So, this post is a bit on the heavy side, but I reckon that if you follow through with the challenge I’m about to give you, you’ll find it to be quite a beautiful, maybe even a healing, post.
I have a challenge for you. It’s very simple. I want you to read this post, and then watch an 80 minute documentary. That’s all. And then we’ll see what happens.
Many years ago my wife and I had a beautiful little boy. We named him Cody. He died. It was the most horrific experience and one that has left us both permanently scarred (but slowly healing). My wife has written about it beautifully in her blog, with the final issue she addresses being that of forgiveness. You can read his story here.
So you see, we know a little bit about this subject.
After our son died, an official report was written which stated unequivocally that had proper care been given to Cody, he would not have died. The report also went on to say that I, Cody’s father, had contributed to his death, simply by naively following the instructions of the health professional caring for him at the time. Those words, that clear statement that I had contributed to my son’s death, have haunted me since that time.
The other day I was in the car driving through Sydney when I heard James Valentine talking to the makers of an amazing documentary called, “Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness.” You can listen to the audio from the radio show here if you like. James Valentine is typically a fairly funny bloke, not really inclined to do a story like this, but he handled it beautifully.
So that night I watched the documentary online and was profoundly moved. Their stories made mine seem small and insignificant. And I defy anyone to watch it and not be significantly impacted.
“Beyond Right & Wrong looks at areas of conflict around the world and asks what it takes to forgive, and what it takes to ask for forgiveness under the most difficult of circumstances. Paired personal interviews of aggressors and victims from Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Israel, and Palestine, BEYOND RIGHT AND WRONG examines anger, understanding, remorse, tolerance, and sometimes clemency. The survivors’ stories are haunting and inspiring, and the film is a meditation on justice and its role in national and personal healing.”
One thing that I realised through watching it is that I have never forgiven myself for what happened to my son. I’ve forgiven the person who was found responsible for his death, but not myself. So I’m working on it.
Today, I challenge every one of you to find the time, a mere 80 minutes out of your week, to watch this documentary. You can watch it for free online, and in doing so, Operation Kids and Share the Mic donate 50 cents to a charity on your behalf (yes, it’s true, it’s not a Facebook scam).
So please, find the time this week to watch this incredible documentary. The world will be a better place should you take me up on this challenge, because in reality, each of us really can make a difference. Forget politics and conflicts, religion and fanaticism, it all comes down to you and me and our commitment to do what we know is right. That’s what makes the world a better place.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”― Margaret Mead