Friday, May 12, 2006

forgiveness

I went to see The Forgiveness Project exhibition on Monday and found it very moving. It made me think, if these people can forgive the enormous hurt done to them, then we can forgive the everyday hurts and slights. Forgiveness is not a cop-out - it doesn't diminish the enormity of the crime, but it starts the process of healing. If we seek revenge, it just perpetuates the cycle of violence; if we can forgive, it starts a process of reconciliation, and perhaps prevents other people suffering the same fate. It can't be easy to forgive - I'm full of admiration for people who have had horrible things done to them and can still bring themselves to forgive the people who did it to them. I don't know how I would react in such circumstances, but I hope I would try to create something out of my suffering.

I highly recommend this exhibition - if it comes anywhere near you, see it. If it doesn't, take a look at the stories on the website.
To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest. It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger. These emotions are all part of being human. You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger. (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Here's a thought though - what are you supposed to do if someone does something, and you forgive them, and then they do it again, and you forgive them, and then the whole process begins again? One can be forgiving, but one doesn't have to remain in the abusive situation.