To Err is Human:
A Collection of Forgiveness Readings

by Dr. Inez Tuck


Brandylane Publishers, Inc., Richmond VA, 2005. ISBN 1883911648.
Reviewed by Denise McAllister
Posted on 04/01/2005

Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

A "friend" has been gossiping about you behind your back. Another driver cuts you off in traffic causing your drink to spill. A family member hurts your feelings. What do you do? Lash out with venomous words in retaliation? Let the anger stew inside like a wound until you are almost physically sick? Or do you, as author Inez Tuck suggests, make the choice to forgive the other person and let it go, thereby cleansing your spirit (and, hopefully, the other person's, too)?

Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century preacher and lecturer said, "A forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note, torn in two and burned up, so that it can never be shown against the man." Jesus Christ told us to, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..." (Matthew 5:44)

Sometimes this can be hard to do. We're human after all; we're not perfect beings, and this is not a perfect world. But wouldn't life be better if we tried "turning the other cheek" and thought of others before ourselves? Maybe there would be less violence, less crime, fewer wars. Author Tuck gives us a guide to follow in To Err is Human: A Collection of Forgiveness Readings. In addition to her own writings and prayers, she has gathered material on the subject of forgiveness from various religions and groups of people, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Taoism, and Native Americans.

This charming little book is similar to a daily devotional with one-page missives on nearly a hundred forgiveness topics—The Meaning of Forgiveness, On Self-forgiveness, Marital Infidelity and Forgiveness, Forgiving When I Wake at 3:00 A.M., Living Requires Forgiveness, Choosing to Forgive, etc. The author shares some of her life's struggles after being hurt by others and concludes, "I allow myself to heal because I allow myself to forgive."

Forgiveness is such an important subject to explore, especially in these uncertain modern times. Not only is it essential for our physical and psychological health, but it also can nourish our spiritual walk and well-being. Tuck does a good job of reminding us of the tangible benefits of forgiveness.

Dr. Inez Tuck, Professor of Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, is a therapist, entrepreneur, teacher, consultant, and researcher in the areas of health and spirituality.

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