Turning Forgiveness into an Art Form with Sharon Kagan

Sharon Kagan’s mother was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Jews as a partisan fighting the Nazis.  Social justice and “man’s inhumanity to man” were central themes in her childhood home.  Her multimedia work focuses on socio-political issues providing multiple entry points for the viewer to imagine a more just, diverse, and inclusive world.

For nearly 50 years Kagan’s work has focused on becoming free of the generational trauma of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.  As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, she has examined the concept of forgiveness, often concluding that she could not forgive an act that was not committed against her. Ultimately realizing that although the acts were not done to her personally, she has lived with their consequences her entire life.  Kagan now turns to the important questions of how do we forgive something so enormous? What is it to forgive? What is it to be forgiven?

Kagan’s work is meant to expand the feminist tenant surrounding liberation and environmentalism into an intersectional, multidimensional conversation about diversity and justice.   She states, “When there is ambiguity, there is the possibility for multiple interpretations inviting meaningful dialogue, exchange, and change.”

In today’s episode, we will dive into the art of forgiveness- what we think it means, different methods of forgiveness and how forgiveness can impact you and those around you. We talk about ways you can join the story and share your experiences, and become part of the art of forgiveness.

It’s time to listen, learn, and transform through what you hear!

In this Episode You’ll Learn:

  • [12:35] Who is Sharon Kagan and The Forgiveness Project?
  • [26:04] Defining forgiveness
  • [30:23] Coming into the space of forgiveness
  • [38:42] Freedom from Entanglement
  • [45:20] The Metta practice
  • [47:07] Sharon’s ask of you

Quotes:

  • “I have to go there. I can’t just move forward without understanding. This thing that happened before I was born to my parents, not even to me, but has defined me as a human being. And how do I become free of that definition?” [20:48]
  • “Forgiving is not being passive. It’s being an active participant in the world to help people do the right thing” [28:18]
  • “Our experiences are imprinted in our DNA” [36:11]

Links Mentioned: 

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