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April 2

Forgiveness is one of the most important first steps to ending conflicts in our families, our communities and between nations. Most conflicts begin because one person or group feels they have been wronged by another person or group.

Forgiveness is not glossing over a problem or excusing it without consequences, or letting someone continue to treat you badly. It's always important to first get out of a dangerous situation, such as a violent or abusive relationship. Forgiveness does not have to include reconciliation, where both sides work to create a healthy and peaceful ongoing relationship. Forgiveness is a personal decision to not allow anger, hurt and resentment to control your life, and to forgive someone who has wronged you, even if they don't deserve it.

Learning to let things go and forgive isn't always easy, but when we truly forgive, it helps foster better health, better relationships, a deeper sense of purpose and self worth and a feeling of connection to others. The healing power of forgiveness reached international attention after the end of apartheid in South Africa when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission helped to bring the bitterly divided nation together after decades of segregation and violence.

The Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance promotes the first Sunday in August as International Forgiveness Day, hoping to spread awareness about the healing power of forgiveness to create "a safer, more joyful and peaceful world."

Advice columnist Ann Landers is responsible for popularizing the April 2 celebration of Reconciliation Day, as a day to try to try to patch up a broken or strained relationship. In South Africa, Reconciliation Day is celebrated on December 16.


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for printable PDF Handout

DO ONE THING for a Better World

1. Find out more about the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

2. Think about someone who has wronged you and work towards forgiving them.

3. Seek forgiveness from soneone you have wronged.


A Campaign for Forgiveness Research
International Forgiveness Institute
Learning To Forgive For Good
World Forgiveness Alliance


All About Forgiveness
Forgiveness: What's it for?

See Also
Forgiveness Day
(1st Sunday in August)




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Reconciliation Day - April 2

Maya Angelou

Hannah Arendt

Henry Ward Beecher

Jimmy Carter

Bill Cosby

Norman Cousins

Dorothy Day

Princess Diana

Ani DiFranco

Naomi Drew

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mohandas Gandhi

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Emma Goldman

M. Fethullah Gülen

Dag Hammarskjöld

George Harrison

Jim Henson

Dolores Huerta


Janet Jackson

Azim Khamisa

Nicole Kidman

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kenny Loggins

Robert Muller

Thich Nhat Hanh

William Penn

Eleanor Roosevelt

Paul Simon

Mother Teresa

Leo Tolstoy

Desmond Tutu

Mark Twain

Peter Ustinov

Marianne Williamson

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Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
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