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What is the significance

Page history last edited by Forgive To Give Project 12 years ago

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By creating a global network of Gardens of Forgiveness, we hope to offer venues around the world where individuals and communities can reflect on the hurts and horrors that befall us as human beings, and then choose to make the world a better place by releasing anger and grievances and not reciprocating violence with violence.

 

Gardens of Forgiveness will offer permanent and poignant reminders that there are always alternatives to violence, and forgiveness is a most powerful strategy for healing, conflict transformation, and peacemaking.

 

We understand forgiveness to mean the ability to release resentment and hostility after a period of mourning and grief. We understand that forgiveness never condones violence nor is it a substitute for the search for justice, nor does it demand reconciliation with those who have injured us. We understand that each of us struggles to know what to do when cruelty is imposed upon us. There is no easy answer.

 

And yet, without providing spaces to sit in peace and contemplate the horrors of unmerited violence and the possibility of offering forgiveness, we are concerned that revenge and retribution will dominate the conversation. Forgiveness is one of the steps toward healing that will lead to a peaceful future. Forgiveness is a means through which we create the future—a future free of repaying violence for violence and pursuing the desire for revenge. We want to heal the past and create the future—one Garden of Forgiveness at a time.

 

The first Garden of Forgiveness is being created in Beirut, Lebanon where over 100,00 people were killed during their civil war. The courageous spirit of the Lebanese people inspires us in our endeavor. In the work of forgiveness, we acknowledge that WHEN ONE SUFFERS VIOLENCE, WE ARE ALL DIMINISHED. It is the Zulu concept of "Ubuntu": "I am because we are."

 

Hans Dorn, world-renowned landscape architect responsible for creating a garden for Vaclav Havel, among others, offered us his heartfelt reflections on the concept of 'Gardens of Forgiveness':

Hans Dorn.pdf

 

Watch Rev. Lyndon Harris and Dr. Fred Luskin discuss the importance of forgiveness (viewing requires registration through the Institute of Noetic Science's "Shift in Action"):

http://www.shiftinaction.com/discover/videos/lyndon_harris/the_path_of_forgiveness

 

Transcript from interview from above "Shift in Action" interview:

http://www.shiftinaction.com/discover/transcripts/lyndon_harris_and_fred_luskin/forgiveness_part_1

 

In answer to the question posed by Our Voices Together, "What have you done since 9/11/01 to build a safer, more compassionate world?", I wrote the following:

 

By: ourvoicestogether on September 11, 2007

at 12:57 pm

 

From Carly Ritter:

 

I became involved with an organization called The Garden of Forgiveness, (http://www.gofnyc.org)which seeks to teach forgiveness as a strategy for healing and conflict transformation. To break the endless cycle of violence and revenge, to achieve a lasting peace, there must be forgiveness: an intentional decision not to repay violence with violence. Forgiveness does not mean we condone horrific actions, and we must still protect ourselves and work in every way to eliminate terrorism. So we educate about this strategy for peacemaking, and plant gardens of forgiveness–physical spaces where people can reflect on their role in creating a peaceful world through the power of forgiveness.

http://ourvoicestogether.wordpress.com/2007/09/11/six-years-later-a-challenge-to-ordinary-citizens-to-become-part-of-counterterrorism/

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