Those of us whose trade is words do well to remember the relative value of a picture and a thousand words. The front page of the Guardian yesterday (17 April 2014) presented an unforgettable instance of the power this adage can carry.
"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong". This is an epithet attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, said of Nelson Mandela, and central to a Christian understanding of strength as the power of love rather than a love for the kind of power that overwhelms.
In 1987, while travelling on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury to help in negotiating the release of western hostages captured by Hezbollah, Terry Waite was himself taken prisoner. He was held, largely in solitary confinement, for almost five years and was subject to torture and mock executions during the first year of his captivity.
That senior US politician Newt Gingrich tried to be forgiven for his infidelities while using “patriotism” and “overworking” excuses is what leads many to see a usually serious act turning out to have been rather comic, says Martin Marty, reporting on the media response in North America.
To tolerate in the sense of acknowledging that different experiences are likely to produce different outcomes, and that without the experience, we should tread the paths of judgement with great care, is wise and charitable, says Jill Segger. This forbearance is perhaps better perceived as humility than as tolerance.