Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 92

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s A ppr oac h to C ulti vat ing Pe rs on al, S o ci al and E n vir on me n tal F lo u r i shing If we can see the other as a fallible human being, just like ourselves, and not hold him or her to an unrealistic standard, we can often find it easier to forgive them. Recognizing that the transgressor is acting out of afflictive mental states (such as greed, delusion, anger, prejudice) and is suffering from these distorted states may even elicit compassion. A wonderful exemplar of forgiveness is Richard Moore, who serves as a Fellow of the Center of Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics at Life University. Richard was shot by a British soldier with a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland in 1972 at the age of ten while walking home from school. The bullet knocked one of his eyes out, blinded him in the other and damaged his skull. Although the rubber bullet did not kill him, he has been completely blind from that moment forward. When he found out he was going to be blind for life, instead of reacting with Gratitude for Others anger, he simply accepted it. He realized that there was Like forgiveness, gratitude is also an act of self-compassion, no point in harboring resentment toward the British in because it increases our happiness and well-being general or to the man who shot him. Later, when the Dalai powerfully at no cost to ourselves whatsoever. Scientific Lama met Richard Moore and heard of his story, he started research suggests grateful people are happier, have more calling Richard his personal hero, something he continues positive relationships, cope better with adversity and to do, because of Richard’s amazing practice of forgiveness. exhibit more pro-social tendencies. 66 The greater the More than thirty years after being shot, Richard managed gratitude that people have in their lives, the more it will to locate the soldier who shot him and sent him a letter to impact their connections and relationships with others. 67 express his forgiveness and his desire to meet. The soldier Like forgiveness and many other skills in CIT, gratitude and Richard met shortly thereafter and are now friends. is a skill that can be developed and strengthened over Richard now gives talks on forgiveness and likes to say time, almost like a muscle. Therefore, to cultivate that “holding anger and resentment is like drinking poison gratitude, we can begin with family and friends, since it and expecting other people to be hurt, and they are not.” 64 is easiest to see how they benefit us. Then we can move Richard went on to found the charity Children in Crossfire, on to strangers, where it is a bit harder to see the benefit which has brought life-saving aid to tens of thousands of we receive from them. Finally, when we are ready, we children in Tanzania, Ethiopia and elsewhere. He says he can take on the most difficult task, which is cultivating would not have been nearly as successful, or nearly as gratitude in relation to those who have caused us harm, happy, if he had not practiced forgiveness. 65 such as the case of Richard Moore. Ce n t e r for Compa s sion , I nteg r i t y and S e cu l ar E t hics | L ife Uni ve rsi t y | M ar ie t ta, G e or g i a - 86 -