Perkins Quoted on Forgiveness – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Perkins Quoted on Forgiveness

Professor of Sociology Wes Perkins was quoted on his current five-year study looking at how attitudes and values affect the health of more than 1,500 college graduates. He said in a Sept. 15 article in the Wilmington, Del., News Journal about 25 percent of people say they forgive quickly, more than 50 percent say they can forgive over time if the offender apologizes, and 20 percent say they tend to be angry, distant or seek revenge.

“The benefits come to people whether they practice forgiveness because of religion, ethics, the teachings of parents or the urging of support groups and 12-step programs,” said Perkins. “Among those who forgive quickly, about 4 percent say they are unhappy. Among those who ultimately forgive, about 6 percent report feeling unhappy. Among those who find it hard to ever forgive, almost 10 percent say they are unhappy. It's relatively rare for people to report being really unhappy, but the risk more than doubles for those who can't forgive.”