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Five steps to become a more forgiving person

Photo courtesy Leah Fax, freshman in the College of Health Sciences

Since serving for five years on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Janine Geske has devoted much of her life to the concept of restorative justice — bringing victims, offenders and the community together through dialogue, aiming to heal the harm caused by an act of crime.

Geske, Law ’75, recently retired as a distinguished professor of law and director of the Restorative Justice Initiative at Marquette University Law School. The initiative has served as a resource for victims, communities and restorative justice organizations; as a restorative justice clinical experience for law students; and as a program promoting scholarship, research and dialogue on restorative justice.

Throughout this work, Geske remained committed to supporting victims and communities in the healing process by providing information and training resources and by facilitating communication.

And although Geske has worked with victims and perpetrators of serious crimes, the lessons she has learned along the way could help people deal with situations they experience in their daily lives. So for those seeking to become more forgiving, Geske offers five questions to ask of themselves:

1) What is my anger accomplishing?

2) What is the impact off my unforgiving nature having on those I am close to?

3) Have I tried to realistically look at what happened from the other person's perspective?

4) What would happen if I tried to forgive the person?

5) What does forgiveness mean to me?

Want to hear more? Geske will speak as part of Mission Week, Marquette’s annual opportunity to reflect deeply on the Catholic, Jesuit mission that animates our university.

Her event, “When Forgiveness Must Wait: The Need for Restorative Justice,” takes place Thursday, February 6 from noon–1 p.m.


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