There are situations where the individual does not feel forgiving at any level and where the only real result of any decision or process would lead only to repression of true feelings.
Instead of the authors formulation, I would propose that, subject only to the requirement that the individual actually has a genuine desire to forgive, the road to forgiveness can be through a decision, or through a process, or through a combination of both. It might also be preferable to consider the principal conceptual distinction as being between whether or not the individual can get past the anger instead of whether or not the individual can forgive the person responsible for it. It seems that the author believes that forgiveness is always possible with the right approach. I would argue that (genuine) forgiveness is not necessarily always possible, regardless of what approach is used. In my opinion, forgiveness is possible (and may very well be optimized through the approaches suggested by the author) whenever the individual experiences a reduction in anger. In that formulation, the key is that anger either subsides or does not subside on its own; it cannot be willed away by a decision, at least not genuinely and at all levels (i.e. unconsciously as well as consciously).
Conceptual Application in Professional and Personal Relationships
As it just so happens, many of the topics covered in this reading are demonstrated by the recent occurrences on a radio program that I enjoy. The situation was that a radio producer agreed to allow a station assistant video producer install a camera in his office for use when the radio show host wanted to communicate with the producer during the show. At the time the camera was installed, the radio producer agreed only under the express promise of the assistant video producer that the setup would never be used to embarrass him. As it happened, the radio producer fell asleep at his desk and both the video producer and assistant brought the embarrassing tape to the attention of the radio show host.
After the ensuing arguments and accusations, the video editor acknowledged that he had betrayed the trust of the radio producer and the explicit agreement between his department and the producer and he apologized, unprompted.
The radio producer was angry but did accept the apology. Meanwhile, the assistant video producer continually defended his actions: he questioned whether any explicit promise was ever made; he argued that it should not have applied; and he complained that it was not only his decision. He also apologized but only after considerable haranguing from the entire radio show cast, especially the host. The radio show producer did not accept the apology; instead, he expressed his willingness to continue working together professionally and appropriately with the assistant video producer, but he expressed the position that he no longer trusts him or considers him a personal friend, effectively ending a 20-year friendship.
This reading really put into perspective for me why such a radically different reaction could be appropriate even in response to the same factual source of conflict. I realize that many conflicts are generated more by the actions and statements of the wronging party to the wronged party after the fact. I have resolved to remain aware of the issue in my professional and personal life and to make sure that any damage caused by my mistakes will be limited to whatever damage is directly attributable to the mistake. I will not allow an inappropriate response on my part, after the fact, to magnify the harm of my initial.