ForgivenessWatching the tail end of tonight’s Crimewatch, in which Kirsty Young talked to the mother of the murdered James Bulger, as well as interviews with some of the survivors of the massacre on the eve of the sentencing of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, it was heartening to see that people can pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and move on.

Forgiveness is a powerful emotion. It allows us to take a look at events in a different light and move into a future without bitterness. James Bulger’s mother has accepted that although she can never get her son back, she can honour his short life by giving children of today some happiness through a charity which allows them to take holidays they may otherwise never have.

The people who perpetrate such horrendous crimes are ill. No sane person would entertain the thought of doing such things, so they also deserve our compassion. Living with the results of their actions must be a huge burden and we should all spare a moment’s thought for that.

Life is far too short to carry the emotions of revenge and hate around with us. Forgiveness frees us from those emotions and although it might seem weak to forgive, it does, in fact show a huge amount of inner strength.

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