Preparing to move is a tiresome business, especially when it means having to sort through hundreds of books damaged by damp and make painful decisions about what to try to rescue and what to abandon. It is a relief, therefore, to be able to spend a few moments dwelling on some of today’s news items. The possibility of a pre-emptive strike by Israel against Iran fills me with horror — do we realise what the consequences might be for all of us; the E.U. directive that depriving prisoners of the right to vote is an abuse of human rights suggests a confusion between human rights and civil rights — lazy thinking we cannot challenge at the polls; the IMF’s not-so-veiled exhortation to develop another plan for the economy simply leaves me flat and weary. But amid all this chuntering and gloom, I found something that made me rejoice, a ray of hope, and I found it on Twitter, courtesy of The Church Mouse.
The London Evening Standard has published an article about the mother of a murdered son selling family heirlooms to provide a better life for his killers. You can read it here, and as you do so reflect on the quality of forgiveness that Fatemah Golmakani is showing. It was not enough for her to forgive her son’s killers and bear them no animosity. She has taken the further step of selling things precious to her for their benefit and, possibly most difficult of all, decided that she will engage with them, mentoring them in the hope that their lives may change for the better. There is a lesson there for all of us.