“The purpose of life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good qualities – warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful and happier.”
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Fry those Bastards! I want Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols hanged no trials necessary.” These were the words of Bud Welch whose 23 year old daughter was killed in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. “From the moment I learned it was a bomb I survived on hate.”
Bud’s anger was focused on Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, and like so many others, Bud wished for their speedy conviction and execution. When he saw McVeigh’s father on television a few months after the bombing, however, his emotions began to change. He realized that “this man has lost a child too.”
Not all of us could come to this conclusion so quickly. What did Bud Welch know that most of us might not if we found ourselves in a similar situation? Yet before he could get to this place of recognizing that both fathers were dealing with a painful lose Bud had to deal with his personal healing.
“I was opposed to the death penalty all my life until my daughter Julie Marie was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. For many months after the bombing I could have killed Timothy McVeigh myself. Temporary insanity is real, and I have lived it. You can’t think of enough adjectives to describe the revenge, and hate I felt. But after time, I was able to examine my conscience, and I realized that if McVeigh is put to death, it won’t help me in the healing process. People talk about executions bringing closure. But how can there be closure when my little girl is never coming back. I finally realized that the death penalty is all about revenge and hate, and revenge and hate are why Julie Marie and 167 others are died.”
Bud eventually arranged to meet with Timothy McVeigh’s father, Bill. “I saw a deep pain in a father’s eye, but also an incredible love for his son.” Bud says, “I was able to tell him that I truly understood the pain that he was going through, and that he – as I – was a victim of what happened in Oklahoma City.”
What Bud was able to accomplish you too will be able to do, if you choose. Don’t worry; don’t be afraid of what this book will tell you.
It will NOT tell you that what people have done wrong to you is okay. It will NOT tell you that you must excuse someone who has treated you vilely. It will NOT tell you that you have no right to vengeance or to the anger that fires it. It will tell you something quite different.
What this book does is expose the complexities of forgiveness – a misunderstood process that frequently hides in robes of morality, self-righteousness and woundedness. It will tell you that you have a right to that anger and that your desire for justice and retribution are perfectly normal and recognizable human emotions. It will also tell you that you have a right NOT to excuse someone who has wronged you.
But it will also tell you that the path to freedom requires you to shed the baggage caused by the persons, circumstances, fortunes, fate and bad experience, so that you are light and limber enough to travel that road. There is a process to shedding that baggage, and this book will tell you how to develop that technique.
Shedding that burden is what I call the process of forgiveness, not in the sense of excusing or ignoring a wrong done to you, or of being passive in it’s wake, as you may have been taught by religion. It is forgiveness in the sense of forgiving debt, of recognizing that full repayment may not always be possible, even at the cost of someone’s life and that justice may be better done more practically through the process of forgiveness.
To learn more about Dr. Eileen R. Borris go to: globalpeaceinitiatives.com