Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Letlapa Mphahlele

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

Essentially political and economic dimensions are no less genuine aspects of reconciliation. This is testified by the fact that some political figures are deservedly awarded prizes for their efforts in reconciliation. In most cases, reconciliation is largely a political agenda. Some governments and political parties adopt it as a policy. This renders it less touching. Forgiveness is a more touching aspect of reconciliation because it is personal. It cuts through the political veil and demolishes the wall of separation. Listening to each other’s viewpoints is critically important to achieve more towards reconciliation.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

Democracy, economic development and the establishment of egalitarian society: these are the desirable conditions beyond a political settlement.

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

Forgiveness implies a break with past prejudices. It means a new beginning on a clean slate. Baggage of history weighs less on the scale of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a fuel on which reconciliation runs. It is the oxygen of reconciliation. However, religious faith is not a precondition to forgiveness. Just because forgiveness is a personal choice, it has got little or nothing to do with a person’s religious beliefs or non-beliefs. The willingness to forgo punishing others, judicially or extra-judicially, creates space for reconciliation and forgiveness. Tit-for-tat, an eye for an eye principle obstructs all pathways leading to forgiveness. The African people have a saying: ‘Nxaye ga e fodise- simply saying I’m sorry doesn’t heal’. Certainly, it’s not what we say, but what we do that will determine us as serious and credible seekers of solutions to problems bedevilling humankind.

4. Il perdono richiede qualche forma di pentimento da parte di coloro a cui il perdono viene offerto? Il perdono ha condizioni o è senza condizioni?

Forgiveness requires some form of repentance on the side of those to whom forgiveness is offered. A woman may forgive a man who raped her once. However, if the act of rape becomes habitual and predictable, then forgiveness under these circumstances amount to complicity in crime. People are forgiven for what they did or failed to do, not for what they are going to do tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The concept of forgiveness in advance may render a poor woman a perpetual victim of rape. Forgiveness is like a road sign, simultaneously warning and instructing and informing us what to do to make road safe for ourselves and other road users. Those to whom forgiveness is given, they are burdened to do something to lend forgiveness a fuller meaning. Simply saying I’m sorry doesn’t heal.
Forgiveness is both conditional and unconditional, depending on the circumstances. If a person slaps you in the face, you may forgive them unconditionally. However, if a person occupies your house, and he pleads with you to forgive him, while making no effort to vacate the house, then forgiveness becomes conditional on him leaving the house. Forgiveness should never be used as a synonym of surrender.
Universal Council on Reconciliation. Suggestions.
Every agenda runs on fuel. Money is the universal fuel to power agendas. Those with money can easily set agenda for those without it. Budget is the starting point. Huge organisations, with immense bureaucracy, are prone to collapse under their own weight. Lean staffs are highly recommended. We reconcile foes, not friends. No one should be too radical, or too conservative, for you to interact with. In conclusion, reconciliation should remain a secular venture, stripped of all faith based assumptions. People may be inspired by their faith to forgive, or not to forgive. The Council should not allow itself to become an inter-denominational or inter-faith forum.

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