“Having looked the beast in the eye, having asked and received forgiveness … let us shut the door on the past, not to forget it, but to allow it not to imprison us.”
– Desmond Tutu
I recently watched a good film called Red Dust. It wasn’t a great film in terms of award winning cinematography etc. But it was very good because of it’s thought provoking ideas.
It told the story of one man’s involvement in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In 1995, one year after the end of the era of apartheid in South Africa, the Government of National Unity under president Nelson Mandela set up the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Former government security forces wanted assurance that they would never be prosecuted for human rights abuses and violations they committed under the white rule during apartheid.
For seven years the commission travelled through South Africa to help people dealing with violence and human rights abuses that happened in the past. People committing such crimes – including torture and murder – could file an amnesty application to the TRC. In hearings the Amnesty Committee offered amnesty only to those who publicly confessed all their crimes.
I am well aware that it is infinitely healthier to forgive than to hold onto resentment. I have read about forgiveness time and time again, and know that forgiveness helps build healthier relationships, leads to less stress, can help lower blood pressure, leads to relief from depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and can even lower the risk of alcohol and substance abuse. And in theory, I am totally supportive of forgiveness. But watching the movie Red Dust, I had to wonder if I could be as forgiving in practice as I would like to think of myself in theory. When I watched the parents whose son was brutally beaten and killed by a policeman during Apartheid react to the news that that policeman was asking for amnesty for his crime, I wondered could I really forgive such brutality if it were done to my own son? I pray I never have to find out.
This inspiring video is about a woman, Wilma Derksen, a mother who speaks on forgiveness, who embodies forgiveness.
Please let me know your thoughts on this TED Talk video, and any thoughts you have on Forgiveness.
And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.