Today we read the following articles: “No Future Without Forgiveness” by Desmond Tutu, “Fifteen Lashes” by Anwar Iqbal and “Sand and Foam” by Khalil Gibran.
One question that we ruminated about today was around the idea of “personal essence” or personal touch that we brought to our work. I realized that I had no one consistent way of expressing myself and that in fact, I often find that I had vastly different ways of expressing my essence across the multitude of disciplines that I work in because the nature of technology and film and the audiences in each are so different. However, upon further prodding, I found that one aspect of consistency I bring to all projects is compassion. I think that this quality allows others to feel safe enough to express their own vulnerabilities and strengths and weaknesses which adds richness to the output of what we create collectively.
In “No Future Without Forgiveness”, Tutu explains how he was able to create a transition from apartheid, given all of the complexities and limitations that existed. He was able to take something so complex and complicated and simplify it enough in order to allow the country to move forward, as gracefully as possible.
While he arrived at his conclusion after weighing other options, he acknowledges that what had occurred was unprecedented in many ways, and he had to think through the many possible scenarios for all parties involved. This article and Tutu’s perspective on the matter forced me to ask many questions about how other countries can use a similar framework when dealing with such complex transitions. For instance, how do we fairly move forward from a social construct in a nation that allows for injustices and human rights violations? I agree with a key line from the article: “To forgive is the best form of human interest”. It seems that without forgiveness, we are only pushed backward or toward neutrality, but never forward.