Non-violence is the natural outgrowth of the law of forgiveness and love. Paramhansa Yogananda
Forgiveness is the might of the mighty. Mohandas Gandhi
I come to this day’s post with hope that my country is shifting its foreign policy focus away from the tolls of war and toward peace. My thoughts come in the wake of the energy of children visiting here at Dragonfly House this week and the energy of innocence that they live in, in awareness of the anniversary tomorrow of ‘9/11’, and in gratitude for the brave world leaders who endeavor to bring peace via an arms treaty with Iran. They come as well with gratitude for those who work for peace in many ways – moment to moment, day to day.
I wonder what depth of courage would be required in order for forgiveness to become our might, our power, our strength. Rather, what would it take to recognize that in forgiveness, not in weapons, is where true strength lies?
My truth in this moment is that I don’t know. It’s easy to talk of peace and forgiveness from afar, from my ‘ivory tower’ nestled in the peaceful woods of the Rocky Mountains. It’s easy to be for peace from this place.
But what if I had been more directly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001? What if I were facing a violent threat in this moment? Would have the courage to stand in forgiveness of the ones committing this act?
My experience of forgiveness in life is of less violent events than these. And, forgiveness didn’t come in the moment. I needed time to get to the place where I could forgive. I needed to experience anger, indignation, and a sense that I needed to fight back. I needed to understand that ‘fighting back’ had no return and that there was no getting even.
Even though I’ve had that experience, I doubt that I have the capacity bring forgiveness forward instantly. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering, from dreaming ‘what if I did?’ Indeed, it propels me to wonder what if we all had the ‘courage of forgiveness’? What if world leaders engaged in conversation, negotiation, leadership from this ‘might’ not the might of the sword? What if …?