Forgiving others

Our lives are fairly comfortable; we consume the pain and hate served up on television and talk vaguely about human rights – in theory. But when pain and injustice cross our own threshold, we are devastated, we lose our humanity. A murder and an abduction have each focused attention on two people who overcame pain and took an ethical stance – one was the father of Doujon Zammit, who hours after the tragic death of his son did not launch into curses or accusations. On the contrary, he found the courage to say a few words of comfort, words that were a solace for Greeks, for their country, the very place his son died, a victim of a loutish tourism industry and of fate. This same father then found the courage to donate his son’s organs to patients waiting for a new lease on life. The tragedy devastated that father but did not hurt his humanity; his moral core was not enough to ease his pain but it allowed life to go on. It was life that Oliver Zammit paid tribute to, the lost life of his own son. We thank him for that. Two days ago, the wife of kidnapped businessman Giorgos Mylonas had this to say about her husband’s abductors: «I don’t feel any hate. These people are living in hell. We have emerged from that hell and returned to the paradise we had before. I forgive them. I don’t hold anything against them because they weren’t aware of what they were doing.» The words of Nelly Mylona and Oliver Zammit echo the words of Christ on the Cross: «Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.» Forgiveness, understanding and sympathy, all these are the things that comprise that moral core that saves us from devastation and lets us go on as social, moral beings. Human beings.