Reconciliation Essay

1765 words - 7 pages

Reconciliation is stated as “restoration of a state of peace to the relationship, where the entities are at least not harming each other, and can begin to be trusted not to do so in future, which means that revenge is foregone as an option” (Santa-Barbara, 174). This definition is a starting point in understanding reconciliation but does not address the spirit of forgiveness involved. It is important to recognize harms that others have done but it becomes necessary to portray these in a positive and understanding manner. This supplies the persecutor with an image that is not so negative and “monster-like” but also provides for the victim acknowledgement that there has been harm done. For reconciliation to take place, all parties involved must be able to approach one another as though they were family members. They must approach each other with an orientation of goodwill for one another and an open heart desiring to understand the other. It is essential that both parties be open to an unexpected movement of the spirit: apology and forgiveness. Once reconciliation has begun, the long road of rebuilding trust and respect is instituted.

Vern Redekop spoke about orientation being critical to reconciliation. “Smudging” was used as an example of a practice among the “First Peoples.” This exercise uses smoke to symbolically wash the different parts of a persons body and reorient them towards positive goals. This begins with an orientation of being open to see good things and look at the past in the most positive way. Being open to the possibility of peace is crucial to a peace building process. The Handbook puts great emphasis on harm, discovering it and acknowledging it, while Redekop is more concerned with being open to forgiveness. It is important to acknowledge harms but it must be done with positive intentions. When family members fight, harms can easily be turned into weapons. Two brothers playing with a toy is an example of this. The older of the two has a toy which the younger brother wants and the younger brother desiring the toy lashes out. The younger brother did not necessarily do this with the intention of hurting the older brother but in an attempt to get the toy, he scratches his brother. The older boy, instead of discussing the problem and finding a way to share the toy, goes to his mother. The older brother uses the harm to shame the younger brother in front of their mother and gets the toy. The older brother who was hurt has turned that hurt into a weapon against the younger child and this serves to only increase the ill will between them. It is mimetic desires that drove the younger brother to try to attain what the older brother had. When he tried to get the object that he longed for, he caused his brother harm. Instead of being told how he had hurt his brother, so that he could understand why he should not lash out, the younger brother was shamed and a longer lasting resentment begins to form between the brothers. It is important...

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