?t help.?

The final step requires both parties to follow up and keep agreements with each other in order for trust to grow. Once conditions are kept, forgiveness may be discovered.

?Forgiveness is a step on repairing damaged relationships instead of allowing those relationships to continue in a damaged state which has a negative effect on all people,? Claassen said. ?It requires hard work because it is not simply a pronouncement.?

Matthew 5:38-48 offers a guideline for those who want to start the process for forgiveness. However, many people do not take the effort to follow through with forgiveness and leave issues unresolved.

?The hardest thing about forgiving someone is hoping that they won?t make the same mistake again, but then I remember I make mistakes during the day so I should give someone else a chance,? Zachary Marsh, ?08, said. ?I let my neighbor borrow my PlayStation 2. We?ve been friends for a long time, but he sold it so he could buy something that he wanted.?

Caveats for mistrust

Miscommunication often causes a break in friendship to grow. This break creates can create more problems which continues to destroy the relationship.

?I was angry because he had broken my trust, but I had hope that he would get it back,? Marsh said. ?He distanced himself from me because he was afraid that I was mad at him.?

When people overcome their mistrust for another, it allows their relationships to heal as much as possible.

?He eventually got it back to me, and I told him not to do it ever again,? Marsh said. ?I am more cautious around him, but I still treat him the same way.?

Organization available for help

The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) has been bringing victims and offenders together in safe mediation to permit the offender to take responsibility for his or her actions since 1982.

?VORP provides regular training for high school students,? Claassen said. ?We also train mediators at schools so that they can help students who are having difficulties with each other.?

Students interested in getting help to mediate conflicts or repairing damaged relationships are encouraged to call the VORP office. Students who wish to receive additional training as co-mediators are required to come to the training sessions, but there are no special requirements.

For more information regarding VORP call (559) 455-9803.

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    Nicole HenselySep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    That’s right, That’s my sister. Haha, I love you, Lar and you’re amazing at bball.