Monday, October 28, 2013


Wendell Berry's poem reflects both the interpersonal and international challenge

Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu
reflect the power of truth, forgiveness
and reconciliation in the most
concrete terms in a most difficult
If you are not to become a monster,
you must care what they think.
If you care what they think,

how will you not hate them,
and so become a monster
of the opposite kind? From where then

is love to come--love for your enemy
that is the way of liberty?
From forgiveness. Forgiven, they go

free of you, and you of them;
they are to you as sunlight
on a green branch. You must not

think of them again, except
as monsters like yourself,
pitiable because unforgiving.

from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, Counterpoint, Washington, D.C., 1998

John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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