It is easy to love those who love us. It is difficult to like those who are
critical of us. Yet it is crucial to forgive those who hurt us. Forgiveness
is a challenge, but countless people are able to meet the challenge.…
They say “You have controlled me in the past. But now, you can't con-
trol me any more. I decide how I want to live. ”
—V. P. Sharma (Mind, 1996)
If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.
Having written so much about our inhumanity to each other throughout this book, I now come to grips with a concept about which I admit my ambivalence: forgiveness for perpetrators of traumas. However, it is obvious that if the kinds of traumas that we have reviewed in this book continue to be created throughout the world without some kind of healing mechanism, we will eventually regress to the level of cave dwellers.
In a previous chapter however, I found myself writing:
What we needed at that moment (9–11) was a sense of a safe place, either
within ourselves or in the outside world, and a good support network of
people who were able to empathize, talk, listen, and understand. More
than anything else, we needed forgiveness. We needed forgiveness of our
own frailties, forgiveness of the fact that we had been blessed with being
survivors and alive.
Even the most horrendous of crimes cannot be allowed to sustain permanent hatred. The recent visit of the Chancellor of Germany to the State of Israel and, most particularly, his visit to the memorial for the six million