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Street Smarts

Forgiveness isn't always easy, but many will argue that it's a gift for yourself as well as for others.

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Shannon Olliff of the south side is a truck driver

Describe your relationship with forgiveness; is it something you practice? I'm struggling with it and trying to practice it. My wife and I are Christians, so we're working on it.

So, do you feel religion can help people become more forgiving? Yes, absolutely. You have a power higher than yourself to release it to.

What's the best story you know about someone practicing forgiveness? My wife forgave her ex-husband. I really respected her for having that level of compassion.

Are there limits on forgiveness? As a Christian, I'd say there shouldn't be limits, but us mortals have a hard time with that.

What is the opposite of forgiveness? Hate, and the things you don't forgive can boil over and eat you from inside out.

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Jennie Taylor of the north side is a community facilitator

Describe your relationship with forgiveness; is it something you practice? Yes. Forgiveness is an absolute daily necessity. It's the key to opening up the heart.

Do you feel religion can help people become more forgiving? No. Religion in itself is an institution, yet the spiritual teachers can enlighten the seekers.

What's the best story you know about someone practicing forgiveness? That goes to forgiveness of the self. My husband and I divorced, but came back together to build a family.

What's the opposite of forgiveness? Judgment and resentment.

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John Charland of downtown is a drum teacher

Describe your relationship with forgiveness; do you practice it? Yes. My relationship with God encourages me to forgive. If you forgive someone it's like setting a prisoner free, and the prisoner is you.

What's key to being able to do it? If you have known forgiveness in your own life and you know what it meant to you, it can help you give that gift to others.

Do you feel religion can help people become more forgiving? I'm careful about the word "religion," but being around believers in a church setting can help encourage love and forgiveness.

What is the opposite of forgiveness? It might be vengeance, or it might be bitterness or superiority.

What's your best story about someone practicing forgiveness? There have been times in my life when I stepped on some toes, but people have just started dancing with me.

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