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25 Quotes on forgiveness

Offering genuine forgiveness is one of the most cathartic experiences that a person can have. While it may sometimes be difficult and it may sometimes seem unimportant, offering true forgiveness—both to yourself and to those around you—can not only change your perspective on life and how you live it, but can also make you feel less stressed, more open, and all-around happier.

Here are 25 quotes from people who value the importance of forgiveness:

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela

“Without forgiveness, there’s no future.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

“Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.” – Harriet Nelson

“Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again.” – Dag Hammarskjold

“We win by tenderness. We conquer by forgiveness.” – Frederick William Robertson

“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” – Sara Paddison

“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” – William Arthur Ward

“Forgive, son; men are men; they must err.” – Euripides

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness … the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” – Dalai Lama

“True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.” – David Ridge

“There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site.” – Sydney Harris

“It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes—it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘Well, if I’d known better, I’d have done better.’ That’s all.” – Maya Angelou

“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

“We are all on a life long journey and the core of its meaning, the terrible demand of its centrality is forgiving and being forgiven.” – Martha Kilpatrick

“To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.” – William Walton

“Compassion, forgiveness, these are the real, ultimate sources of power for peace and success in life.” – The Dali Lama

“Rather than admit a mistake, nations have gone to war, families have separated, and good people have sacrificed everything dear to them. Admitting that you were wrong is just another way of saying that you are wiser today than yesterday.” – Don Ward

“The chemist who can extract from his heart’s elements compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise, and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called love.” – Kahlil Gibran

“As we know, forgiveness of oneself is the hardest of all the forgiveness.” – Joan Baez

“Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace.” – Leo Tolstoy

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