“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”C.S. Lewis
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” G.K. Chesterton
I’ve received some flack over yesterday’s post: This poet needs our help: SPOON JACKSON, imprisoned for 41 years or a crime he committed at 19 is still writing poetry and now asking for help to get commutation
The argument against Spoon’s commutation is about the life lost at Spoon’s hands. Advocating for the release of a man for a crime that is – no dispute, even by Spoon as far as I know – heinous is not to justifying the murder. I agree: Who knows what that poor murdered soul’s life might have been like, what his joys might have been, his contributions. We do know – because we’re human – that his family has probably never stopped grieving. Forgiveness is not always easy but the calcification of the heart is the hardest and most unhealthy thing to bear.
Ever since reading about the woman featured in the video below, I have been unable to forget her. She’s a shining beacon of respect and sanity in a world gone mad. If she can forgive this, I can learn to forgive anything:
Spoon was nineteen years old when he committed the crime for which he is imprisioned. Here’s what Robert Sapolsky, an American neuroendocrinologist and author, a professor of biology, and professor of neurology, of neurological sciences, and of neurosurgery at Stanford University, has to say about the teen/young adult brain. My feeling is that this needs to be factored into any judgement of Spoon and his case.
If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link to this site to view the two videos featured here.
“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either — or both — when needed?” Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes
There is also the issue of race and prejudice that clearly factored into his sentencing. One comment I recieved is from American poet Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio) ” . . . not only the youth of the crime, which he did admit to, and which probably would have had his time served years ago. But the reality again we must continue to face of the limited justice available for black people when he was sentenced. “Special circumstances” which made him ineliglble for parole and in the same fell swoop made another trial unattainable. As a nation we are still struggling for equal justice for all.”
People writing to me from England, Sweden and Norway commented that in their countries Spoon would have been release twenty years ago.
Further, Spoon Jackson is not asking to run a day-care center, teach children, or to run for office but only to reunite with his family. No harm in supporting that as far as I can see. Kindness and forgiveness are not misplaced.
Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded. I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.
My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, Second Light, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.