As the story of Christmas reminds us, at the first Christmas, the angels announced, “Peace on earth, goodwill among men.” In other words, Christmas is a time for forgiveness, reconciliation, and for restoring broken relationships. It is said that, Jesus came to restore people’s broken relationships with God and with one another. That is why the purpose of Christmas must be to make peace, which requires courage, patience, openness, forgiveness and reconciliation. This has never been truer than it is today, given the state of the world in which we all live.
Christmas Time of the Year: Make It a Time for Storytelling
The Storyteller: Anker Grossvater, 1884, Museum of Art of Bern
As it has been said, Storytelling has the capacity to touch our deepest emotions and it can allow us to peer at beauty. We glance at our own creativity and breathe our own thoughts. But more than that: Storytelling is also a wonderful path to set ourselves free, by opening our hearts to others and letting them in; becoming one with one another.
Because, after all, as many have reminded us, the best way to know truth, wisdom or beauty is to try to express it and share it with others.
I firmly believe that storytelling- opening our hearts to others- should be instrumental in enhancing inclusion, social justice, cultural life, and improving physical and emotional health at the individual, local, national and international levels.
So this Christmas have a story ready to share with all those around you. Open your heart to them and let them in, and watch how your friendship grows stronger and deeper.
Compassion and empathy grow from the seeds of understanding.
To develop understanding we need to develop our capacity to reflect...
And to reflect we will need to be able to remember. And to remember we will need to forgive. And to forgive we need to be able to reconcile. Thus, this is the path to transforming conflicts, bringing peace with justice and building a better world: compassion, empathy, reflection, rememberance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
These are the values I learnt from the “Story of Coventry and Coventry Cathedral” which is my Christmas Story to tell:
Photo: Anne Mofid
“Father, Forgive” - these two words which I discovered at the ruins of Coventry Cathedral in 1973 changed the course of my life.
This is the story I must tell at this Christmas time:
Coventry and I: The story of a boy from Iran
Who became a man in Coventry
Please read my story:
“No matter how dark the night, morning always comes. And our journey begins anew.”- Anonymous
For those who want a fresh start for the new year, beginning with forgiveness will make it easier to keep those resolutions.
Nelson Mandela offered his philosophy of forgiveness after 27 years in prison. His words hold true for all:
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
We should declare 2016 as “The Year of Global Forgiveness”. Out of great crises, humanity has always borne beautiful visions. In 2016 we should all be guided by “Forgiveness and Reconciliation” to build the better world we are all hoping for.
With excitement for all we will do together in the years to come,