Thursday, May 22, 2008

The unforgiven

In I defeat my enemy when I make him my friend, this month's issue of Ode Magazine includes a piece titled "The Unforgiven." The story is true. The cast of characters includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Leslie Belinda of the Tutu Foundation, Donna Hicks of Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and two men identified as Ronnie and Malcom.

Ronnie is a member of the Irish Republic Army (IRA) who spent 25 years in prison for shooting Malcom, a British police officer who prevented Ronnie and his cohorts from setting off a bomb in England and nearly lost his life doing it.

What were these two men doing sitting across each other at a table in a house near Belfast, and why were the Archbishop, Leslie and Donna with them? This meeting was set up and filmed by the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) as part of its attempt to foster understanding and healing between factions of the centuries-old conflict in Ireland. The hope is to end the conflict once and for all.

When you read how Ronnie and Malcom were able to move from extreme discomfort to a standing handshake across the table, and later lunch together in a pub, you'll understand just how possible it is to attain peace and live in harmony. An Ordinary world is within our grasp.

Here again is the link to the article. Read it. You'll be glad you did. "The Unforgiven" is the third story in the set, and the first two are equally compelling.

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