Article Title: A Story of Forgiveness: The Legacy of Amy Biehl
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Key words (tags): Transformation, Amy Biehl, the legacy of Amy Biehl, South Africa, Cape Town, reconciliation, forgiveness
Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)
At the age of 26, Amy gave her life in South Africa for the cause of freedom, peace and justice. Upon winning a scholarship from Fulbright University, Amy decided to go to South Africa to aid in the country’s efforts to end racial apartheid. She was murdered by four violent, angry protestors on August 26, 1993.
South Africa honours US woman who forgave daughter’s killers
Reuters | Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Linda Biehl was named to the Order of Companions of O R Tambo by President Thabo Mbeki at a ceremony in Pretoria, the office of the presidency said in a statement on its website.
Biehl and her husband Peter captured the hearts of South Africans in 1993 when they publicly forgave the killers of their daughter, Amy Biehl, a Fulbright scholar who was working with poor communities in the country.
The 26-year-old woman was killed on August 25, 1993 when she drove into the Guguletu township outside Cape Town to drop off three black friends and was attacked by a crowd returning from a rally of the militant Pan African Congress.
Members of the mob chased Biehl and stoned and stabbed her to death as she begged for mercy in the dust.
The murder, coming about one year before the country’s first all-race elections, shocked the country and the world.
The four black youths convicted of the crime were released from prison in 1998 after they were granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up in 1995 to investigate rights abuses during apartheid.
The Biehls did not oppose the amnesty, and they later hired two of the murderers to work in a foundation they set up in their daughter’s name. The foundation helps community projects in the townships where Amy Biehl worked.
Linda Biehl was among some three dozen people honoured for contributing to South Africa’s democracy. Previous winners of the Tambo award include US civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, the father of Indian independence.
For further information on the life of Amy Biehl and her parents, an amazing story of forgiveness, “google” her or visit
To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness…
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King
“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??
“One man (or woman) can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Black Leader, Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)
“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.”
So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the opression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy
“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity,
we shall harness for God the energies of love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it’s an on-going state of mind. A long and arduous journey that starts with a single large step – in spite of immense pain, the decision to forgive, a commitment to the ideal… and one that gives freedom… to the forgiven, yet also to the forgiver.”
“When you forgive (another person or country), you empty your mind of negative thoughts (perhaps even thoughts as strong as hate). Then the infinite Spirit of God makes a fresh space in our hearts to allow new positive feelings to take their place.. to pour into our hearts. The ‘freed’ person then moves forward with a new spirit…which takes root in people’s minds, hearts, spirits and even in the deepest recesses of their souls.”
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The inspiring story of Amy Biehl has a lot of
meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings.
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including ‘Endless Possibilities, Far and Great Horizons’) are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant seeds of hope …
and you and I, let’s march towards a better future…together to a brighter tomorrow
“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”
“First steps on the path to peace begins with talking, which leads to some
understanding… which then leads to negotiation.. which leads to eventual
– craig (as inspired by the words of Amy Biehl)