Forgive Again: Valerie Joi at TEDxBerkeley (Full Transcript)

Hi! How are you doing? We’ve heard some really wonderful stuff today, yes? We are here for wisdom, compassion and connection. Wisdom, compassion and connection.

One thing that every single one of us in this room can do to evolve our planet, to evolve humanity, is to make one simple choice, every day, as often as you can, and that’s forgiveness. You would think that it’s a really difficult thing. It’s really just a choice, people. It’s a choice! Forgiveness is a choice. My mother lives in the Saint Louis, Missouri, area, about 15 minutes from Ferguson, and I asked her the other day, “Mom, what is it like, you know? I know we haven’t heard much stuff about Michael Brown in the news, but what is it like at home?” And you know, the anger is still there, the resentment is still in the air, the frustration, the pain, the sense of entitlement, whatever.

All of that stuff is in the air and listen: if we want to make a significant impact, if we want to live and experience a more just world, we can choose forgiveness. One inside job. Now let’s see where it takes us, yes? Are you there?

Audience: Yeah (Applause)

(Piano) And forgiveness doesn’t have to be so hard. It can even be joyful. And it’s actually freeing. This song I wrote because I needed to forgive.

♪ When the pain is too great ♪ ♪ So much at stake ♪ ♪ And all I can take, forgive again ♪ ♪ When I feel done wrong ♪ ♪ Silenced my song ♪ ♪ Crying so long ♪ ♪ Forgive again, and again ♪ ♪ Hearts reopen, chains are broken ♪ ♪ When we forgive again and again ♪ ♪ Love won’t be denied, trust will come alive ♪ ♪ When we forgive again ♪ ♪ When we feel betrayed ♪ ♪ Dreams delayed ♪ ♪ From our own selves we’ve strayed ♪ ♪ Forgive again ♪ ♪ When we refuse ♪ ♪ We refuse to ♪ Take action. Keep our side. Let me do that again OK? Listen.

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♪ When we believe we’re right ♪ ♪ Refuse to win the fight ♪ ♪ We always lose our sight ♪ ♪ So, forgive again ♪ ♪ And again ♪ ♪ Hearts reopen, chains are broken ♪ ♪ When we forgive again and again ♪ ♪ Love won’t be denied ♪ ♪ Trust will come alive ♪ ♪ When we forgive again ♪ I have a question ♪ Will we see each other’s pain? ♪ ♪ Or is our heartache in vain? ♪ ♪ Can we use our courage to heal? ♪ ♪ Can we release our shame ♪ And let go of all blame ♪ ♪ And choose to see a different way? ♪ ♪ Oh – Oh, hearts reopen ♪ ♪ Chains are broken ♪ ♪ When we forgive again, and again, and again, and again ♪ ♪ Love won’t be denied ♪ ♪ Trust will come alive ♪ ♪ When we forgive again ♪ Amen? Hello!

Audience: Amen!

VJ: Oh Thank you! And don’t you forget it. Thank you.

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