Donor Letter from Scarlett – Sept 2020

Forgiveness Quilt
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Dear Choose Love Donor,

I hope this newsletter finds you well as we move forward collectively into our brave new world. Some have used the time for self-reflection and even self-improvement. From my own experience, I don’t know of a more powerful way to improve your life than forgiveness.

People often ask me incredulously, “How could you forgive the man who murdered your son?” My response, because I know the power of forgiveness, is, “How could I not?”

Forgiveness gave me my personal power back. In some cases it is the only key that releases you from the prison of anger and resentment in your mind. If I hadn’t forgiven, I would continue to allow the troubled young man who murdered Jesse to have control over my thoughts, which impact my feelings, and in turn influence my behavior. My choice to forgive cut the cord that attached me to pain and enabled me to move forward with my personal power intact.

Forgiveness can be taught and is the third character value in our powerful formula for choosing love, following courage and gratitude. We start with courage because courage is the most important character value that underlies all the rest. It takes courage to be grateful when things aren’t going your way, and it certainly takes courage to forgive in situations where the person who hurt you isn’t sorry, isn’t aware, or isn’t available.

When I was helping create the Choose Love programming, many were worried that forgiveness would be ‘too lofty a topic’ for kids to learn. We’ve found it’s the exact opposite. Kids learn it, and use it, every day! It’s the adults that seem to struggle and can benefit from this teaching as well. Our society tells us, ‘Forgive and forget!’ We perceive forgiveness to be a gift that we give the person who hurt us. In reality forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting, condoning, or not being able to hold someone accountable for their actions. Forgiveness is a gift that we give ourselves!

You don’t have to rely on another’s self-awareness and strength of character, or even an apology! You can take your personal power back at any time, through the choice of forgiveness. Amazingly, forgiveness is students’ of all ages favorite character value! They say, “Forgiveness is like a super power.” “It feels so good to forgive.” “You can just let it go!” Imagine a generation that understands the power of forgiveness, for themselves! Now think about what an improvement that would be for our society today!

The global pandemic has given the Choose Love Movement a unique opportunity to enhance children’s lives with a newly launched program that was specifically designed to help reintegrate students and teachers this fall back to school either in person or remotely. The Brave New World is a series of lessons, PreK-12th grade, that is trauma informed, and infused with social and emotional wellness. These lessons are designed to bring kids back to baseline where they can learn, be productive, and be peaceful. Thank you for helping us get this life transforming and lifesaving teaching into the hands of our most precious assets, our children.

We need your help, now more than ever. We continue to work on Version 2 of our programming that includes new standards from Character.org. It is trauma-informed and incorporates the needs of educators, families and students. We have the capacity to get this life saving and life transforming information into schools, homes and communities but we need your help!

Thank you for donating to our mission and in doing so, Choosing Love,