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Beyond revenge: The evolution of the forgiveness instinct. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Forgiveness: Theory, practice and research. McNamara, P.

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Where god and science meet Vols. Westport, CT: Praeger. Roe, M. Intergroup forgiveness in settings of political violence: Complexities, ambigu- ities, and potentialities. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 1, 3—9. Worthington, E. Handbook of forgiveness. New York: Routledge. Initial questions about the art and science of forgiving. Worthington Ed. Then I realized something. That last thought had brought no sting with it.

Khaled Hosseini, The kite runner p. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace pose possibilities for human relations. These dynam- ics affect personal well-being; balances and levels of satisfaction in relationships; multigenerational legacies in families, cultures, nations, and geographical regions. Peace connotes accord between larger groups and nations Christie, Consideration of their interconnecting requires a more integrative, systemic perspective. With systems thinking we can conceptualize the interconnecting of psychological and social processes intertwining self, relationships, groups, and social structures in cooperation, social harm, violations of justice, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace Christie, ; Massey, A framework for understanding all of these processes, which occur in different dimensions of human development, needs to be.

Massey and K.

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Systems do not exist independently of human creativity, consent, and compliance. Accurate analyses and effective interventions require appropriate attention to each dimension Pargament et al. Specifically human capacities make possible each of these dimensions, which are inextricably linked, reciprocally influence and circularly reinforce each other. In this chapter we delineate and inter-relate the processes which provide the scaffolding for a comprehensive systemic framework.

When woven together the processes inter- lock in a systemically integrated tapestry clarifying the interconnecting personal and social dynamics of forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace. Personal, Interpersonal, Familial, and Cultural Processes. Yasmeen, a year-old Druze woman living in Israel, came to therapy 8 months pregnant and suffering from deep depression. She had discovered that her husband, Fadi, age 33, serving in the Israeli military forces, was having an affair with a year-old Druze woman.

Fadi had met his girlfriend, Mona, recently when he returned to college. She lived on the second floor of a house while his widowed mother lived on the first floor. Like others in the community they live modestly and simply. As an only son Fadi was responsible for taking care of his widowed mother and for visiting all four of his married sisters according to the traditions. Yasmeen had taught herself to pursue a lifestyle similar to a single mother; she did not rely on her husband as do traditional women in her village.

Since Fadi was located in a far-away location, she believed that he would respect and love her more if she were able to become independent, playing an opposite role to his mother and sisters. She wanted to impress him with her abilities. For the short run, he was freed from his own household and child-raising responsibilities, but the result for the long run was that he became isolated from the daily life of his family unit.

When he relocated closer and moved back to live permanently at home, he felt like an outsider, not as a father and husband. During the week, Yasmeen divided her time between her work as an assistant to a kindergarten teacher, her house, her children, and assisting her mother-in-law with cleaning, preparing food, taking her to the doctor, and including her when she had guests.

On weekends, when Fadi arrived home, she tried to let him take care of his extended family matters and not burden him with her own problems, though she really wanted him more fully as a partner and lover. Yasmeen believed that this strategy would let Fadi appreciate her independence and her sensitivity toward protecting his limited time and energy and, as a result of her behavior, love her more. The result boomeranged.

Yasmeen was too fatigued and too lonely. Fadi never knew how skilled she was with conflict management, organizational skills, and rear- ing children. Fadi felt that Yasmeen did not rely on him while Mona, his mother, and his sisters were consulting with him. Fadi claimed that Yasmeen was mothering him while Mona was sharing ideas, emotions, problems, and friendship with him. Fadi continued in his denial of the extramarital affair to Yasmeen. Her brother, a student at the same college as Fadi, confirmed to Yasmeen that the affair was ongoing. Her brother insisted that he saw them together several times.

Yasmeen was sure of this, but Fadi denied this each time she asked him. Yasmeen asked her brothers for help. They advised her to file for divorce. The four brothers asked Fadi to stop cheating on their sister. He denied the relationship with Mona and claimed that the brother who said he saw them together had lied. The brothers beat up Fadi. Fadi demanded that Yasmeen make a choice between remaining in their marriage or returning to her family of origin.

Yasmeen, with great sorrow, decided to cut off her relations with her family of origin. In individual sessions, Fadi agreed to abstain from contacting Mona until Yasmeen would give birth and recover from her depression. After giving birth, Yasmeen found her cutoff from her family of origin unbear- able.


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In reflecting on what was best for herself and her children, she was sure she loved Fadi deeply. She wanted to do whatever was necessary to reconnect him to herself and their home. She discovered her ability, willingness, and desire to regain intimacy with Fadi. In the months that Fadi stayed home longer, Yasmeen did not have pain from pregnancy, she was able to have sexual relations again, and she believed that intimacy might bring Fadi closer. In therapy, Yasmeen recalled her childhood with her estranged parents who had not stopped quarrelling since the early days of their marriage.


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  8. This caused their three married daughters to feel lonely and unprotected in their patriarchal society. Yasmeen came to the conclusion that her future would be worse had she filed for divorce. According to traditions, she would be uprooted from her cherished envi- ronment, would not be allowed to take custody of her children, and would be forced to return to her parents living in tension. If she were divorced, her opportunities for re-marriage would be almost nil whereas a divorced or widowed man might remarry a younger, more educated woman.

    Yasmeen concluded that forgiveness and reconciliation with Fadi represented the best scenario for herself as a Druze woman and for her four children. Also she found that reconciliation between Fadi and her brothers would work best for her marriage. Yasmeen initiated a traditional ceremony. They asked a traditional mediator to initiate a conciliation ceremony with their brother-in-law in his house. Her brothers came together with their wives and children and brought many gifts. This meant that they respected Fadi by com- ing to his home. If he did not welcome them, he would become the guilty one from then on.

    All parties agreed to open a new page in their relations. This process of reconciliation starting with Yasmeen and then with her siblings left Fadi with feel- ings of shame and guilt. He resumed individual therapy to crystallize his decision to disconnect his relationship with Mona. Self develops in contexts through interpersonal exchanges and personal reflections. Yasmeen sees herself as a wife, mother, and family member. Perceptions of Self and Other Develop Reciprocally. Individuals yearn for acceptance in the forms available. A person who is safe and respected gains awareness of good me and perceives others as good Sullivan, When harshness, neglect, or abuse occurs, a sense of I and me can be damaged.

    Bad me emerges in conjunction with a perception of other as bad, unreliable, or hostile. In extreme circumstances, as in sexual abuse and torture, parts of self may be sub- merged, denied, or split off and remain latent as not me, as unacceptable or rejected. In interpersonal harm self is disconfirmed, colluded against through mystifying exchanges Laing, , or discounted Schiff et al. Through cooperation self is affirmed and feels valued Laing, In cooperating Yasmeen and Fadi experience validation of self. It undermines creative potentials and contributes to legacies of the misuse of power and of injustice.

    Self-awareness begins with prototaxic feelings and images Sullivan, Sym- bolic thinking and language facilitate processing of perceptions and attributions regarding I, me, and others Mead, Language may be used parataxically — illogically or with private meanings. Generally people clearly comprehend con- sensually validated, syntaxic communication, i. Symbolic thinking and language enable per- sons 1 to be aware of engaging in interpersonal harm, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace; 2 to remember these experiences; 3 to reflect on choosing to initi- ate, continue, or cease these activities; and 4 to evaluate the consequences of their occurrence for self and others in contexts.

    Forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace are impeded by prototaxic or parataxic communication and facilitated by syntaxic symbolic thinking and language. From birth individuals are socially motivated and seek contact, social recog- nition, and belonging through attachments. Positive regard for self emerges from secure attachments Ainsworth, ; Bowlby, ; Prescott, Forgiveness involves affirma- tion of self and restores good I and good me in supporting the needs for interpersonal security and collaboration Sullivan, Reconciliation connotes affirmation of self and other as trustworthy, as available for secure attachment.

    Self-processes facilitate or impede psychological forgiveness. In decisional forgiveness a person alters intentions about how to behave toward another, and in emotional forgiveness moves from unforgiving emotions to orienting them positively toward the offender Worthington, Yasmeen and Fadi engaged in these processes in transforming cognitions, emotions, and motivations from negative to positive in forgiving.

    Cooperation and trust facilitate construction of comforting and sup- portive self-objects — internal, affectively laden images of others used to repair or restore a deficient or missing aspect of self Kohut, Self-objects formed in contexts of protection and support bolster self-esteem in times of interpersonal harm. Lack of caring parenting hampers development of supportive self-objects.

    No parent or relationship partner is perfect. Exoneration and reconciliation entail understanding the developmental contexts of those who caused harm Madanes, ; McNeel, Culture, Self, and Social Identity. Family, culture, and society affect self. In cultures emphasizing indi- vidualism, efforts toward self-identity and personal success are more expected and recognized, thus fostering an egocentric cultural self.

    Consistent with their social- cultural contexts, Yasmeen and Fadi, as Arabs and members of the Druze culture and religion living in Israel, have developed more sociocentric selves. Social identities may be barricaded or bounded Jowitt, In barricaded or corporate identities a person is classified only in a fixed cate- gory e.

    With a bounded identity, an individual identifies with a group which partially defines self and allows for complementary, non-exclusive self-descriptions based on belonging to other groups e. In crises and inter-group conflicts, loyalty to a barricaded identity may override the flexibility of a bounded identity and spur rejection, harm, and violence against others even when positive connec- tions occurred previously e. This compounds obstacles to forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace Chirot, In Switzerland, supported by national ideologies and lead- ers, persons with bounded identities around ethnicity, religion, and nationality have lived cooperatively.

    Prior to Belgian colonization, Hutus and Tutsis lived intertwined economically, politically, and through intermarriage. Only when colonial influences imposed barricaded identities did interethnic violence erupt Prunier, ; Smith, Development of bounded identities helped overcome barriers in reconcilia- tion processes after the establishment of peace e. Yet inter-group contact may incite aggression. When persons from other groups are viewed 1 favorably, as somewhat typical; 2 as variable; 3 as describable in multiple classifications; and 4 not as members of essentialized categories members are distinguished by immutable and inheritable characteristics McCauley, , the opportunities for forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace are improved.

    While personalization through meeting people from other groups may de-categorize individuals, the experiences may not generalize to groups as a whole. A combination of de-categorization persons are not intrinsically defined by a cate- gory , re-categorization perceiving persons as included within more superordinate classes including the groups with whom individuals are more or less familiar and comfortable , and cross-categorization perceiving that persons from specific groups belong to multiple and varied classifications blends processes underlying an evo- lution toward reconciliation and peace.

    Self-transcendence makes possible considering other viewpoints, empathy, conscience, love, and reach- ing toward spiritual realities. Symbolic thinking and language allow for memories of self-transcending consciousness and for communicating these in perpetrating harm, violence, and war and in seeking forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.

    Yasmeen and Fadi would not have experienced their dilemmas nor envisioned their resolutions without self-transcending consciousness. Social Role-Taking, Empathy. Capacity for taking the role of the other emerges as a child experiences the feelings or attitudes of others through role play Mead, Since taking the roles and perspectives of others leads to responding in expected ways, this process comprises a cognitive foundation for social living.

    Community, culture, and constructive inter-group and international relations require mutually shared expectations spawning cooperation. Social role-taking grows con- comitantly with the evolution of empathy Selman, Forgiveness involves positively taking the role of another and exercising empathy McCullough et al. Taking the role of the other without empathy — in seeking understanding of the other as a means to control and manipulate the other as a devalued or denigrated object or as an enemy — results in exploitation, abuse, dehumanization, and torture.

    Threats to security may impede taking the role of the other. Yasmeen took the role of Fadi in devising the strategy of assuming many home responsibilities to free him to attend to the needs of his mother and sisters in the hope that he would rekindle his love for her. Fadi came to therapy because he felt guilty since Yasmeen was pregnant, in pain and deep depression, did not stop crying, and was becoming dysfunctional at home and in her job.

    However, Fadi lacked full empathy and did not take the role of Yasmeen in initiating and contin- uing a special relationship with Mona. In the end Fadi displayed empathy toward Yasmeen and her brothers in implementing cultural beliefs by respecting customary connections. Between Processes. Through specifically human capacities, persons interconnect over space and time.

    Though concepts and language abound for describing indi- vidual and interpersonal processes, we generally lack a conceptual framework and language for elucidating the interconnecting of persons in relationships and systems. The starting point for the entire conception of sociality. Self-transcending conscious- ness, empathy, and social role-taking make this possible.

    Psychological, social, and spiritual harm and healing occur in the between. Forgiveness and peace extend beyond the dynamics of the persons involved to the relationships they share and the social structures they live in. Fadi and Yasmeen in conjunction with their families had constructed a social and intimate between in their marriage, living arrangement, and network of fam- ily responsibilities.

    Fadi violated the committed between of emotional and spiritual connection with Yasmeen by engaging in an affair with Mona. A conciliation cere- mony common in their culture restored a constructive between. Their estrangement and reconciliation, their recommitment of loyalty to each other, family, and cul- ture structured the relational context and ledger of justice for themselves and their progeny over generations. Interaction, Interperception, Interexperience. Laing, Phillipson, and Lee provided language regarding between processes.

    Persons interconnect through inter- actions, thinking, and feeling. Before, during, and after interactions, perceptions of self and others form. When I am interacting, I think of myself in a particular way. I think of the other person in a certain manner. I also think of how the other is viewing me. The other person is also engaging in these processes: Having a viewpoint on him- or herself, looking at me in some way, and imagining that I am conceiving of her or him from some perspective.

    Though sounding complicated, these perceptual or cognitive processes — interperceptions — occur continuously. The agreement or incongruence between the different levels of interperceptions gives rise to understanding, feel- ing understood, and being understood or misunderstanding, feeling misunderstood, and being misunderstood.

    Through interexperiences individuals feel more emotion- ally connected, responsive, and attached with persons with whom they experience relationships than with strangers no matter what the geographical distance. Yasmeen learned of inappropriate interactions by Fadi with Mona, experienced non-supportive interactions with her parents, and fulfilling interactions with her children and mother-in-law.

    Interperceptions needed sorting out. Yasmeen reflected on perceptions of self as daughter of estranged parents, committed wife, injured partner, beloved daughter-in-law and sister-in-law, capable woman. She considered perceptions of others as harming husband, sometimes-helpful brothers, emotionally neglectful parents, and appreciative mother-in-law. Yasmeen surmised that Fadi in his infatuation with Mona was perceiving her in ways in which misunderstandings were arising. She was feeling misunderstood and mistreated. Patterns of interactions, interperceptions, and interexperiences become traditions and standards in social groups.

    They are frequently internalized and conformed to with greater or lesser flexibility. An individual may conform in behavior, but preserve the integrity of a distinct self by not internalizing a social message. When interpersonal and inter-group cooperation is rooted in respect for traditions and standards compati- ble with the interperceptions of the participants, the interperceptions are mutually supportive of the integrity, dignity, and needs of those involved, and interexperi- ences are comfortable.

    When traditions and standards in interperceptions demean self or other, harm is caused, and interexperiences are distressing. Belief Systems, Meaning. The cognitive processes of attributions, beliefs, expec- tations, and meaning in conjunction with emotional and motivational dynamics provide maps for how to evaluate and plan in relation to self, others, and social institutions. Personal belief systems result from perceptions and memory of how to advance personal well-being and satisfying social connections.

    Core beliefs on the individual level parallel group-level world views that constrain or trigger conflicts. Eidelson and Eidelson identified five danger- ous belief domains — superiority, injustice, vulnerability, distrust, and helplessness — which may spur conflict and harm. Societal belief systems ideology shape social interactions and personal identi- ties Erikson, Leaders of countries following the Geneva Conventions, based on syntaxic understandings, interdict inhumane treatment and torture of captured enemies.

    Renouncing these agreements, when ideologies are defined as opposi- tional, sanctions harm and violence to persons categorized as prisoners of war or as enemy combatants. Social beliefs stipulate the rules norms for living in a group Fadi and Yasmeen are to honor family connections and how individuals should act in specific situations or relationships roles Yasmeen and Fadi as parents caring for their children. For Yasmeen, Fadi, and their families harming, forgiveness, and reconciliation rituals revolve around cultural beliefs, customs, norms, and roles. Ideology anchored in embracing inclusiveness fosters bounded rather than barri- caded identities, moving beyond solely negative attributions toward members of other groups, the breaking of barriers to interaction, and healing histories of interper- sonal harm and violence through forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.

    In forgiveness and reconciliation varying belief systems must be acknowledged Shriver, Disregard for German beliefs about social identity and shame after World War I bred a vortex of hostility. This was displaced in the Holocaust and erupted in World War II leaving consequences for forgiveness and reconciliation still needing attention.

    Denial of historical involvement in oppressive ideologies blocks progress. In US President Lincoln acknowledged loss and the need to grieve. He encouraged charity rather than malice as he promoted peace. The prevalent US ideology of dividing the world into good and evil, of denying defeat, of judging self-righteously that violence can produce good in Central America in the s , and of avoiding grieving clashed with German and Jewish beliefs emanating from abhorrence about the perpetuation of harm as symbolized by Nazi SS soldiers buried in Bitburg Shriver, Meaning forms a cognitive and affective bridge interconnecting self, others, and group-level processes.

    Individuals experience, discover Frankl, , and construct Gergen, meanings as core values. Meaning arises in creativity and by internalizing and conforming to social belief systems. For many, religion offers a prominent belief system for interpreting meaning Silberman, Mean- ings emerge from and affect the interpretations of interpersonal harm, forgiveness Enright et al.

    Meanings congruent with shared interperceptions form a basis for cooperative and satisfying interactions. Meanings identified as incompatible or antithetical lead to alienation or expressed antipathy. Social institutions legal, educational, religious serve as the guardians of meanings Erikson, They promote either equitable structures fostering forgiveness, rec- onciliation, and peace or discriminatory and unjust structures underpinning harm and suffering, violence and war.

    Sharing meanings provides a foundational moti- vation for cooperation in a group. Imposing and silencing meanings cause harm, frequently in a context of authoritarian, oppressive power and inequitable social structures. Yasmeen and Fadi were imbued with the belief systems of their families and cultures. They discovered and constructed the meanings of their individual and social lives within the frameworks of their personalities and relationships within their contexts.

    Reference Groups. Reference groups provide communication channels regarding expected standards Shibutani, Participants in chosen reference groups expe- rience congruent interperceptions. When interpersonal harm occurs, membership in a reference group may prolong victimization or perpetration or provide a buffer against injury and oppression. Members of reliable and trustworthy reference groups provide encouragement. When families and familiar social institutions are dam- aged or destroyed, social supports for survival are impaired and new structures are needed.

    Spiritual connections can bind persons. They either facilitate crossing bar- riers and chasms in forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace or solidify barricaded identities and histories of harm to justify violations of justice, interpersonal harm, aggression, and violence. Families, culture, and religion serve as the primary reference groups for Yasmeen and Fadi.

    They turn to them for membership and for norms. Yasmeen knew, as did Fadi, and did not necessarily have to put into words, though words helped particu- larly in reconciliation processes and in re-establishing a more satisfying family life, the expectations for each as a member of the family and culture. As Druze people they are Arabs in culture and language and belong to a branch of Muslims devel- oped in the 11th century from Shiite Islam. While respecting religion, which is a daily influence in their lives, they are not strictly religious.

    Group-Level Processes Triangles, Threesomes. Harm, forgiveness, and reconciliation frequently involve more than two people. Threesomes may be more cul- turally congruent in communally oriented cultures Falicov, In triangling, clear thinking about the needs of each person and the authentic possibilities for comfortable and satisfying relating are lost through collusion and mystification occurring frequently in abuse Laing, Forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace require detriangulation and relating appropriately in dyads and threesomes.

    Fadi was torn between his needs for each woman. He loved Yasmeen for some reasons and Mona for others. Fadi was triangulating with the two women and experienced loyalties to each.

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    This generated conflict interpersonally and in the community. Forgiveness and reconciliation involved detriangulating to relate in respectful compatible two- somes and threesomes. This complicates achieving peace and the families of Yasmeen and Fadi. Boundaries demarcate accessibility between self and other Minuchin, With clear boundaries age- and role-appropriate cooperative interactions transpire.

    Rigid boundaries denote exclusion. Intrusions on culturally sanctioned and personally desirable space and time indicate diffuse boundaries. As Yasmeen perceived a diffuse boundary between Fadi and Mona, she set up rigid boundaries with him. When Fadi insisted that Yasmeen choose between her marriage and her family, she established rigid bound- aries with them.

    As they reconciled, Yasmeen and Fadi sought clear boundaries as spouses, with Mona excluded, and collaboration with her family. Cultural stan- dards prescribe acceptable types of interpersonal contact — social distances Hall, For Yasmeen, Fadi, and their families social distances ranged from engaged to estranged to reunited. In these situations the integrity and dignity of each person with bounded identities are respected; groups are considered as separate because of mutually acceptable reasons.

    With rigid boundaries members of out-groups avoid each other. In situ- ations of aggression and exploitation diffuse boundaries are crossed. This may lead to rigid boundaries. When persons are divided into in-groups and out-groups with barricaded identities, harm and violence may be justified based on the inhumanity of others. Dehumanization and dichotomization of groups underlie preju- dice, exclusion, and violence Allport, When personal and social security are threatened, defending without demonizing the other s becomes a challenge.

    Forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace involve discovering the humanity and dignity of others and inclusion within community. In India the Untouchables Dalit , believed to fall below the four castes, were for- bidden contact and equal status. Belief systems encoded in law govern boundaries and social distance. In Latin America the humanity of African slaves was acknowl- edged. They were accorded rights to legal marriage and protections against masters molesting women, thus curtailing some interpersonal harm and violence van den Berghe, In North America slaves were regarded as property not entitled to marry and were subject to physical and sexual abuse.

    Specifically human processes enable persons to collectively establish social struc- tures and institutions, to develop and use tools, and to exercise group-level power, all of which facilitate, impede, or constrain interpersonal harm, violence, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace. Social harm and violence occur beyond individual control, though individuals participate.

    Their impacts exceed the scope and responsibility of individuals who are not in decision-making roles and positions. Personal forgive- ness and interpersonal reconciliation, while valuable, do not suffice in addressing the social-structural issues in inter-group and international conflicts, violence, and peace processes. Social Structures. Social structures develop, endure, and are preserved over time and space because of the specifically human capacities for self-transcending consciousness, symbolic thinking, and language. Social structures arise as com- munal agreements about how to organize to best provide for human needs Mead, Structures which served human needs may not do so later.

    Structures per- sist beyond their usefulness through adherence to norms, particularly when leaders derive inequitable benefits from them and when technology is used to defend them. Social structures provide parameters for interpersonal harm, violence, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace Christie, Cultural and reli- gious gender norms govern their roles, customs, and relationships.

    Divorce in this context would generate further violations of parental justice in excluding Yasmeen from the care of her children and would preclude marital reconciliation. The couple are employed in geographically indigenous social structures based on their educational levels. Each occupational social structure imposes some con- straints. Fadi, as a Druze man, was required to serve in the Israeli army for 3 years after finishing high school or face imprisonment.

    He continued to serve for better pay. When stationed far away, he could not return home daily. This left Yasmeen under the custody of the elders, particularly her father-in-law until he passed away a year after her marriage. Serving in the Israeli army creates a chasm between Druze people and other Arabs.

    It also arouses dissonance for the Druze people who have tended toward isolation as a third cultural grouping in Israel. Men bring in elements of Israeli culture while women act as the keepers of Arab culture. From this cultural perspective, having a girlfriend is thought by some to be an accepted and under- stood Western behavior while being loyal in marriage and abstaining from infidelity is a religious, Islamic, and Druze norm. Fadi earned a BA last year, a rare accom- plishment for a Druze man.

    Yasmeen benefited from the Israeli policies of providing day care for children from 3 months after birth and free kindergarten at 3 years of age. Fadi and Yasmeen reside in Israel as members of a cultural and religious minority within broader social structures. During the summer of they were at risk of being injured or killed by airborne armaments launched during the conflict between military forces in Israel and Lebanon.

    Threats to attaining social-structural peace in the region overwhelm efforts for psychological forgiveness and interpersonal reconciliation, though these remain valid in their own dimensions. The cleavages fomenting conflict and causing harm in each situation — religion, ethnicity, class, race, region — differ in salience. Tools and Technology. The extension of social structures over space and time requires tools and technology La Barre, ; Massey, Abstract and symbolic thinking, represented in language, imagination, prehensile hands, and refashioning of material and conceptual resources, makes tools possible.

    Tools can be utilized for biophilous and necrophilous purposes Fromm, Necrophilous uses of tools and technology injure selves, disrupt relationships, damage and destroy the produc- tions and legacies of individuals, families, and groups, small and large, as well as inter-group and international connections. Uses of tools, guided by constructively taking the roles of others and empathy, nurture community, forgiveness, and recon- ciliation and further peace.

    Individuals and leaders of groups who constructively take the roles of others and exercise empathy do not proliferate and use nuclear weapons, do not launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, do not engage in suicide bombings, do not place profits above health and environmental safety, do not intentionally fly planes into occupied buildings, do not sanction torture, and do not authorize preemptive warfare. The necrophilous uses of tools and technology severely challenge the pos- sibilities for forgiveness and reconciliation and highlight the dominance of social structures in undermining peace.

    This helps children learn, receive positive attributions confirming their selves, gain membership in the in- group and reference group of the better educated, and acquire beneficial resources. In the military, Fadi, his fellow soldiers, and commanders have access to and control over tools and technology which can be utilized necrophilously to heighten social conflicts and disrupt opportunities for reconciliation and peace.

    Uses of power bridge individual, group, and social-structural dynamics. Power can be exercised as power to, power with, and power over Fromm, , Power exists on a continuum — from power to be, affirmation, assertion, aggression, to violence May, Negative forms of power do not emerge when constructive types prove effective. Individual power affects mostly personal devel- opment and immediate relationships.

    Group power moderates the range of options and the parameters of action available to individuals. Social-structural powers legal, economic, educational institutions significantly control distribution of and access to resources, including tools and technology, which advance or restrict individual and group levels of power. Social structures operating to enhance the powers to be, become, and affirm support a full range of human need fulfillment Massey, Oppressive social structures constrict need satisfaction and keep people insecure and dependent on the dictates and whims of the more advantaged power holders.

    When persons are empowered and their groups respected, cooperation predominates. When Yasmeen did not experience the power of affirmation from Fadi, she uti- lized the power of assertion to organize herself more independently and to engage in metaphorical action. She enlisted her brothers in implementing the powers to affirm and to be in relation to her newborn and her developing family. The affair elicited the powers of aggression and violence by her brothers. Fadi also activated the power of assertion with some aggression by demanding that Yasmeen cut off relations with her family before he was willing to initiate the power of affirmation for her as his wife.

    The families of Yasmeen and Fadi belong to a culture and religion spread beyond the geographical boundaries of their nation of citizenship to neighboring coun- tries. The concerns implicated in these struggles draw in nations from around the world in international debates, disagreements, con- flicting policies, and aggressive actions.

    Achieving peace requires social-structural changes to construct a secured and lasting context for psychological forgiveness and interpersonal reconciliation.

    Societal leaders in government, the military, the media, and in large and multina- tional corporations — whether elected, appointed, or imposed — wield power and technology in ways which inflict interpersonal and inter-group harm or further peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness. The impacts of social-level leadership are not easily overcome by individual or small-group efforts, and the consequences exceed the parameters of forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Historical and contemporary examples abound of leaders initiating aggression, violence, wars, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. These disrupt personal lives, relationships, families, communities, societies, and international relations. They diminish efforts for forgiveness and rec- onciliation in the wake of destruction and harm.

    In contrast, leaders can stimulate and structure peace. Specific issues modulate these processes in varying countries. International persuasion based on shared standards of justice and consensus about protection of human rights becomes necessary in extreme situations. International pressures prodded progress toward diminishing harm and promoting reconciliation in North- ern Ireland Gallagher, and South Africa Hamber, Definitions and approaches to forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace vary.

    The per- spective presented here is focused on the capacities enabling humans to engage in interpersonal harm, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace which underlie vary- ing viewpoints. Both personal experiencing and the social contexts and structures affect the likelihood and continuation of interpersonal harm and forgiveness, social conflicts and peace. A systems perspective embraces the specifically human inter- connecting psychological and social processes required for conceptualizing, in an integrative perspective, the dynamics in interpersonal and inter-group harm, forgive- ness, reconciliation, and peace.

    An integrative perspective encompasses explaining how self, relationships, groups, and social structures are interconnected in systems of care and violence Cairns et al. While psychosocial projects can serve as effective interventions on the personal and interpersonal dimensions, the resolu- tion of conflicts and the securing of peace as contexts for authentic and lasting forgiveness and reconciliation require social-structural changes and consistency Christie, Humans continue to roil in the cauldron of harm and violence, yet search for the haven of security, esteem, and peace.

    Seeking dominance turns to aggression. Prophets foresee that the lion will lie down with the lamb while the blind will see. Yet those with physical sight only sometimes recognize the common humanity of self and other — as both vulnerable and wor- thy — fearing harm and not fully trusting nor entirely believing in the wealth of the interconnecting made possible by the specifically human processes of forgive- ness, reconciliation, and peace.

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    Onishi, N. Koizumi apologizes for war; embraces China and South Korea. Parfit, M. Powering the future. National Geographic, 2 , 2— Pargament, K. The frontier of forgiveness: Seven directions for psychological study and practice. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments. Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All. Update Location. If you want NextDay, we can save the other items for later. Yes—Save my other items for later. No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by.

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    See our disclaimer. We all long for peace within ourselves, families, communities, countries, and throughout the world. We wonder what we can do about the multitude of con?