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Posted on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Forgiveness can bring love into a world of uncertainty

By Dear Abby


Several years ago you printed a poem about forgiveness in your column. It described very well the benefits of the practice, and it was accompanied by a sort of "forgiveness schedule" for every day of the week.

I clipped the column and saved it, but over time I seem to have lost it. Could you please run this piece again? -- DANIELA IN TORONTO


I'm glad to oblige. The poem you have requested, "Decide to Forgive," was written by the late Robert Muller, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. Now, with so much turmoil going on in the nation and in the world, its sentiments are particularly relevant.

This poem is part of a collection of letters, poems and essays that are collected in my booklet "Keepers" because so many Dear Abby readers had clipped them and continue to request that they be reprinted. Here is the poem you have requested:


Decide to forgive

For resentment is negative

Resentment is poisonous

Resentment diminishes and devours the self.

Be the first to forgive,

To smile and to take the first step

And you will see happiness bloom

On the face of your human brother or sister.

Be always the first

Do not wait for others to forgive

For by forgiving

You become the master of fate

The fashioner of life

A doer of miracles.

To forgive is the highest,

Most beautiful form of love.

In return you will receive

Untold peace and happiness.

And here is the program for achieving a truly forgiving heart:

SUNDAY: Forgive yourself.

MONDAY: Forgive your family.

TUESDAY: Forgive your friends and associates.

WEDNESDAY: Forgive across economic lines within your own nation.

THURSDAY: Forgive across cultural lines within your own nation.

FRIDAY: Forgive across political lines within your own nation.

SATURDAY: Forgive other nations.

Only the brave know how to forgive. A coward never forgives.

It is not in his nature.

Since I cannot reprint the continual avalanche of requests I receive for reprints, for those who desire them, my "Keepers" booklet can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Many people have told me it makes a welcome gift for newlyweds, new parents, animal lovers, those who are grieving, and anyone who is recovering from an illness because it's a quick and easy read, and filled with wisdom and humor on a wide variety of topics.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.