From ‘The Book of Joy’: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World


In this book, The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share their wisdom about living with joy in the face of adversity.

‘Forgiveness is the sign of strength ‘ (Dalai Lama).

Archbishop Tutu:  Our natural response when hit, is to hit back.  When you have been refined, you put yourself in the shoes of the other.

Dalai Lama:  You should keep the memory of the negative thing.  Forgiveness does not mean to forget, but because of that there is the possibility to develop anger or hatred.  That control, that is the strength of forgiveness.   It is totally wrong, 100% wrong, 1000% wrong, that the practise of  tolerance and forgiveness is seen as a sign of weakness.  Forgiveness is a sign of strength!

Archbishop Tutu:  Those who say that forgiving is a sign of weakness, haven’t tried it yet!


I must say, that forgiveness after being wronged takes much strength of mind, body and soul, but like the two wise men say, it is the way forward for lasting happiness.  Some years back I was faced with adversity myself, and if I had not forgiven and moved on I could have been living a lonely, joyless existence.  As it is I have never been happier.  I have not forgotten, and I never will, but I have put the hurt and hatred to the back of my mind.

Happiness is in ourselves and what we make of our lives.  It’s entirely up to us whether or not we embrace happiness, or spend the rest of our lives living with hatred, bitterness and regret.