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What's on DNTO: Feb. 20

Is it better to forgive… or simply forget? And if you want to forgive, how do you do it? This week, we explore the complicated nature of “forgiveness.”


When Katy Hutchison came face-to-face with the man who murdered her husband, she made a decision that would change both their lives: she decided to forgive him. Why did she make that choice? She’ll tell us her story.


If you could ask any person in your life to forgive you, who would it be? Sook-Yin takes to the street to find out.


Marina Cantacuzino traveled the world, meeting victims and perpetrators of inhumane treatment. She came back with stories, and a deeper understanding of who really benefits from the words “I forgive you.” We’ll hear from the founder of The Forgiveness Project.


We live in a culture where forgiveness is seen as a crucial part of healing. But what happens if you don't buy that argument? Globe & Mail writer - and divorced mom of three - Sarah Hampson will explain why divorce and forgiveness don't always get along.


You get that call one day: one of your parents, whom you've never been close to, is dying. It's time to have that moment of re-uniting, replacing feelings of abandonment with feelings of forgiveness, literally on the death bed. But things don’t always go the way you expect… Darrell Dennis will tell us his story.


Imagine that fighting violence is your life's work, and that you've preached forgiveness as one way of doing that. And then someone murders your son. Sook-Yin will talk with former gang member Aqeela Sherrills about how he responded.


In most loving relationships, mistakes will be made, transgressions will occur, and you just have to forgive and forget in order to move on. But with sports fans, sometimes the hurt is just so big that you have to say “enough is enough.” Steve Hunt will tell us how he reached the point of no forgiveness with his team.


Jenny Whitely’s new album is called Forgive or Forget. But she’ll come by to play us a tune live-in-studio… and reveal who she just can’t forgive, no matter how hard she tries.


Years after she was horribly cruel to a friend, Aurora de Peña went to apologize to her victim. But she discovered that sometimes, forgiveness is a terrible thing to receive.


To err is human, to forgive divine. But what do you do if that error is never acknowledged? Sarah Anne Johnson will tell us about the complexities of forgiveness she explores in her photo series House on Fire and her choreographed work, Dancing with the Doctor.

And here’s this week’s playlist:

Broad Way Sleep – “Too Late”
Belle and Sebastian – “The Boy Done Wrong Again”
Guillemots – “Get Over It”
Kinnie Starr – “High Heels”
City and Colour – “Forgive Me”
Nas – “Can’t Forget About You”
Arkells - "Pullin' Punches"
Shad – “I’ll Never Understand”
Jenny Whitely – “Slack” (live in studio)
Bill Withers – “Grandma’s Hands”

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Previous Comments (3)


Re: Forgiveness.
The discussion lacked an important item: a definition or definitions of what forgiveness is. According to my definition, the issue is not the other person, it is my internal reaction to the action of the other person. When I fail to forgive, I carry the toxic burden whether the other person is alive, aware, unaware, or even dead. it is not about them!

Steve, February 20, 2010 5:49 PM


Forgiveness for me was as you say, a personal thing that had less to do with the person who betrayed me and being angry about it and her, than with myself letting go of the anger and disappointment, and realizing that forgiveness didn't also mean I had to remain friends with that person. I forgave and felt no anger, and in fact, felt nothing, besides clean and ready to move on. When I allowed myself to know that whatever I felt was ok, I felt free to let go of that friendship and to stop what was in fact pretending to remain friends, when I did't really want to. Not out of anger or anything, just out of the feeling that it was done and over. When I accepted that what happened happened, that that was then, that I didn't HAVE to do anything beyond felt right for me, I really felt much more free than I had in a long time and able to move on and more honestly able to confront my true feelings. And nowhere in that process did I need that other person to beg for forgiveness or acknowledge me or anything. It took a long time, but I finally got there and it's behind me.

Olivia, February 20, 2010 9:47 PM


DNTO never fails to induce thought provoking reflection. I had to speak up on this one though. Sarah Hampson is entitled to her point-of-view regarding her life, even though it is would be considered lower on the Emotional Intelligence spectrum than sincere forgiveness. I feel after listening closely to her submission she is still in the fog resentment and anger, trying to rationalize why her approach is a good alternative. As your program suggested, life is very messy and as she says forgiveness should not be expected, but I believe it should be the goal. If you don't get there it does not make you a bad person, but saying disappointment even indifference should be an acceptable goal is like putting a very important letter on or next to the mailbox should be an acceptable goal rather than in the mailbox. Psychology and scientific research now support the old notions of forgiveness and mindfulness in suppressing the release of stress hormones, increasing endorphin release and decreasing coronary and heart diseases. Though intellectual, Sarah is still in the midst of her mess, and is not in sight of the goal for emotional healing. To say it more strongly she is disappointed because she may still get some sense of happiness in being so. I give my full respect to Sarah in that she has not been idealistically hypocritical, but she is passing on to her children a substandard meme which I hope one day they will see as disappointing.

Rod, February 21, 2010 3:30 AM
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