“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
When I wrote a post to support an imprisioned poet I got some flack ... 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 justify 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:
There are two videos in this post. If you are reading this from an email subscription, it's likely you'll have to link through to the site to watch the videos.
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.
“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?”
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 and Sweden 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.