March 24, 2024

Extending an Olive Branch

An 18" olive tree sapling is shown next to a sitting buddha statue.

What's National Reconciliation Day?

National Reconciliation Day, observed on April 2nd and credited to advice columnist Ann Landers, gives us a day to reflect on the importance of healing and unity with friends or family. It's a day dedicated to promoting understanding, forgiveness, and cooperation among loved ones with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. This day serves as a reminder of the power of reconciliation.

The following words from the National Reconciliation Day website are compelling enough for me to quote them verbatim:  

"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."

The post continues:

"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 Approach Reconciliation

  • Make the first step and make amends. It's not too late. Reach out to that friend or loved one and make a fresh start.
  • If the roles are reversed, accept the "olive branch" when it is offered.

I like the idea of writing a letter or sending an olive tree as an invitation to meet virtually or in person to reconcile. If you'd like to send a tree, we can personalize a message for you. See our selection here:  Olive Trees.

I hope that this is helpful for you or for someone you know. I'm sending good thoughts your way.  - Liz

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