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I hope you will recognize why I have adopted the description I was given by an American newspaper: an optimistic realist. Through many years and in many lands I have met men and women who have taken on to use their lives to set right wrongs they encountered starting with themselves. It has been my privilege to tell their stories. You may be encouraged by their experiences and pick up ideas and approaches which you can make use of. You might perhaps even like to buy some books!
Let me recommend the FORGIVENESS pages which contain stories related to this subject and its effect in the world. At Reaching out to the other you will find the introduction which I wrote for a French book which refers to what happened in our family that set us off on this journey.
The evidence shows that forgiveness is not just a religious or personal matter but a vital ingredient in sound national and international life.
Assaad Chaftari and Mohieddine Chehab, militia leaders against each other in the Lebanese civil war were invited in January 2013 by IofC Egypt to share their experience. ‘We rejoiced in your revolution,’ said Chehab (left), ‘but we are becoming increasingly worried. Do not make the same mistakes we did. Meet and dialogue together.’ Chaftari said, ‘Eventually, I looked in the mirror and stopped seeing myself as perfect. I saw “the other” in the mirror. He had a name, a life and a family. Like me, he loved Labanon. I had to apologize for what I did.' To read more about the journey of these two men click here.
My brother Gerald, 6, and I, 8, were evacuated to the US in World War II. Like several thousand other British boys and girls we were looked after by American families. I wrote See You After the Duration and many articles about those wartime experiences and am still in touch with the family and schools that took us in. I have also participated in the gathering of the oral history of that period. In this site you can read about this memorable but little known aspect of World War II that changed our lives and gave us a great sense of gratitude to the United States. See Evacuation.