Interview
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The shortest word for forgiveness: freedom

From Marina Cantacuzino

Marina is an award-winning journalist who has worked for most British mainstream publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph and Hello magazine. She is the founder of the Forgiveness Project, a nonprofit who collects and shares stories from both victims/survivors and perpetrators of crime and conflict who have rebuilt their lives following hurt and trauma.

8 months ago

Forgiveness means freedom.

Some discussion starter questions
  • Forgiveness means freedom. What do you think?
  • ...

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Video transcript

I find forgiveness very difficult to define, because probably it has multiple meanings. So my definitions change over time. The shortest word is it means freedom. But it has to, and letting go of unresolved pain. It's more than moving on. It's more than letting go. It's more than accepting because it requires a degree of compassion and empathy which of course is very difficult when there's been severe wounds. My favorite quote about forgiveness is not even a definition. It's a description. It's Mark Twain the writer, the American writer. He says, "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that crushes it." And the reason I liked that image is because it shows forgiveness grows out of damage. It's messy but it's potentially healing.

Director's note

Forgiveness can be hard to define. Marina offers two descriptions of what she sees behind that word: Freedom and a violet flower...

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