Wednesday, July 04, 2007

On Forgiveness

"In forgiving, people are not being asked to forget. On the contrary, it is important to remember, so that we should not let such atrocities happen again. Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what has happened seriously and not minimising it; drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens to poison our entire existence. It involves trying to understand the perpetrators and so have empathy, to try to stand in their shoes, and to appreciate the sort of pressures and influences that might have brought them to do what they did.

....Forgiving means abandoning your right to pay back the perpetrator in his own coin, but it is a loss which liberates the victim."

No Future Without Forgiveness, Desmond Tutu