fortunate to live in the Information Age. But information alone is not enough. South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is engaged in an amazing reversal of traditional justice by offering amnesty in exchange for truth. When used wisely, forgiveness is a very powerful force that appeals to the best in us all.

Remember when a small boy fell into a zoo's gorilla enclosure? A female gorilla carried the unconscious boy to a door so zookeepers could remove him safely. Instead of taking her revenge on the humans who had entrapped her, she chose to help. Millions watching on television were deeply touched by the animal's actions.

Remember the American family whose son was murdered by a gunman in Italy? Instead of condemning the country for an action of one of its citizens, or crying for revenge, the family donated their son's organs to Italian children and created an outpouring of love and support so powerful it revolutionized organ donation practices in that country and will undoubtedly save the lives of many.

If South African justice can successfully tap this force for reconciliation, its people may teach us all a lesson about justice.

A CD-ROM version of the commission's report is available online.


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Wayne Hanson  | 

Wayne E. Hanson served as a writer and editor with e.Republic from 1989 to 2013, having worked for several business units including Government Technology magazine, the Center for Digital Government, Governing, and Digital Communities. Hanson was a juror from 1999 to 2004 with the Stockholm Challenge and Global Junior Challenge competitions in information technology and education.