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National Reconciliation Day – April 2, 2023

National Reconciliation Day is observed on April 2 every year. It is an opportunity to mend relationships that we may have damaged on purpose or not, through our words or actions. “Forgive and ask for forgiveness” is the resonant message for National Reconciliation Day. It is a day when you have to dump your apprehensions about approaching a person you’ve hurt in the past. Without analyzing whose mistake it was, just take a step toward that person. Where a rash moment can damage relationships, a sincere effort on National Reconciliation Day can repair the damage. The day urges people to heal old wounds by clearing misunderstandings and asking to be forgiven.

History of National Reconciliation Day

You gossiped about your colleague’s failed romance in the office, leading to people perceiving you as disrespectful of the opposite sex. While you were just having fun, your colleague was angry and stopped talking to you. At some stage or other, we all have been guilty of damaging relationships through our words or deeds.

A single act or sentence creates a deep misunderstanding and, before you realize it, results in a gaping fissure in the relationship. Anger and disappointment take over, and soon, the relationship is damaged beyond repair. Days become months and years, and not a single word is exchanged. It could happen between childhood friends, siblings, family members, or even your teammate from the local football team. As time passes, the damage could transcend to your other relationships. Estrangement with your spouse’s family could lead to marital stress. Similarly, problems with your colleague could lead to professional and work-related stress. Slowly, anger turns to bitterness and seeps into your psyche, leaving you a troubled soul.

National Reconciliation Day offers people an opportunity to reconcile relationships and work on past issues. Reach out to the person with whom you were once on good terms and do your part to break down barriers. You may or may not apologize, but it is essential to show a willingness to reconcile. The credit for the Day goes to newspaper columnist Ann Landers. Active in the 1980s, she regularly responded to her readers’ letters. In response to one such letter, she started promoting April 2 as Reconciliation Day. Each year, on the day, she encouraged her readers to mend their broken relationships and dedicated her columns to letters about these relationships.

National Reconciliation Day timeline

1880s
The Civil War Effect

After the civil war, attempts at reconciliation are made between people in the North and South — with mixed success.

1943
Ann Landers is “Born”

Ann Landers, a pen name created by Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist Ruth Crowley, starts in 1943 and is taken over by Esther Pauline "Eppie” Lederer in 1955.

1989
Ann Landers Creates Reconciliation Day

Encouraged by one of her reader's letters, Landers creates April 2 as Reconciliation Day to motivate people to mend broken relationships.

2008 to 2014
The Presidential Appeal

U.S. President Barack Obama makes repeated speeches about racial reconciliation and speaks about the anger of different races towards each other.

National Reconciliation Day FAQs

When is South Africa's day of reconciliation?

December 16 is a significant date in both the Afrikaner and liberation struggle traditions and was renamed this day as the Day of Reconciliation.

What is the significance of April 2?

It is a day set apart to heal relationships through the intentional act of reconciling with loved ones.

What is reconciliation, in simple words?

It is the act of making peace for the sake of improved relationships.

How to Observe National Reconciliation Day

  1. Spread on social media

    Post on social media with #ReconciliationDay to spread the message of love and forgiveness. Let the whole world sink their differences and come together on the Day.

  2. Patch up those broken relationships

    If you have an estranged friend or family member, reach out to say that you want to mend the relationship. If need be, apologize and see the ice melt. It is an amazing feeling to have a load lifted off your soul.

  3. Reach out even further

    Instead of only reaching out to family and friends, approach that colleague that is irritable with you or that neighbor that seems to hate your guts. Who knows — maybe a friendship will be born out of your act of reconciling.

5 Facts About Forgiveness In Quotes

  1. Alexander Pope

    Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

  2. Lewis B. Smedes

    Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that you were the prisoner.”

  3. Mahatma Gandhi

    Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

  4. Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    Archbishop Tutu said, “Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.”

  5. Oscar Wilde

    Wilde said, “Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much.”

Why National Reconciliation Day is Important

  1. It lifts a load off our souls

    Carrying grudges is akin to roaming around with a mountain on your shoulders. It weighs down your soul, makes you bitter, and does not let you enjoy life. What better day to feel lighter than one where the whole world is reconciling?

  2. Holding grudges is no fun

    Drop the grudges that are weighing you down. They are adding to your burden and not reducing it. Lighten your load by reconciling.

  3. Our strife-filled lives need more healing

    All of us are leading conflict-ridden existences. They have filled our lives with a lot of pain and anguish. There are some wounds on our souls that may still be festering. Let those wounds heal by reconciling with the ones that you have fallen out with.

National Reconciliation Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 2Sunday
2024April 2Tuesday
2025April 2Wednesday
2026April 2Thursday
2027April 2Friday

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