Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why forgiveness is essential

Today I want to share with you an article called "Desmond Tutu Part Of Connecticut Celebration". The event took place at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Here are some excerpts:

During the forum, Tutu discussed how his nation was able to heal and forgive after years of apartheid.

“To forgive is not being altruistic. It's the best form of self-interest,” he said. “When I dehumanize you, I am, in the process, dehumanized.”

Tutu discussed the healing process in South Africa after apartheid and how things could have gone better, but how they could have been much worse. With an overwhelming sense of reason, he talked about the work of fellow South African and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela, and how Mandela's time in jail was necessary in South Africa's healing process.

“In 27 years in jail, Nelson Mandela evolved from an angry young man to (gain) an understanding of the point of view of the other,” he said, calling those 27 years “crucial.”
But what many were taking away from the day's celebration and were discussing once the day's events concluded were Tutu's words before the service.

“In our African culture, there is ... the essence of being human: a person is a person through other persons,” he said. “I need you to be all you can be, so I can be all I can be.”

Because of my years in South Africa, I know the African word for what Archbishop Tutu is saying here. It is ubuntu. I love this word. It basically says that we're all in it together.

And we are.

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