What comes after tragedy? Forgiveness | Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix



On one awful night in 1995, Ples Felix’s 14-year-old grandson murdered Azim Khamisa’s son in a gang initiation fueled by drugs, alcohol and a false sense of belonging. The deadly encounter sent Khamisa and Felix down paths of deep meditation, to forgive and to be forgiven — and in an act of bravery and reconciliation, the two men met and forged a lasting bond. Together, they’ve used their story as an outline for a better, more merciful society, where victims of tragedy can grow and heal. Prepare to be moved by their unimaginable story. “Peace is possible,” Khamisa says. “How do I know that? Because I am at peace.”

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29 thoughts on “What comes after tragedy? Forgiveness | Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix

  1. Just a couple of months after my brother was killed in a random stabbing I went to a TKF event in San Diego, over 10 years ago. (A non-violent alternatives professor turned me on to them.) It moved me. I'm so glad to be reconnected with their message.

  2. It might seem something small but I love how the main speaker calls everyone brothers and sisters. It feels like the little thing that our western alienated society needs. I've seen in poorer countries people are lot closer and safer because they call each other brothers and sisters, nobody is a stranger and to that extent people can't harm each other. The more distant we feel from someone the more excuses we allow ourselves to be bad to each other.

  3. This condensed article about mandatory forgiveness appeared in a 2017 New York Times' Ethicist column:
    If forgiving helps you, then by all means, forgive. But the forgiveness culture implies that betrayers and abusers can expect to be forgiven, and should their targets decline to forgive, they can rest smug in the assurance that the refusal reflects a flaw in their victims, not in themselves.
    Forgiveness – if granted because it is believed to be the only virtuous or healthy thing to do — breeds resentment. Coerced forgiveness merely paves over rage or the desire for vengeance. The case against forgiving abuse is that in letting someone off the hook, you may well land others on it. There is an enormous difference between getting your revenge and standing by quietly when the abuser spots a new victim.

  4. This condensed article about mandatory forgiveness appeared in a 2017 New York Times' Ethicist column:
    If forgiving helps you, then by all means, forgive. But the forgiveness culture implies that betrayers and abusers can expect to be forgiven, and should their targets decline to forgive, they can rest smug in the assurance that the refusal reflects a flaw in their victims, not in themselves.
    Forgiveness – if granted because it is believed to be the only virtuous or healthy thing to do — breeds resentment. Coerced forgiveness merely paves over rage or the desire for vengeance. The case against forgiving abuse is that in letting someone off the hook, you may well land others on it. There is an enormous difference between getting your revenge and standing by quietly when the abuser spots a new victim.

  5. This is such an amazing story and I would believe it is a quirk except for my own experience of forgiving my mother and how it changed both of our lives for the better.

    Plus, all the other stories of people forgiving atrocities that I’ve seen and read about over the years.

    I have been so inspired by the power of forgiveness that I have been led to study, practice and share A Course in Miracles (a book to learn how and why to forgive) for almost 40 years and I am currently offering a weekend retreat called The Yoga of Forgiveness: A Course in Miracles Retreat: http://www.yogaville.org/programs/5229/yoga-of-forgiveness-a-course-in-miracles-retreat

  6. “With the grace of god”? Is that the god that allowed for the gang to form and to eventually kill the kid? Don’t bring up freewill, if I was god and could stop a gang I would, just like any cop would. Freewill is an excuse, and a childish one at that.

  7. I never forgave some bad people in my life. I have simply moved on and forgotten them. I'm not now overcome by feeling of rage and vengeance. My grief is passed. Not all deeds can or need be forgiven at all. Some people want to, that's all fine and good. Go ahead. Especially if the other party is apologetic and you want to. Don't try to force others to do the same when they really don't need or want to. That's what I don't like about these "messages". Choosing not to forgive is also a choice that can bring you peace all the same.

  8. Enough with this crap. If the tables were turned, no one would forgive the muslim killer or think about finding him some lame excuses (society, problems with his family…blah blah blah)

  9. True forgiveness is possible. I have experienced it from both ends too. Bitterness and unforgiveness robs you of your life and happiness. You think the other person doesn't deserve forgiveness, but unforgiveness is a cruel double-edged sword. It's not worth it.

  10. As amazed i was by listening to this truly inspirational talk, i was deeply saddened by the lack of forgiveness and humanity in the comment section…

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