News & Events


Forgiveness and Gratitude

Announcement | September 23, 2009

This Friday, the Greater Good Science Center will be hosting "Forgiveness and Gratitude," the fourth seminar in its "Science of a Meaningful Life" series. It'll be an all-day event held at the International House, on the UC Berkeley campus. There's still time to register here.

We want to hear from those of you attending and give you a chance to connect with one another. Comment on this post to share a bit about your interests and reasons for attending, with an eye toward generating some fruitful discussion among like-minded people and colleagues. And please check this blog after the event to share ideas and feedback with fellow attendees. This space should be a resource for those of you looking for innovative applications of ground-breaking science.

What are you hoping to get out of the event?

Who would you like to connect with at the event, for what purpose?

How do you hope the presentations will help you in your personal or professional life?

We've heard from several attendees and Greater Good readers who would like to start regular discussion groups around the topics that will be discussed this Friday–forgiveness, gratitude, happiness–as well as many others. Would this be something that interests you?

We look forward to seeing you Friday!

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What if even those that one feels have hurt them in an unforgivable way, one feels is as a result of one’s own unforgivable fault? Is it possible to forgive oneself when all previous hurts are felt as one’s own unforgivable behaviors?

R | 3:57 pm, September 23, 2009 | Link


Hoping to get new research info on forgiveness and gratitude.

Would like to connect with others who share interest in these topics.

Primarily interested in information that would help with writing my current book on coping skills.

Loren E. Pedersen, PhD | 4:47 pm, September 23, 2009 | Link


I’m 95% done writing a book to help lawyers decrease conflict, anger, stress, and depression, and increase collaboration, cooperation, healing and positive emotions in their law practice. As I finish up my book, I continue to look for more info on how gratitude and forgiveness work can help lawyers become healthier, happier, more positive people, who heal rather than aggravate their clients’ conflicts.

Harvey Hyman, J.D. | 7:28 am, September 24, 2009 | Link


How can forgiveness be facilited in the therapuetic process.  The process of forgiving someone who is deceased.  How to increase an awareness of gratitude.

Cindy Mataraso | 9:37 am, September 24, 2009 | Link


I am interested in the subject of forgiveness in the clinical setting as it relates to child parent relationships and couples and whether forgiveness is the starting place to build trust.  I also would like to know how to cope with forgiving someone that contiunes to harm you. Does the forgived have any responsibility in the forgiving process?

Queen Adu-Poku | 11:23 am, September 24, 2009 | Link


How to use forgiveness and gratitude as a tool for “detaching with love” in managing interpersonal relationships at work and in our personal lives; in learning to be assertive rather than aggressive, passive-aggressive, or submissive with difficult personality types.  How to use forgiveness as a way to let go and take a stand for oneself if dignity and self esteem, to treat the perpetrator of manipulation or disrespect with respect and avoid from being manipulated or sucked-in to the drama and respond in kind or defensively.

Laurel Etheridge, Professional Geriatric Care Mana | 4:50 pm, September 24, 2009 | Link


Before going to Rwanda this year I was given the book The Sunflower,a very provocative read.  Rwanda, itself immersed me in thoughts of what it means to be human, what we are capable of and, of course, forgiveness and the levels on which it can occur.  Four books and three films later, and meeting with genocide survivors regarding Rwanda and it’s history and current functioning, has only intensified my interest and thinking about this subject.  As a therapist, I also have clients who have suffered unspeakable physical and sexual abuse.  I have come to believe there is a difference between ‘acceptance’ and ‘forgiveness’.  Both allow for healing in different situations.  Forgiveness, has many levels and purposes.  In many cases it has as much to do with the attitude of the perpetrator as that of the ‘victim’.  Whether forgiveness is asked for,  whether the behavior of the perpetrator has changed, and whether what was done is a crime of commission or omission all seem relevant.  I hope Friday’s seminar is not a blanket belief in the healing powers of forgiveness.  It seems to me that it is a very complicated concept involving many levels of consciousness.  I look forward to Friday’s presentations.  Thank you – Joan Alexander, L.C.S.W.

Joan Alexander | 6:34 pm, September 24, 2009 | Link

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