The Healer in Action


Healing Through Apology: The Case of the Canadian Aboriginal Peoples

The systematic approach to “civilizing” the aboriginal peoples and integrating them into the mainstream Canadian society has had far-reaching repercussions that has affected the aboriginal peoples across several generations. The Canadian Government of the 19th century believed that uprooting aboriginal children from their home environments, forcing them to learn English and/or French, discouraging them from speaking their native tongue would go a long way in allowing these children to adopt the “Canadian” ways and adapt better to the mainstream culture.[1] With ...

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The Aarhus Way of Combating Radicalization in Communities

The series of terrorist incidents that affected France and other parts of Europe in 2015, starting with the Charlie Hebdo massacre led governments, security agencies, and people to take notice of a seemingly strange phenomenon – one of “homegrown terrorists”. The Charlie Hebdo massacre started with two gunmen attacking the office of the French satirical weekly magazine – Charlie Hebdo -  for the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover of their November 3, 2011 edition of the magazine. The attack spread across three days from January 7, 2015 to January 9, ...

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“MOSQUES DO THE OPPOSITE OF TERRORISM: THEY DIFFUSE PEACE AND DIALOGUE”…

…said Mohmmed ben Mohammed, a member of the Union of the Islamic Communities in Italy, in the aftermath of the bloody attack on the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Church near Rouen, about 77 miles away from Paris. Many from the Muslim community in the Rouen region, in France, reached out in solidarity to the victims and the family of those affected. It is in times of crisis that we can distinguish our friends from our foes. It is also in times of crisis that the Third Side principles become so very crucial, that the creative people and communities automatically and ...

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The Healer: No Sting of Bitterness

By Ron Borges Boston Globe 8/12/2003 Darryl Stingley didn't say the human thing when he heard the news about Jack Tatum. Instead, he said the right thing, which is what has separated him from a lot of people for a long, long time. Not as long as he's sat in the wheelchair that has been so much a part of his life all these years. Not for 25 years this very day. But for a long time the paralyzed former New England Patriot wide receiver has said the right thing but not for the reasons so many athletes say it today. Not for the wrong reasons. Not just to mouth words ...

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The Healer: Moving an Entire Nation

One person's act of forgiveness can sometimes move an entire nation. On Sunday, November 8, 1987, Gordon Wilson and his twenty-year-old daughter Marie were laying a wreath for the war dead at Enniskillen in Northern Ireland when a bomb exploded. Wilson lay buried under several feet of rubble, fumbling for his glasses, his shoulder dislocated. His daughter lay beside him dying. Later that evening, in an interview with the BBC, Wilson described with anguish his last conversation with his daughter and his feelings toward her killers: "She held my hand tightly, and ...

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The Healer: The Power of an Apology

"I was part of a surgical team which made a mistake," the physican recounted, "and we lost a child. Everyone froze and said nothing, fearful of the legal liability. I was in shock and didn't know what to say. I just went up to the child's mother and told her how very sorry I was." Three years later, the malpractice lawsuit finally came to court. Our lawyer just couldn't understand why I wasn't named when everyone else on the surgical team was. He asked me and I didn't know. Finally he couldn't contain his curiosity anymore so, during a deposition, he asked the child's ...

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The Healer: Replacing Road Rage

One day on a four-lane highway a senior executive failed to notice a driver behind him trying to pass. The frustrated driver finally passed on the right, blared his horn, and made an insulting gesture. The executive became enraged, sped up, and began to overtake the other car on the right. As he was passing it, he rolled open his window to shout a response; the other driver did the same. As the executive looked at the other driver, suddenly the words popped out, "I'm sorry!" The other driver was speechless, then he too replied, "I'm sorry!" Each ended up motioning the ...

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The Healer: Forgiving a Torturer

By Susan Collin Marks One Thursday afternoon in October 1992, I witnessed forgiveness in action. I was working on the South African National Peace Accord, and I had organized a workshop in Cape Town for the police and a number of civil and human rights NGOs to clear lines of communication between the two groups. It was two-and-a-half years since the historic release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison. South Africa was groping its way towards a new order, trying to weave together a highly diverse society that had been methodically torn asunder by centuries of ...

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The Healer: Holding People Accountable in Order to Move Forward

The "Movement of Mothers from the Enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa" was established in 1998. In this government-independent Bosnian organization, headquartered in Sarajevo, more than 10,000 women are united together. They survived, severely traumatized, the collapse of the former UN Protection Zone in Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnia on July 11, 1995. Most of the mothers lost their male relatives: 10,701 Bosnians disappeared according to the movement since the entry of Serbian troops. Among those missing were 570 women and more than 1,000 infants and children. The majority of ...

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