DEAR ABBY: Several years ago you printed a poem about forgiveness in your column. It described very well the benefits of the practice, and it was accompanied by a sort of “ forgiveness schedule” for every day of the week.

I clipped the column and saved it, but over time I seem to have lost it. Could you please run this piece again?


DEAR DANIELA: I’m glad to oblige. The poem you have requested, “Decide to Forgive,” was written by the late Robert Muller, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. Now, with so much turmoil going on in the nation and in the world, its sentiments are particularly relevant.

This poem is part of a collection of letters, poems and essays that are collected in my booklet “ Keepers” because so many Dear Abby readers had clipped them and continue to request that they be reprinted. Here is the poem you have requested:

Decide to forgive
For resentment is negative
Resentment is poisonous
Resentment diminishes and
devours the self.
Be the first to forgive,
To smile and to take the first
And you will see happiness
On the face of your human
brother or sister.
Be always the first
Do not wait for others to forgive For by forgiving
You become the master of

The fashioner of life
A doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
And here is the program for
achieving a truly forgiving
SUNDAY: Forgive yourself.
MONDAY: Forgive your family. TUESDAY: Forgive your
friends and associates.
across economic lines within
your own nation.
THURSDAY: Forgive across
cultural lines within your
own nation.
FRIDAY: Forgive across

political lines within your
own nation.
SATURDAY: Forgive other
Only the brave know how to
forgive. A coward never forgives. It is not in his nature.

Since I cannot reprint the continual avalanche of requests I receive for reprints, for those who desire them, my “Keepers” booklet can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $ 7 ( U. S. funds) to: Dear Abby Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Many people have told me it makes a welcome gift for newlyweds, new parents, animal lovers, those who are grieving, and anyone who is recovering from an illness because it’s a quick and easy read, and filled with wisdom and humor on a wide variety of topics.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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