Beyond altruism

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, what if there’s a very good, “selfish” reason to get serious about forgiveness? What if we can personally be more and do more in the world if we forgive ourselves, ask forgiveness of others and forgive others?

Could forgiveness and reconciliation possibly be essential to healing our family, community, ethnic, racial, national and international wounds and building a world of harmony acceptance and community? What if seeking and offering forgiveness are major steps toward accepting others, feeling compassion for and loving them?

In Getting to Peace, William Ury suggests that we don’t have to continue to act out “human nature” as we know it, that we can choose to act differently and choose nonviolent resolution of conflict in our families, our neighborhoods and in the world.

Haven’t we been told repeatedly that we have free will?

Do we have to continue to abuse and kill each other, the land, the animals and other living things on our home planet or can we choose and learn to act differently?

Maybe this issue of forgiveness is not about assigning guilt and blame but about examination of conscience, honesty, awareness and personal responsibility. Maybe it’s about admitting that we have all erred and letting go of “he said, she said,” us vs. them and other divisive attitudes.

Maybe it’s about realism and maturity.

A Vision    Imagining a Day of Forgiveness