Forgiveness As A Crucial Element

Schadrac Junior Ondongo Bongo

� Copyright 2020 by 
Schadrac Junior Ondongo Bongo

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
                          Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash 

Nature gives us a panoramic view of existence and of life on earth. Through different species that we meet, we can see how our world is full of all kinds of diversities and species according to the environment in which they live. And men are not immune to it.

There are different cultures and different races that govern the existence of man on earth. And all these groups of people of different places, of different times and different spaces have their features which separate them.

And no one who has any awareness of human interaction can deny that there are divisions in society which are antithetical to human progress in general.  

But what would a conversation look like if that was focused on bringing people together as opposed to driving them apart?
And if forgiveness was a crucial element of such a conversation?

First and foremost, forgiveness is the choice that a person makes to forgive another person or group for an offense or something that is illegal or immoral. And forgiveness is intentional and voluntary. When someone forgives someone else, they let go of negative emotions.  

And before talking about bringing people together through forgiveness as a crucial element, we should first know where we are coming from. And what separated us? Because if forgiveness is a crucial element of such a conversation, it means that there has been an underlying problem that led to this separation. For we can't talk about forgiveness without there being something wrong somewhere.

And to understand that and to offer solutions by bringing parties together with forgiveness as the driving force, we should go back to the beginning, to see the origin of this driving apart.  

Judeo-Christian thought explains it clearly.  

The Bible tells us: God created man, and the man created by God was

both man and woman (�before the coming of Eve� read Genesis 1:1-26).  

At the beginning, everything was brought together with the same thought: to worship God.  And after the downfall of our ancestors (Adam and Eve), we kept this idea of coming together among us. And the evidence of that is: All the men in common agreement decided to build a tower called Babel.  

That was the sign both of bringing people together and of their driving apart. Because it's through this work that separation came into the world, that we have had many languages...(read Genesis 11:1-9).  

To bring together means to join two objects together. And bringing together is an act that allows people to get over their differences, their divergences in order to be together. And before all this bringing together, there is work that's done beforehand, and this work begins with forgiveness.  

Through the circumstances of life, it happened that people of one race sold people from other races as slaves. This is what we call the slave trade.  

Because of this practice, there was a gap created between two races in particular included in this event: the dominant race and the dominated race.  

And through the years, there was a separation created between these two races. One claimed to be exploited, and the other needed the latter in order to exploit him.  

These two races were driven apart because of this situation. But in 1807-1808 the slave trade was abolished. The slave trade was the symbol of driving the white race and the black race apart.  

And its abolition was the symbol of a reconciliation between both races. And that reconciliation should necessarily pass through the forgiveness.  

We saw one the biggest slave traders transformed, having a changed life by getting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. That is, he recognized his faults, his sins (chiefly trading slaves), and certainly asked forgiveness of the slaves that he had under his command and got forgiveness from his new master Jesus Christ.  This man was John Newton.  

And because of the forgiveness he received, he wrote through inspiration one of the best songs of all time, Amazing Grace, that brought together all the races of the world.  

In 1948, a system of institutionalized racial segregation started in South Africa and Southwest Africa called apartheid.  

Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary. And because of that, he served twenty-seven years in prison. Once he was out, he preached racial reconciliation. And before bringing all races of South Africa together, there was a process that led to forgiveness, initiated by Mandela and the man he replaced, de Klerk.  

Forgiveness was crucial for the peace and the bringing together of all South Africans, and that led Mandela to become president of South Africa (1994-1999). And forgiveness was the first step to do for bringing together all South Africans.  

It was through internal tensions in general and the question of Berlin (1948-1949) in particular that the division of Germany into two states materialized. On May 13, 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany, a parliamentary democracy, was born. Five months later, in response, the communist German Democratic Republic was established in the east, bounded by the Oder-Neisse border.  

October 3, 1990, was the day of German reunification, after 50 years of partition between East Germany and West Germany. But this date of October 3, 1990, was only the culmination, the formalization of a long process which allowed this reunification. In other words, before reunification, there was reconciliation. And whoever says reconciliation says forgiveness.

We can see that before reunification, West and East Germans forgave each other, which led to reunification.  

According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was lifted up and got a name above every name because he humbled himself and forgave those who persecuted him. And through forgiveness, he succeeded in bringing together every person of all nations, of all races and ethnic groups of the earth who believe or will believe in his name and led them to God the Father.  

And in all conflicts or wars in the world, so that both parties can come together or reach a consensus, there is a step that each must take, which is reconciliation. So, forgiveness is the best revenge, for it is the power that sets people free.

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