Reconciliation: A Calling

As human beings we have the capacity both to knit ourselves together into supportive and effective communities and also to unravel what we have created, sometimes with chilling results.

We share a common humanity, and at the same time we have distinct personal and community histories and cultural and religious identities. We have the capacity both for vibrant creativity and to build barriers that include some and exclude others.

I have a growing interest in the ways in which some communities can live together in the midst of significant cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, and others are stressed by it, to the point of exclusion and violence.

I volunteered recently with a global organization which brings together civic leaders of ‘contested spaces’ — cities in which these tensions have led to violence, paramilitary activity and the breakdown of civil society to varying degrees.

I am also in the process of being trained in a methodology of reconciliation that seems to be transferable into different contexts.

I have two hopes:

  • to bring my growing awareness of reconciliation skills into all situations into which I am called.
  • to invite others to join me on a quest to discover ‘what works?’ in the painstaking process of community reconciliation.