Learn about Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Global Forgiveness Challenge and how you can get involved.
Delighted to Support Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge
We’re humbled to bring you this interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu about their new Global Forgiveness Challenge as well as HumanJourney.com, a platform for transformational ideas that Archbishop Tutu is co-founding with book and media creator Doug Abrams. WordPress.com is delighted to be a partner in this initiative.
What is the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge?
The Forgiveness Challenge is a free 30-day online program developed to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life.
How does the Forgiveness Challenge work?
Each day, participants receive an email from us that directs them to a new post on the website that presents an important insight into forgiveness and that offers them a daily challenge on the path to forgiveness.
How can one take part the challenge?
It is very easy — go to the website at forgivenesschallenge.com and sign up! Then starting on May 4th, we will send you an email each day inviting you to come to the website for that day’s guidance. Each day will take as little as fifteen minutes. The challenge lasts for 30 days.
How are you able to make the challenge available free of charge?
The Forgiveness Challenge is being generously supported by donors and partners. Pam Omidyar of the Omidyar Network and wife of eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar is our primary funder and we have amazing partners like WordPress.com VIP — yes, we could not have done it without you and many others like MailChimp, Facebook, and Google+. We really can’t thank you enough. What a marvelous thing you have created for the world.
Can people join after May 4th?
Yes, while there will be thousands of people who will be starting the Forgiveness Challenge on May 4th, it is designed for people to be able to start whenever they are wanting to learn to forgive (or to be forgiven).
The Forgiveness Challenge is based on your newest work, The Book of Forgiving. What inspired you to write the book?
Over the years since I (Desmond) was the Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, people have asked me, “how do I forgive?” The Book of Forgiving is the answer to that question, guiding people along a universal process that my daughter and I call The Fourfold Path of Forgiveness.
What is the Fourfold Path of Forgiveness?
We begin by telling the story of what happened, then we name the hurt of how it affected us, then we grant forgiveness, and finally we either renew or release the relationship. During the Forgiveness Challenge we show everyone how to use these four steps to heal the hurts they have suffered themselves and have caused in others.
Why is it so important for people to forgive?
We know from the growing body of scientific research that forgiveness literally makes us healthier—people who are more forgiving report fewer health and mental problems. By choosing forgiveness instead of conflict we also lessen violence and pain in our lives. When we look at the larger picture we see that when more people make the choice to forgive our families, our communities, our countries, ultimately, the world becomes more peaceful.
You have people from 118 different countries signed up to take the Challenge. How can the Forgiveness Challenge help situations like we see in Ukraine or Syria?
Yes, we have had an amazing outpouring of interest from people everywhere. We have people from all around the world, including those from countries who have been in conflict like Pakistan and India, Russia and Ukraine, Iran and Iraq, and Israel and Palestine.
The opposite of revenge is forgiveness. We have seen in many countries, such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Rwanda, that when real effort is made to work toward forgiveness and reconciliation, lasting peace can result. Of course this is not a magic spell that makes all our problems disappear. Forgiveness is not an airy-fairy thing — it involves real ongoing work and honesty. This is the intention of the Forgiveness Challenge.
The Forgiveness Challenge is part of a new website called HumanJourney.com. What are the goals of HumanJourney?
The goal of HumanJourney is to create and to curate resources — like the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge — that bring guidance from experts all over the world in the areas of our lives that matter most to us — our health, our relationships, our families, our careers. We are creating and gathering transformational media and tools to help people thrive on their individual life journeys so we can all thrive on our collective human journey.
Ubuntu is a core value of HumanJourney.com. Can you share a little a bit about the meaning of Ubuntu and how it relates to the project as a whole?
In South Africa, the word Ubuntu literally means “humanity.” It is the understanding that a person is only a person through other people. In other words, our humanity is bound up in one another, and any tear in the fabric of connection between us must be repaired for us all to be made whole. This interconnectedness is the very root of who we are. Ubuntu is the guiding philosophy of the Human Journey — only when each of us is able to thrive will we all be able to thrive. We each want to live our lives to the fullest, but this can only happen when we are also helping those around us to do the same.
Why is the Forgiveness Challenge the first program of HumanJourney.com?
We have started HumanJourney.com with the Forgiveness Challenge, because forgiveness gives people one of the most important tools to help them move beyond heartache and suffering and into joy and wellbeing. It also is fundamental to building healthy relationships. Forgiveness gives each of us the ability to resolve our own pain and the pain in those around us. It all comes back to Ubuntu. When we encourage people to forgive we help them to recognize that their dignity is bound up in everyone else’s dignity, even those who have harmed them.