Forgive or Forget: Never Underestimate the Power of Forgiveness

Forgive or Forget: Never Underestimate the Power of Forgiveness

by Mother Love, Tonya Bolden

Girlfriend, if you're not willing to sacrifice, compromise, and forgive, then you can forget about having any kind of positive relationship with anything or anybody, and this includes your dog. Period.

Mother Love. She's honest, she's funny, and she's very charming. She's also the host of the captivating and unconventional hit daytime talk show

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Girlfriend, if you're not willing to sacrifice, compromise, and forgive, then you can forget about having any kind of positive relationship with anything or anybody, and this includes your dog. Period.

Mother Love. She's honest, she's funny, and she's very charming. She's also the host of the captivating and unconventional hit daytime talk show Forgive or Forget. Her guests range from feuding sisters to embittered lovers seeking resolution through forgiveness. Mother Love is the empress, hearing confessions that range from simple to sordid. Mother Love's insights are blunt yet compassionate: "The world is going to hell in a handbasket. I'm trying to show people that if we love each other and learn to forgive each other, we can make the world a better place." She ends each show with the mantra, "Never underestimate the power of forgiveness."

No matter how short or tall, big or small, thick or thin—doesn't matter what skin you're in, everybody needs some Mother Love now and then.

In this book Mother Love blends personal anecdotes from her life and her popular show with a journey to teach readers the true meaning of forgiveness—how to give it and how to receive it. The first section of the book is all about understanding the power of forgiveness—what it really means and how to find it in your heart and practice it. In the second section Mother Love reveals her Passages of Forgiving: Renounce Revenge, Don't Worry About the Negative Vibers, Don't Confuse Revenge with Restitution; Be Wise About "Why?" You May Need to Ask for an Apology; You Don't Have to Receive an Apology to Forgive; Forgiving Is Not Forgetting, If It's Over,Let It Be Over.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her second book, talk-show host Mother Love (Listen Up, Girlfriends!) expands on the theme of her network television show by the same name, offering advice on giving and receiving forgiveness. Contending that American society is becoming increasingly intolerant, she asserts that "Madison Avenue has pumped us full of fool notions about achieving perfection, and this makes us more unforgiving of imperfections in ourselves and in others." In her characteristic down-to-earth tone, Mother Love relates how she learned to forgive herself for years of overeating, which in turn helped her change her habits, inspiring a new self-confidence that allowed her to pardon family and friends for their transgressions and to ask others to forgive her when she recognized her own insensitivity. However, her style of humor, which is laced with sarcasm, tends to fall flat on the page and undercuts her sincerity. The insights she has to offer--about renouncing revenge, accepting apologies and forgiving someone in the absence of an apology--are often buried under the many stories of those who have sought forgiveness or overcome anger in televised confrontations, ultimately making the book come across as little more than a transcribed compilation of outtakes from her show. Agent, Al Lowman; 15-city TV satellite tour; 25-city radio tour; 4-city author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Daytime talk-show host Mother Love (Listen Up! Girlfriends) teams up with self-help author Bolden in this new pop-psychology book. In easy-to-understand terms, they outline their eight steps to forgiveness. In the first section, they explore the problems of dealing with forgiveness; in the second section, they look at the journey to forgiveness; and in the last part, they trace the "Passages of Forgiving." Throughout, they sprinkle proverbs, short quotes, and fill-in-the-blanks. This may be a worthwhile purchase for libraries serving Mother Love fans; otherwise, more popular titles like Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance or Richard Carlson's Don't Sweat the Small Stuff would be a better bet.--Lisa S. Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Binghamton, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Cynthia Sanz
Those for whom five hours a week of Mother Love's syndicated TV weepfest, Forgive or Forget, are not enough, can now rest easy. With this intriguing and instuctive tome, the straight-talking talk show host, comedian and actress commits her gospel about the healing power of forgiveness to paper.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 Cassettes
Product dimensions:
4.44(w) x 7.03(h) x 0.85(d)

Read an Excerpt

Throughout the ages and from just about every place on the planet, we have received fine, pithy counsel on forgiveness.

Some anonymous soul said, "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it."

Pennsylvania's founder, William Penn, eased in with, "Force may subdue, but love gains; and he that forgives first wins the laurel."

Another Quaker, Ben Franklin, clocked in with, "Men take more pains to mask than mend."

The very busy Friedrich von Schiller (dramatist, poet, historian) explained that "forgiveness is the finding again of a lost possession-hatred, an extended suicide."

Horace, that gentle poet of ancient Rome, cut to the chase with, "Anger is a brief madness."

Blessed Mohandas K. Gandhi warned, "If we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless."

Perhaps the best-known bit came from the eighteenth century English poet Alexander Pope: "To err is human; to forgive, divine"--the flip side of which the fourth century Greek sage Saint John Chrysostom captured with "Mercy imitates God, and disappoints Satan."

Some two thousand years ago Epictetus, another Greek philosopher (and someone who had been a slave), summed up the duty with these three words: "Bear and forbear."

Sadly, many of us do not heed these wise words. Forgiveness is not much of a priority for enough of us.

Lose weight. Pack on muscle. Beat back the aging process. Get rich (the quicker the better). Own the latest latest. This is the kind of stuff we tend to focus on if we focus at all on self-improvement. But what about the core? What about all the emotional andmental muck that can make us flabby, old before our time, spindly, and even poor? The anger and arrogance that hold us back from forgiving and seeking forgiveness can really mess up our lives and make us gruesome. In contrast, when we break free of anger and arrogance, so much that is strengthening and sustaining grows long roots-love, integrity, compassion, patience, wisdom. And let us not forget this: peace of mind.

Making forgiveness (seeking it and giving it) a way of life is no cakewalk, because we live in a world where a whole lot of people regard meekness, tenderness, yielding, and looking out for number two, three, four, and forty-four as signs of weakness. Some of us even have the nerve to think that we are the stronger and the swifter for keeping a catalog of the injuries, injustices, insults, and slights we have suffered, as if it's a badge of honor to hold grudges.

What's more, when you spotlight the grudge-meisters' wrongdoings, they're prone to boast that their crap was justified, either because they were provoked or because it was par for the course in that fool's paradise "looking out for number one." Whichever way wrongs get explained away, back of it is the illusion that to apologize is to admit defeat, when in reality, to say "I'm sorry" is to be a decent human being.

Once upon a time, I thought that apologizing and forgiving came natural. I thought that when people did something wrong they naturally said, "I'm sorry" (and meant it). I thought that the person wronged naturally said they accepted the apology (and meant it). Then I grew up, and I found out how short we fall. I realized that apologizing and forgiving don't come natural and don't come easy.

With some more growing up, I also realized that these things are not musts, but oughts. You can exist without embracing the twin points of forgiveness, but you will not live if you do not. That's why I say forgiveness isn't a must, it's an ought. We ought to apologize when we harm someone, and we ought to forgive when we are wronged, and unless it is yearned-for behavior, learned behavior, practiced behavior, it will never become part of our core.

Very few of us come into an abundance of humility and mercy early and maintain it. This is understandable: we may be the height of Creation, but we are far from perfect. Plus, Planet Earth can be a very cold, cruel place. More forgiveness would surely make her a better place.

A friend once asked what I thought the world would be like if forgiveness abounded. I had to really let my imagination stretch on that one.

Just think ... an everlasting spring, with lions lying down with lambs, with swords refashioned into ploughshares, and with Latrell Sprewell and Coach P. J. Carlissimo chatting it up over tea across the room from William Jefferson Clinton and his ace Kenneth Starr, who are playing Yahtzee and have plans to dine with David Duke and his good buddy Louis Farrakhan. Oh, what a world that would be. Indeed.

Do I think that we'll be there anytime soon? Nope. We can move toward it, though. just imagine if, say, there were 20 percent more people saying, "I'm sorry," and 20 percent more people forgiving.

Would there not be more strong marriages? And wouldn't that increase the number of emotionally healthy children, which would boost the number of high-achieving, goal-oriented students, which would cause an uptick in the number of productive workers, intelligent managers, and dynamic entrepreneurs.

More forgiveness would give rise to more honest people because there would be more hope that if you confessed an error or an offense you wouldn't be savaged.

Fewer companies would knowingly send into the marketplace defective wares and tainted foodstuffs, because the more forgiving one is, the more compassionate one becomes, and compassionate people do not make money from items that no one would knowingly take for free.

We would also have fewer homeless people, because more people living fat and happy would be less unforgiving toward the needy, especially those needy who may have been the cause of their own downfall.

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