The Power of Forgiveness

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The Power of Forgiveness is a movie that goes in depth into horrific acts of terror, violence, and war. Throughout the movie you hear from survivors and victims of such acts. I can appreciate the magnitude of this film, after traveling to Belfast and seeing first-hand the clash of the two religious parties.

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The anger and contempt between the Catholics and Protestants are still there, still on two sides of a wall dividing a city. A religious conflict created by government. It is often said that the people of Belfast are the nicest to travelers but the meanest to their fellow neighbor.

In my many visits to various Amish communities, in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, I can tell what kind of forgiving people the Amish are. Whenever you interact with the Amish in their stores, you can see the kindness in their eyes. It is unfortunate what happened to the Amish in the school shooting, in their loss of family, friends, and neighbors. Filmmaker Martin Doblmeier says, “The word ‘forgiveness’ may be the most provocative word in our culture today. There is an underlying anger in our country that we see regularly in our movies, in the news, even on our highways.”

Culture is to blame for all the hate and anger in the world. The human person considers many acts throughout their day to be an attack. An attack on the world, on their country, on themselves, and on their friendships, just to name a few. In the movie, it talks about the infamous terrorist attack on our country, The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Surprisingly it was not all about the hate towards the terrorists but the hate toward New York City. Three relatives of victims of the attack spoke about their hate of the efforts to bury the remains of all the deceased. The City of New York, after 9/11, took the remains mixed with other debris from the scene and moved it to a local landfill.

During War, it is often said that what is necessary must be done for victory. During the Vietnam War, Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh was a developer of the under privileged. He built villages and within them were schools and medical clinics. The government of North Vietnam discovered Thich Nhat Hanh’s humanitarian work and quickly killed as many villagers as possible. Killing Innocent school children and Buddhist Nuns. Thick Nhat Hanh quickly moved to France to moderate the peace talks, and he developed a portion of France as his center. Every year hundreds of people go for a retreat to Thick Nhat Hanh’s center to learn his teachings of peace, kindness, and forgiveness. Today there are many services for people to cope with anger or hate.

In the last scene of the movie, we learn of Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix. Azim deals with the murder of his son Tarik who was murdered by Ples’s grandson Tony. Azim has learned to take his anger and turn it into forgiveness. Azim honors Tarik with a foundation that promotes forgiveness. Azim and Ples are both ambassadors for the foundation and ambassadors for forgiveness. The extreme proof of Azim’s forgiving power is represented in his forgiveness of Tony in his asking for reduced jail time. When Tony is out of jail, Azim has a job waiting for him.

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