Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.
— Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1953 inaugural address
Lots of people are already working to make this idea a reality.
A Web search for “Day of Forgiveness” produces scores of links to websites dealing with forgiveness. Many are from traditional religions that annually celebrate days of forgiveness. Some are research sites that reflect the depth of investigation to which this issue has been subjected. The website of the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance offers ambitious plans for an International Day of Forgiveness to be celebrated in every country during or before 2010.
And so, when many people already have this idea and are constructively working to manifest it, why am I bothering to revise old words and compose new ones to be uploaded to this website?
Well, for one thing, the vision is not yet manifested. The world — the whole world — has yet to celebrate and honor this day, this idea, this principle. To borrow an analogy from chemistry, perhaps one more grain of salt must be dropped into what appears to be clear water. When the solution becomes supersaturated, a wondrous crystal suddenly coalesces on the surface.
For another, I sense that a truly Global Day of Forgiveness and Reconciliation will grow organically, neither unilaterally from some top-down initiative with the aura of authority, like a UN declaration or a papal decree, nor exclusively through a grassroots evolution (with its invaluable buy-in at every stage of its development), one village, one neighborhood, one town, one city at a time.
Possibly, it will materialize over a number of years, developing and building on the synergy and creativity of a wide range of activities around the planet, including local grassroots events, major national and international acts of heads of state or churches, the work of the various truth and reconciliation committees, and the Day of Forgiveness observances of most of the world’s mature religions.