File Size: 3127 KB
Print Length: 306 pages
Publisher: Image (February 4, 2009)
Publication Date: February 4, 2009
In 1995, annually after the racediskrimination had ended, Desmond Tutu was appointed as leader of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) by Leader Nelson Mandela. This commission rate had the mandate to "provide as complete a picture as possible of the gross human legal rights violations that happened" (page 91) between 1960 and 1994. As one could image this was a daunting task for numerous sorts reason, not the least of the the commission only experienced two years to complete the task. Tutu's guide "No Future Without Forgiveness", published in 1999, is a look back over time of the commission, trying to describe some of their actions as well as to promote the power of forgiveness in breaking the cycle of violence.
For this end, Tutu starts off the book with a few chapters going through the cultural background of South Africa during the apartheid years. Work was given to the emotions and worldview of the black, colored and Indian members of South Africa sociality as their voices have normally been squelched. After laying the ground work, Tutu goes on to explains why and how South Africa decided after launching the TRC in the first place. Regarding example, why did the newly elected black Africa government choose to offer amnesty rather than pursuing legal charges like in Nuremberg (War World II's war criminal court)?
Following this discourse on why the TRC method was chosen, Tutu embarks on one of the better sections of the entire book. Specifically, he answers the question of justice in light of the amnesty being offered: "Are the miscreants not going almost scot-fee, since all they must do is give a full amount of all the materials facts relating to the offense? " (page 50). Drawing on both his heritage as an African and his biblical training as a local clergy member, Tutu weaves an agreement showing how true justice is more than simply punishing someone for the incorrect they committed. It is about "ubuntu", the "healing of breaches, the redress of imbalances, the restoration of broken relationships, a wanting to rehabilitate both the victims and the criminal, who should be given the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community he's injured by his offense" (page 55).
After explaining the why's and how's of the TRC, Tutu spends the majority of the guide telling the stories of the commission. Stories about some of the most horrible human rights offences in world; crimes committed across a nation with the simple goal of making one racial group more powerful and rich than all the others. Inside an interesting twist, these shocking stories serve as a turning point in the book as they are along with some of the most powerful tales of forgiveness known to history. Fathers who reduce the men who tortured murdered their children; family members who forgave those who killed and burned themselves while holding party alongside the burning corpse. The particular combined natures of these stories serve to both describe the specific situation more completely as well as to make the reader's personal grudges appear petty and dumb.
To that conclusion, Tutu spends the last chapter elaborating on the concept of forgiveness and the freedom that comes from forgiveness. His wish is that individuals will understand the power of forgiveness and apply it both to their private lives and in their society. Since he states on-page 279, "true forgiveness works with the past, all of the past, to help make the future possible... we have to acknowledge that what we do we do for generation past, present, and yet to come. That is why is a community a community or a woman a people - for better or worse. "
To conclude, Desmond Tutu's book "No Future Without Forgiveness" is a great exploration into the idea of forgiveness while bring to light a few of the why's and how's of the South Africa Reality and Reconciliation Commission. Tutu does a great job a highlighting both the successes and failures of the TRC while keeping the overall message consistent. It is definitely a guide to be read throughout the world, especially within the church as it helps put feet to Jesus' commandment to love and bless one's opponents (Matthew 5: 44 and Luke 6: 27-28)., Desmond Tutu has been in the middle of extreme tensions in re-ordering authorities and communal life. He has seen and observed some of the most atrocious deeds that can be dealt out by devious officials and people. Through it all he's insisted after the need for openess and trust between even the most partisan and hurtful perpetrators of injustice. Forgivenss in the political/social realm has principles underlying it that can be fruitfully applied by individuals in their associations, as well. The nature of forgiveness is critical for those to understand if they are to live together on this planet., Desmond Tutu is simply a excellent man. I had the opportunity to meet him several years ago and didn't really appreciate at the time what kind of work he'd done. I read this to fully be familiar with idea of forgiveness which is often seen as a weakness. He lays out there in clear words how forgiveness cannot be a weakness because it is harder to do than revenge. It really is harder to keep someone elses actions from defining and confining you the associated with your life than to give in to them and take action after the instinct to hurt your perpetrators again. The fact that these eye-witness accounts come from people who could look their assailants in the face and find some humanity after all was said and done is incredible and humbling. I actually would recommend this read for anyone and especially for individuals who are trying to find a way to cope with victimhood or perhaps to do self-reflection on your own problems and how you could have hurt others and need to be freed of that defining action., Simply no Future without Forgiveness is a wonderful account of the remarkable work of the South African Reality and Reconciliation Committees. Archbishop Tutu offers an inside view of this work, which he chaired and guided, acknowledging some of the bumps in the road as well since the heart-breaking and heart-healing times of success. He provides " texture" by recounting details of the lived experience, in the own familiar, sometimes amusing, always honest style. He also describes something of how significant the example of the Truth and Reconciliation work has been in other afflicted components of the world--in Rwanda and Ireland, for occasion. Whether a reader is hoping for encouragement and guidance for truth and reconciliation in the personal sphere or hopeful indicators of God's exercising the Reign of justice, peacefulness, and universal reconciliation, the lady will be inspired and grateful.
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