The point of Reconciliation Day is pretty easy really… to reconcile! 'But what is reconciling?' I hear you ask...
I like the three options provided by Google's dictionary:
1. restore friendly relations between.
"she wanted to be reconciled with her father"
synonyms: settle one's differences, make (one's) peace, make up, kiss and make up, bury the hatchet, declare a truce.
3. cause to co-exist in harmony; make or show to be compatible.
"a landscape in which inner and outer vision were reconciled"
synonyms: make compatible, haronize, square, make congruent, balance
When you examine these definitions of reconciliation it becomes pretty clear that this is one public holiday we need to keep on the South African calendar and a nation-building concept that requires re-examination each year.
For each year we engage in thousands of human interactions, some of which will undoubtedly lead to misunderstandings, hurt and hostility. Wherever possible, to move forward, there will need to be those visionaries (in our families, schools, work places and communities) who are able to make right, to write off prior debts, to forgive, to restore friendly relations and to achieve understanding…
The first step in reconciliation is undoubtedly listening which brings understanding and then moving towards another in the opposite spirit. You come in anger but I offer kindness. You come to defend, but I offer acceptance.
How wonderful to have a day to restore friendly relations and actively work towards peaceful co-existence. Perhaps reconciliation is the best festive season gift you can give yourself or another.
Is there someone you need to reconcile with? Or some group? Why not use today to offer an olive branch and do your bit so we can all continue to be Proudly South African.