Went to an Inaugural lecture put on by The Forgiveness Project today.
The main speaker was Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and he was given the title of, ‘Is Violence Ever Justified?‘. He spent some minutes on on the given title, then shared for a longer time of his, and the South African experience of forgiveness, in and following apartheid…. He had a manner that was very engaging, thought provoking and challenging, and also humourous – which could seem strange to imagine, considering the topic.
Potentially even more provoking, or adding to the challenge of the Archbishop’s words, were the 3 people who were there as panel members: Mary Blewitt, who had 50 of her family killed in the Rwandan Genocide, and works now to support survivors, and also Pat Magee, convicted of planting the 1984 Brighton Bomb and Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry MP who was killed in the bombing. They each had a few mins to share their perspectives on the topic, and respond in some way to the points raised by Desmond Tutu. A few questions from the audience and the panel’s response to those, rounded up the event.
I went away intrigued by what I had heard, challenged, and thoughtful about the topic itself. I also came away with a sense of hope, that a project exists, in order to raise awareness of this topic, and enable such dialogue to happen.