Review by Phil Jason
Triumph of the Heart: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World, by Megan Feldman Bettencourt. Hudson Street Press. 288 pages. Hardback $25.95. Forthcoming Avery trade paperback $16.00.
So many of us are weighed down by negative emotions without truly realizing how much damage they are doing to our quality of life and to those around us. We carry the hurts of real and imagined slights. We continue to agonize over our parents’ having been distant when we needed them or having been harshly judgmental when we longed for acceptance – if not praise. We can’t get past a betrayal of confidence, a two-timing spouse, a boss or teacher who plays favorites and didn’t value our worth.
If we are subject to physical abuse, or injured by a texting driver, or crippled on the battlefield or in competitive sports, we carry the anger until it becomes more devastating than the original incident. How can be overcome the rage and grief if a child or wife or parent gets shot to death during a robbery? Our resentment keeps eating us alive.
We simply cannot forgive. Why should we?
Ms. Bettencourt tells as why and how.
The first of many illustrative stories in this inspiring book is about Azim Khamisa, who in January of 1995 received a phone call telling him that his twenty year old son, Tariq, had been shot dead. The murderer, a fourteen year old gang member named Tony, had fired on Tariq while attempting to rob him. The healing relationship between Azim, Tony, and Tony’s grandfather, one that dramatically introduces the psychological benefits of forgiveness and the means to exercise it, sets the tone for the rest of the book. Azim founded and administers the Tarik Khamisa Foundation, a model educational institution for putting endangered youths on the right path. Azim turned his loss into something magical, and his forgiveness of Tony and friendship with Tony’s grandfather were part of the process, as was a form of meditation.
Ms. Bettencourt learned a lot by witnessing Azim in action. In fact, her own problems, she discovered, needed to be addressed through the process of forgiveness so that she could reclaim her life. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the February 17, 2016 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the February 18 Naples, Bonita Springs, and Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Bettencourt