NOTE: I wrote the following as we approached the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. My vision at the time was to launch a National Forgiveness Movement, with 9/11 becoming a National Day of Forgiveness. A website was created called Forgivethem.org (for those of you who have noticed that in the back of the PDF).
Other things have happened in my life and the world since this was written, but on today, the eighth anniversary of 9/11, much of it still rings true. Thus I share it with you. Our world is in pain. Forgiveness is a good place to start. — LES
So it hit me last fall right around my birthday . . . which happens to be two days before September 11, a day which shall, as they say, “live in infamy.” And I'm thinking to myself that the wound that's still aching from that day will be reopened every year, with varying degrees of memory and pain. Reliving the same horrible day over and over and over again.
Since then, the U.S. has launched “a global war on terror,” which has got to be the most bass ackward war ever launched. I'm not going to get into the politics of it, but my reason for calling the “War on Terror” a “traveshamockery” is quite simply that WAR BREEDS TERROR. Name for me one time — just ONCE — that WAR didn't terrify somebody, somewhere. What this war is unwisely doing is creating terror in the hearts of people around the world, which can only breed more terrorists. It's a classic case of fighting fire with fire — somebody may actually win, but before not the whole damn house burns down.
Out of all of this, an idea hit me. It's too big for me to claim credit for . . . I defer to the Higher Power, which you can call whatever you want. And the idea is quite simply this:
Forgive Everyone For Everything.
Forgive Al-Qaeda. Forgive the 9/11 terrorists. Forgive Saddam, North Korea, Iran . . . Forgive the Republicans and Democrats . . . Forgive your Ex, your baby's momma, that guy who mugged you . . . EVERYBODY. FOR EVERYTHING. I'll explain HOW to forgive later, but quickly on the WHY.
Why? Simply because holding onto anger, fear, resentment, hatred . . . if you spend all your time and energy
consumed with these emotions, THEY WILL KILL YOU. In its purest form, forgiveness is VERY SELFISH. It's something YOU do FOR YOURSELF. While others may benefit from it, it's mostly FOR YOU. Obviously, we can go deeper into this, and we will as this movement gets going.
We live in a society where FEAR is CONTINUOUSLY pumped into our lives . . . From the war on terror to identity theft to Social Security. When you have this many people afraid at one time, it's a recipe for disaster. Fear turns to hatred, hatred turns to rage. Rage and weapons of mass destruction
DO NOT MIX.
For WAR and FIGHTING to stop, somebody has to stop swinging at each other. One way is to beat the other guy into submission. That's NOT WORKING so far. So we have to try SOMETHING else. Why not forgiveness?
I'm not talking about forgetting valuable lessons learned. I'm not saying to ignore precautions. I'm saying you release the emotional attachment to however it was you were wronged.
As corny as it sounds, what the world really does need now is LOVE. And it starts with FORGIVENESS.
Originally, the idea of a National Day of Forgiveness was what hit me. I looked into booking the Smithsonian Mall for 9/11/05, but instead, I'm getting married that weekend. Yet, I still have a vision that hundreds of thousands of people with gather in a spirit of forgiveness.
In the meantime, the movement starts HERE. Post your thoughts and ideas. Let's create a better world through FORGIVENESS.