Tuesday, February 19, 2019

It is thanks to an idea that has became a reality, that Initiatives and Change of the Quebec City region, welcomed Robert Lalonde on Tuesday, November 13th last year. What else could be said about the man who expressed his wish to see the world at peace? In his book D’encre et de chair (1) (Ink and Flesh), the author wrote: “Your testimonies are the ink my quill needs to bring your stories to life and build peace.” Those are the words Robert used to introduce himself to the contacts he met respectively in Lebanon, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras and Haiti.

In his presentation, Robert Lalonde spoke up and shared with 40 attendants his experience in different cultures, including Lebanon and Haiti. The PowerPoint slideshow was a way for Robert to raise awareness about what happens when people choose forgiveness.

Throughout the evening, Robert shared the touching life stories of youth he had met, who were filled with the hope that offering forgiveness would lead to a better world. He saw locally the impact achieved by the Institut de formation humaine intégrale de Montréal (Montreal’s Institute of Human Integral Training). D’encre et de chair elevates the wisdom delivered at the institute. 

We were lucky to have this journalist/writer with us. Robert saw in Lebanon, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras and Haiti, people who raised their heads and were filled in dignity and resilience even under the worst circumstances. Broken populations were mended and spaces of hope emerged thanks to a collective project. 

Robert’s conference touched all the attendants. Then after a few minutes of silence, the attendants reacted to Robert’s address and he gave them some feedback. The in-depth activity helped us understand that, even in life’s worst circumstances, one can open up to walking down the path of forgiveness.

(1) Robert F Lalonde. D’encre et de chair: voyage chez les bâtisseurs de ponts de paix, Novalis, 2017 (ISBN 978896883431).

Yvon Matte
Quebec City