Love and forgiveness are universal values practiced throughout the world. These two elements seem to transcend race, culture, and nationality, making them a central part of what makes us human. Despite this fact, limited research exists on the role of love and forgiveness — and its practical application — in governance structures, particularly when it comes to conflict.
Love and forgiveness can have a transformative effect in conflicts ranging from the interpersonal (such as between two individuals) to much larger and more complex situations within a country or region. Arguably, leaders at all levels can exemplify or build aspects of love and forgiveness into their work, aiding in the advancement towards acceptance, decreased conflict, and ultimately lasting peace within their respective societies.
The Love and Forgiveness Team at the Seton Hall University’ School for Diplomacy and International Relations, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University, and the Fetzer Institute launched this interactive website in December 2013, in order to:
1. Recognize individuals who are exemplars in promoting love and forgiveness;
2. Provide a platform for exchange of ideas and opportunities, and interact with practitioners in the interest of broader application of the learning around exemplars;
3. Offer inspiring stories from governing professionals, towards the practical application and integration of love and forgiveness into governance programming.
There are hundreds of thousands of leaders participating in governance today in the world. Many are public figures who are well known to their localities, but not well known to the greater peacebuilding community. It is our hope that through this project, we can highlight not only the work of well-known exemplars, but also the work of many other individuals at all levels of governance. Please join us in this exciting endeavor by sending us feedback, comments and partaking in the discussions that are being cultivated within this online space.