NATIONAL RECONCILIATION DAY
National Reconciliation Day on April 2nd each year urges us to repair relationships we have damaged through words or actions. While many different “Days of Reconciliation” are held worldwide, this specific observance takes place on April 2nd.
We all know of a relationship where a misunderstanding caused friction. Eventually, or suddenly the relationship was destroyed. Time passes, and before long, years pass, and not two words have been spoken between the two people. They may be siblings or parent and child. Childhood friendships dissolve in an instant over angry words. Friends often immediately regret the cause of the quarrel but don’t know how to start over.
This day aims to patch up relationships. Misunderstandings, unintended words or actions, and simply an unforgiven mistake can tear apart relationships. Over time, feelings of resentment, bitterness, and anger cause more than the loss of friendship. These feelings add to health problems and also infect other relationships in our lives.
The act of reconciliation requires some giving to achieve a peaceful balance. Someone must make the first move to break down the barriers that have been built. And while forgiveness may be a part of the conversation, it isn’t necessarily a requirement.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalReconciliationDay
- Take that step and make amends.
- It’s not too late. Reach out to that friend or loved one and make a fresh start.
- Accept the olive branch when it is offered.
- Share your experiences of reconciliation.
- Use #ReconciliationDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION DAY HISTORY
Our research has found several references to Reconciliation Day throughout the year. However, many give credit to newspaper columnist Ann Landers, who in 1989, in response to one of her reader’s letters, began annually promoting April 2nd as Reconciliation Day. She encouraged her readers to repair their broken relationships and dedicated each April 2nd column to letters concerning just such relationships.
Q. How does one reconcile with another?
A. It may not seem like an easy task. Fear and bitterness often prevent us from taking the necessary steps. One of the best ways can be by sending an invitation for coffee. Choose a neutral place to talk. Sometimes it takes an apology but don’t expect one. It’s more important to try to repair the relationship than to dredge up history.
Q. What gets in the way of reconciliation?
A. There are many reasons why reconciliation fails. Some of them include:
- Lack of forgiveness
- Lack of perspective
- Living in the past