Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Courage of Forgiveness

Peace comes when you talk to the guy you most hate. And that’s where the courage of a leader comes, because when you sit down with your enemy, you as a leader must already have very considerable confidence from your own constituency.

Forgiveness is saying, "Whatever you may have done, however awful, it does not define you completely. Even if you committed murder, even the most gruesome murder, it doesn’t then turn you into a demon. You still have the capacity to become a saint." Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning. - Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness

Halfway around the globe another Anglican bishop, John Rucyahana, describes a reconciliation project that seems radical and unreal: Rwanda's ex-prisoners building homes for those who not only survived the genocide, but for the family members of those they killed. Laura Waters Hinson powerfully unfolds this story and expands our understanding of what makes us incredibly and oftentimes painfully connected to each other. With Rwanda's courage to transcend its transgressions we find ourselves challenging our own capacity to forgive. As We Forgive triumphantly expresses the highest form of leadership in action.

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