“Forgiving is not forgetting; it’s actually remembering, remembering and not using your right to hit back. It’s a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don’t want to repeat what happened” The ideas that lie behind Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s quote are his faith in God and the goodness of humanity. In No Future without Forgiveness the reader delves deeper into the spiritual mind of his thoughts on the forgiveness process in a personal and communal manner.
Even though Tutu emphasizes the power of love and forgiveness he focuses on the idea of remembering the past, not to hold a grudge but give future generations the opportunity to grow and learn from mistakes. As he states: “In forgiving, people are not being asked to forget. On the contrary, it is important to remember, so that we should not let such atrocities happen again”. He continues on by saying that we should not condone what happens, but we should not protract the situation. Tutu believes in remembering because it is part of creation, before we fall to sin we must remember our past to change our ways and become closer to God, that true forgiveness is not through the barrel of a gun but the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
As an illustration of Tutu’s faith he speaks openly about the act of forgiving a perpetrator. He remains close to the idea that when someone is seeking forgiveness they become vulnerable to harsh criticism. In seeking forgiveness the perpetrator becomes subject to scrutiny and rejection but if they are willing to expose their wrongdoings they believe there is a future for the relationship. Being true to the past brings acceptance to the present and builds upon that future. He later goes on to state that working towards reconciliation is pushing towards realizing God’s dream for humanity and justice equality.
With forgiveness in mind the reader further examines Tutu’s ideas of community. He explains that a new kind of community must...