Last night I saw a life changing movie. Not only for me, but can change the consciousness of the world. It’s about the Power of Forgiveness.

This documentary outlined several stories of individuals who have had dramatic incidences happen to them by others in their lives, and shares their path towards healing. The stories of the people shared their struggle with the act of forgiveness but also shared their difficult paths.

Elie Wiesel, the author and humanitarian, shared his story of losing his family and millions of the Jews throughout the concentration camps of Germany during the war. The movie showed photos of Wiesel and the thousands of others living in the concentration camp. Their faces were sallow and sad, and filled with despair. By some amazing miracle, he was able to get out and later become a journalist and author, and ultimately a voice for the millions who were exterminated and killed during that time. Internationally, he has been a catalyst to help people move beyond that horrible place in our history.

Another story highlighted the 5 Amish girls who were gunned down in their school house and their community. The Amish people already live lives of forgiveness and even though it was difficult, they believe the bible when Jesus taught to forgive 70X7 times. Their act of forgiveness inspired the world over. The Amish even went so far as to seek out the family of the killer to let them know that they were forgiven.

Then there are three tireless activists who lost family in the WTC during 9/11. They were able to forgive the terrorists, but they were unable to forgive the people who buried all of the debris, including massive amounts of personal items, bones and the dead in a dump on Stanton Island, NY. They’re incensed that their loved ones grave site is a dump. So they traveled to Israel to bury their prayer cards of their family under a new olive tree in a forgiveness garden. They traveled 6000 miles to be there, but for them it was worth it. They lived with so much regret and so much pain, that for them, it was a way to let go of their anguish.

The movie outlined more stories, like the Protestants and Catholics in a 30 year battle in Ireland, and those from Buddhist communities and perhaps the most touching story was from a father and a granddad, who met and came together to teach forgiveness to children. Their story was one of tragedy when 4 14 year old boys partied all day and then ordered a pizza and decided to demand to receive the pizza for free from the delivery guy. He refused and was shot and killed on the spot. The boy who shot and killed the other was a product of a broken home and was being raised by his grandfather. The 21 year old who was shot and killed was from a Muslim family whose tradition told them to grieve for 40 days and then forgive and move on. At the end of the 40 days, the father of the boy who was shot down, contacted the grandfather of the other boy and that began a healing process that lead them to speak to students around the country on the topic of forgiveness.
The movie shows scientists researching the negative physical effects of hurtful emotions on the body. As subjects described their painful experiences dealing with another, their blood pressure became increasingly elevated to dangerous levels. Some personalities, who are “forgiving”, have the ability to return to a normal blood pressure. But those people who still struggled with unforgiveness, continued to have an elevated blood pressure. This proves that unforgiveness harms our body; therefore it’s physically beneficial to forgive in order to protect our health over the long term.

The producer Martin Doblmeier, is sharing this ground breaking movie with 25 cities before its release in October of this year. He said that the producers of Oprah have called, which is a great sign. If the movie is featured on Oprah, it’ll show the effects around the world.

Imagine a day where forgiveness is taught in schools around the globe and the children grow up knowing how bad harboring ill will is for your health and will have the tools to develop into people who have personalities that can easily forgive. The results of this would have a dramatic impact that could be felt world wide.

If you get the chance to see this movie on PBS later this year, don’t miss it. It’s one that will sink into your consciousness and allow you to alter your way of being. Our world needs this movie. We all need this movie. If we all practiced what it teaches, we could elevate our society to a new level of peace.

And to borrow from the movie “Miss Congeniality”, what do we all want? World Peace!