Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.
Tutu's role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Each of us has a deep need to forgive and to be forgiven. After much reflection on the process of forgiveness, Tutu has seen that there are four important steps to healing: Admitting the wrong and acknowledging the harm; Telling one's story and witnessing the anguish; Asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness; and renewing or releasing the relationship. Forgiveness is hard work. Sometimes it even feels like an impossible task. But it is only through walking this fourfold path that Tutu says we can free ourselves of the endless and unyielding cycle of pain and retribution. The Book of Forgiving is both a touchstone and a tool, offering Tutu's wise advice and showing the way to experience forgiveness. Ultimately, forgiving is the only means we have to heal ourselves and our aching world.
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How do I forgive?
Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has witnessed some of the worst crimes people can inflict on others. So wherever he goes, he inevitably gets asked this question. This book is his answer. Writing with his daughter, Mpho, an Anglican priest, they lay out the simple but profound truths about the significance of forgiveness, how it works, why everyone needs to know how to grant it and receive it, and why granting forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves when we have been wronged.
They explain the four-step process of forgiveness—Telling the Story, Naming the Hurt, Granting Forgiveness, and Renewing or Releasing the Relationship—as well as offer meditations, exercises, and prayers to guide the reader along the way.
"With each act of forgiveness, whether small or great, we move toward wholeness," they write. "Forgiveness is how we bring peace to ourselves and our world."About the Author:
Desmond Mpilo Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In 1986 he was elected archbishop of Cape Town, the highest position in the Anglican Church in South Africa. In 1994, after the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, Tutu was appointed as chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate apartheid-era crimes. His policy of forgiveness and reconciliation has become an international example of conflict resolution and a trusted method of postconflict reconstruction. He is currently the chair of The Elders, where he gives vocal defense of human rights and campaigns for the oppressed.
The Reverend Mpho A. Tutu is currently the executive director of The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
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