The New York Times Magazine is featuring an article with photographs of Rwandans. Each portrait features “a Hutu who was granted pardon by the Tutsi survivor of his crime.” I think these stories of forgiveness can serve as an example to all of us.

The act of forgiveness may not seem like act that benefits oneself. In fact, when one is so wronged, to forgive sometimes seems like an act of self abnegation, especially in the absence of justice, vengeance or some kind of tipping of the scales closer to even. But really, when you truly forgive, even if it is by degrees, you are getting the fuck over yourself. Getting the fuck over your suffering, your wounds, your losses, your former life, your self. Getting the fuck over the fact that because of someone else, because of no good reason, certain things are, and always will be, hurt or dead to you. Getting the fuck over the obscene contingency of life. Forgiveness is no small task.

“The day I thought of asking pardon, I felt unburdened and relieved. I had lost my humanity because of the crime I committed, but now I am like any human being.” – Dominique Ndahimana