Most people who know me would say I am an Ambassador for Forgiveness. Anything pertaining to the subject of forgiveness and the importance of forgiving attracts my attention. In 2012 Maiko Maya and The Circle of Charities Foundation presented me with the “Mandela Award for Forgiveness,” it humbled me to the point where I looked deep inside of myself to make sure I was willing to stay committed to the practice of forgiveness for the rest of my life. I have been given several awards over my lifetime and I’ve appreciated each of them, but the Mandela Award for Forgiveness holds a special place in my heart. I truly believe if more people practiced the art of forgiveness our world would be a better place.
There are people and organizations across the globe that center their mission around forgiveness or at least have a tenet of forgiveness included. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu wrote, “The Book of Forgiving,” explaining how all of us are capable of healing and transforming our lives through forgiveness. Archbishop Tutu is not only a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but he has dedicated his life to explaining how there will be no future without forgiveness. I believe this principle or philosophy to be true. We could all learn a lesson or two if we would be willing to study what he has to say about the subject.
It surprised me as I was digging around to find out more about Global Forgiveness Day. There are several days that hold the theme of forgiveness. Both August 27th and July 7th hold the title of Global Forgiveness Day and the last Saturday in October is considered National Forgiveness Day. It is my opinion that we can’t have enough of these days to remind us of how important it is for us to pause and consider how we could change the world if we are willing to forgive others. This can be true whether it is on the mainstage of life, someone in our family or even ourselves. Getting rid of the pain, anger, bitterness and illnesses that are caused by the root of unforgiveness is enough to make us all want to try.
August 27th Global Forgiveness Day began in 1994 by the Christian Embassy of Christ’s Ambassadors in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and July 7th was originally promoted as an element of personal health by forgiving others and oneself. It has been researched and documented by the University of Wisconsin that people who forgive have better health. As we can see forgiveness has a way of freeing not only someone else but can change our own lives for the better. This opens the door of hope for the next generation, but we must oftentimes put our pride aside for the greater good. This can be a challenge.
In honor of Global Forgiveness Day, I would like to encourage all of us to think about the passage from the Book of Forgiveness. I believe if we can get these truths embedded into our soul, we have a chance for a better world. “Forgiveness does not relieve someone of responsibility for what they have done. Forgiveness does not erase accountability. It is not about turning a blind eye or even turning the other cheek. It is not about letting someone off the hook or saying it is okay to do something monstrous. Forgiveness is simply about understanding that every one of us is both inherently good and inherently flawed. Within every hopeless situation and every seemingly hopeless person lies the possibility of transformation.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Let’s try and practice acts of forgiveness in our own gardens and see what good can grow. #Forgiveness
Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!