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We often describe Ethical Culture as a religion of relationships. Our mission is to create and nurture ethical communities within and outside our societies, attributing to every individual worth and dignity. That is our aspiration. The reality is that we make mistakes and hurt others, both intentionally and unintentionally. Therefore, forgiveness is essential to recognizing and healing wrongs. We highlighted some aspects of forgives and delve deeper during the afternoon workshop.
Philosopher Hannah Arendt said: “Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to a single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice, who lacked the magic formula to break the spell.”
Anne Klaeysen is an Ethical Culture Leader serving the New York Society for Ethical Culture. She is also the Humanist Chaplain at New York University and Ethical Humanist Religious Life Adviser at Columbia University. Anne holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral care and counseling from Hebrew Union College and is on the faculty of the Center for Education of the American Humanist Association and Union Theological Seminary.
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