Fetzer Survey of Love and Forgiveness in American Society

Fetzer Institute Survey Reveals America’s Shared Perspectives on Love, Forgiveness and a Connection to the Global Community

Survey

KALAMAZOO, MI, October 28, 2010 – At a time when significant emphasis is placed on the issues that divide Americans, the Fetzer Institute’s “Survey of Love and Forgiveness in American Society” reveals the commonalities that bind us together.

The report uncovers the deeply held beliefs and attitudes individuals have about love, forgiveness, and their connection to the world beyond our borders. The Fetzer Institute commissioned the research in an effort to explore these complex topics that are central to its mission and to learn more about where love and forgiveness are present in American life. 

The survey’s findings reveal insights about how people feel about their own lives, their communities, and the world. The data points to a shared interest in improving our human condition, not only at the personal level, but on the global level as well.

Americans express a near-universal desire for a more loving and unified world. For example, most (61 percent) claim that if they better understood the values of people in other countries, there would be less conflict in the world, which indicates a need for better understanding of foreign cultures and values and how those values align with our own. Additionally, nine in ten Americans agree that the world is too divided and apart, and 95 percent agree that we need more meaningful love in the world. 

“This research will help guide the Institute and its work in the world to expand awareness of the role that love, forgiveness, and compassion can play in improving the human condition,” said Lawrence Sullivan, president and CEO of the Fetzer Institute.

American adults also recognized a personal need for more meaningful love and forgiveness, with 68 percent agreeing (strongly or somewhat) that they need more meaningful love in their personal lives. Sixty-two percent agreed (strongly or somewhat) that they need more forgiveness in their personal lives.
 
The online survey, conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 US adults ages 18 and older, asked respondents to share their perceptions and opinions on the state of these values in America and in their personal lives. The full report, conducted by StrategyOne, a Washington-based market research firm, is available for download.

Key Survey Findings:

A Growing Desire for Love and Forgiveness
American adults recognize a need for more meaningful love and forgiveness. Sixty-eight percent of Americans agree (strongly or somewhat) that they need more meaningful love in their personal lives, and this number increases to 89 percent in their communities, 94 percent in America, and 95 percent in the world. Sixty-two percent of Americans agree (strongly or somewhat) that they need more forgiveness in their personal lives, and this number increases to 83 percent in their communities, 90 percent in America, and 90 percent in the world.

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