What is Global Forgiveness Day?
The Day to Forgive, the Day to be Forgiven!
Our world is full of unresolved conflicts: internationally, locally and in our homes. It's not just in distant lands where angry thoughts turn to angry words and then angry actions. The nature and history of human experience is intertwined with conflict and resolution. Confrontation is often our best attempt to resolve conflict, yet a more productive and satisfying solution stares us in the face.
In countless cases, justice has rightly extracted a high price from the guilty party. Whether justified or not, at some point, the human condition - when pushed - will want to push back. Our human nature is to respond in kind, or to respond with greater effect and intent (we want revenge). Obviously this type of escalation can not continue unabated.
It is a clear issue that as citizens of this global village we must stand in opposition to tyranny and injustice, to protect the helpless from the abuser and the innocent from the selfish manipulator.
We need to look closer at the situations where misunderstood words and actions lead to wasted time, energy and resources on unnecessary conflict. And most painfully, there are situations where one party is clearly, even admittedly, guilty of an offense against an intimate friend or family member. Much hangs in the balance in the resolution - past, present and future. This all begs the question, " What is the answer ? What is the solution ? Is it possible to restore a sense of ease and intimacy between those involved ?". To answer these questions in a positive way is difficult. But the solution is the same for each question. Forgiveness is the key. Forgiving allows us to lay down the right to claim retribution (openly or inwardly in our hearts and minds). Forgiving allows us to deal with, and then look past all the hurt and consequences of the offense. Forgiving pardons the offender and the offense. This does not mean to forget, in fact, we must remember as a way to remind ourselves that we too might be guilty of the same offense.
Webster's Dictionary defines forgiveness as the ability to excuse or to pardon. Just as a convict, sentenced to die for his crimes, would be overcome with joy and relief when granted a last minute pardon, we too must/need to have the largeness of spirit and character to offer forgiveness. The consequences of the offense may still have painful implications but can now be endured without malice, allowing some good to be salvaged from the situation. It is important to recognize that the ability to forgive does not make us better than the offender, rather, it demonstrates the wisdom of the forgiver in dealing with the issue. To forgive is to offer opportunity for a new beginning to the offender, and provides a process of healing for the victim.
"Forgiveness offers the possibility of two types of peace: peace of mind -- the potential healing of old emotional wounds, and peace with others -- the possibility of new, more gratifying relationships in the future."
Kenneth I. Pargament & Mark S. Rye
Global Forgiveness Day is celebrated on July 7th annually.
Promotion of forgiveness will be done through television, radio, and the paper media as well as word of mouth and personal discussions. Community support and enthusiasm has been overwhelming and we look forward to an exciting time of personal reflection, restored relationships, and inner healing. Community awareness and support is key in advancing the message of forgiveness to the world. Please lend your support and join us in person if possible, but most importantly, in action, by reflecting on relational conflicts in our own lives.
Forgiveness Day Overview: National Forgiveness Day quietly began in 1994. Initially a single banner proclaimed National Forgiveness Day in downtown Victoria, British Columbia. Over time, more and more people began to identify with their personal need to forgive, and be forgiven. As the annual celebration progressed, media attention has increased to regular exposure through all major media (TV, Radio, and Paper). Today, National Forgiveness Day has been renamed Global Forgiveness Day in order to better reflect our desire to see the message spread beyond national borders.
In 1998, the Ethics in Action Awards were held in Vancouver, British Columbia. These Awards recognize organizations and individuals who are innovators and operate in ways that enhance the quality of life of people and communities touched by their work. CECA was nominated to these awards.