I realized that what causes genocides and wars and all types of injustice is the evil of looking at another and seeing them as less than you are. The evil to want to diminish the rights of another, to love them less, and the evil of hate that thinks that those you don't like don't deserve to live or don't deserve the freedom you wish for yourself. To make a difference and stand against evil and injustice, we must remember what W. H. Auden wrote: "We must love one another or die."

I would never want to go back to what I went through during the genocide or wish it upon anyone, but one good thing did come out of it: The people of Rwanda developed a genuine desire to work together without looking at their differences. The consequences of what occurred when the people couldn't live and work together were so horrendous that no one can bear to go back to the old ways.

I will never forget meeting the man who killed my cousins. I asked him what had happened to him, because I had known him as a friend before. He told me that he didn't know why he committed the atrocities he had and that he missed my cousins too. Baffling. And all so senseless.

As a result of what happened in 1994, the current Rwandan government wants to improve things in all areas of life, and anyone who is capable is welcome to help. Women in Rwanda today are given the chance to take part in the leadership, and Rwanda is now the leading country in the world with respect to the number of women in parliament (50 percent). They are doing a great job.

Immaculée Iligabiza is the author of the book Led by Faith   from Hay House. Born in Rwanda, she lost most of her family during the 1994 genocide. Four years later, she emigrated to the United States and began working at the United Nations in New York City. She is now a full-time public speaker and writer and was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace 2007. She is the author, with Steve Erwin, of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.


Next Story