Forgiveness

Conversation Guide

The first of The Four Sacred Gifts is – Forgive the Unforgivable. Why? How? Must we? Forgiving wrongs, intentional, unintentional,
historic, big and small is not a simple thing. For many of us this can be very challenging. There are so many ways that we are hurt by others and that we hurt others in our lives. How we manage those hurts is a key part of shaping our lives internally and externally. How can forgiveness help us to become the the person we want to be?

Background Information:

This conversation is adapted in part from themes found in Anita L. Sanchez’s book, The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times. You can also watch a video of this conversation here.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 2:

What are your thoughts on Forgiveness?

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • What is your experience of forgiveness? What have you forgiven and why?
  • Are there people you have yet to forgive or you will never forgive? Why is that?
  • What are the benefits or detriments of forgiving? For yourself, for the other, for the community?
  • How does one (or should one ever) forgive the unforgivable? What is it like if you ever imagine doing this?
  • What does forgiveness mean? What does it not include?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ of the following questions:
  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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