(Un)Forgiveness: "TO BE OR NOT TO BE"...[NOT...]

  • John E. Tropman Professor, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract

What is forgiveness anyway? Why do some conflicts go on and on, while others seem to pass away? And as for me... why am I among those who never forgive? The values, and perils, of "unforgiveness" (my term) are explored in this essay. Contained and focused-acetylene-like-unforgiveness may act as an energy source and hence have positive elements. Unrestrained unforgiveness may-does-cause problems down through the generations. One important generative element of unforgiveness is, I hypothesize, powerlessness.

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