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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Quilting, Love, and Forgiveness

Look at this beautiful collection of 9-patches. The White Rock Group of Peace Philosophy
Centre took the initiative in this Quilting for Peace project, and Kyoko-san is going to put together all these pieces for us. The number "9" symbolizes Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces war and prohibits possession of armed forces. Many of these pieces were contributed by members of Vancouver Save Article 9, Clover Group, and exchange students from Ritsumeikan University. Thank you so much to all who made this happen for us and we really look forward to the final product... again, thank you Kyoko-san.

Last Saturday we watched the documentary film "The Power of Forgiveness." It was an inspiring film that provoked many emotions and thoughts in all who watched it. How do we forgive the unforgivable? How do we accept the most unacceptable? How do we forgive ourselves? Can we achieve justice and forgiveness at the same time? Is forgiveness a proactive decision, or something that just happens when the right timing comes? Elie Wiesel, the author and a Holocaust survivor talks about the Jewish way of forgiving. There are two ways of forgiveness - one that God can give, and one that humans give. When you hurt someone, you can only be forgiven by that person. You ask forgiveness for three times, and if forgiveness is not granted, then the blame will be on the other person. Too often we try to make up for the damage that we cause, but we don't actually ask for forgiveness. Elie Wiesel suggests that it is about time that Germany asked Jewish people for forgiveness. Asking forgiveness takes a lot of courage, maybe more courage than admitting and compensating for the damage itself. It makes you vulnerable. It is a total surrender. You surrender yourself to the person you have hurt. Yet it can potentially empower and heal the both sides.

I am sorry. Please forgive me.

What would the world look like if these words are said without hesitation, and with utmost sincerity where they are most needed?

And it all starts with me.

Love and peace, beyond all understanding,

Satoko

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