Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. Forgiveness means abandoning your right to pay back the perpetrator in his own coin. – Desmond Tutu
I want to be clear. I will never be one of those people who posts fluffy quotes on pink backgrounds about how “we’re still neighbors” and “can’t we all just get along” in regards to the irreparable damage and pain caused by Donald Trump.
But I do think that today offers the opportunity to be Day One of being our better selves as a country. And I think the people who are angry about the last four years (myself included) have to be the ones who put our anger down first in favor of forgiveness. Not because we’re bigger people and not because others necessarily deserve forgiveness. But because history has repeatedly shown us that path is literally the only way to move forward together.
(To be clear, I know it’s easier for me—a white, Christian, middle-class, American-born, straight woman—to say all of these things. I understand my privilege and know that the righteous anger others feel comes from much more personal places.)
I keep thinking though of the Anne Frank quote this week, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” If we could actually believe that of each other, if we could set aside the name-calling and the generalizations and the hiding behind computer screens, then I think we’d find that people are truly good at heart.
So that’s my hope—to set those things aside. It’s a big one to place on a broken country ravaged by disease and divided along so many lines. But today, as a unifier replaces a divider and a female steps for the first time into the second-highest office, I see proof that great things are possible. And I believe we can move forward—together.