Let the past be past:

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Posted by TerryS ( on April 25, 2001 at 01:26:14:

> Is it difficult for you to forgive? To let the past be past? It
> is for me. Nearly impossible some-times. I'm a little like the
> elderly Virginian woman who lived to see her beloved Richmond
> occupied by Union troops after the American Civil War. The matron
> was walking down a Richmond street when she tripped over a step
> and fell. A Union soldier courteously helped her up.
> "How very kind of you, young man," she said acidly. "If there is
> a cool spot in hell, I hope you get it."
> Maybe it was still a bit early for her to let go of those
> deep-seated resentments. But angry and bitter lives are never
> happy lives.
> A beautiful legend tells of an African tribe that ritualizes
> forgiveness. When a tribe member acts irresponsibly or unjustly,
> he/she is taken to the center of the village. All work ceases and
> every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large
> circle around the accused. Then the tribe bombards the rejected
> person with affirmations! One at a time, friends and family
> enumerate all the good the individual has done. Every incident,
> every experience that can be recalled with some detail and
> accuracy is recounted. All their positive attributes, strengths
> and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. Finally, the
> tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and
> the outcast is welcomed back into the tribe.
> What a beautiful ritual of restoration! They replace hurt with
> happiness; pain with peace. Once again they are family. The
> rejected one is restored and the village is made whole.
> Paul Boese has said, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but
> it does enlarge the future." As brothers and sisters in our
> global village, is letting go of those resentments really an
> option?
> >From Steve Goodier's PRESCRIPTION FOR PEACE

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