Updated: Jan 29
Trauma is an emotional matter, neither legal nor intellectual. That is why it's easy for many onlookers to be judgemental and philosophical, when one is not the victim or the affected one.
Traumatic events leave deep scars in the mind, body and spirit of victims. The tragedy is no amount of rationalisation nor any amount of punishment can undo events that have already occurred.
Victims have to suffer twice.
The first, when the event takes place where suffering is short and brutal.
The second suffering is, living with the wound of the tragedy that comes to completely dominate a victim's being. It is like a toxic geyser which keeps spewing hatred and venom that consumes the victim more slowly and certainly manifold times more terrifying than the initial assault.
How can one heal oneself?
To heal oneself, one has to remove and fling out of our heart and mind, that poisonous anger and hatred that festers within our being. That magic formula is, for us to forgive the perpetrators. **It is easily done, if we can muster the courage.**
All great masters and genuine faiths have taught humanity that we should forgive. The power of an individual to forgive cannot be given nor can it be taken away by anyone else. To forgive can be the greatest act of freedom an individual can exercise.
Forgiveness is a healing but prevents nothing from repeating or getting worse.
Forgiveness is an emotional act, a matter of the heart, and the heart is a private matter, only the individual can exercise it.
Forgiveness does not mean submission, nor forgetting nor deleting the memories nor does it imply not taking corrective action. Corrective action is the responsibility of the State and the Community, failing which there will be anarchy.
States and Communities are not individuals. The welfare and protection of all people is the responsibility of the State and Community in general. The leaders have no prerogative to forgive en masse, nor erase memories on behalf of the victims. It is obligatory that the State and Society must take steps to ensure that its not possible to commit the crime again.
This is why it is mandatory for the State to enact laws and award punishments to deter others from repeating the offence.
It is also obligatory for leaders in the community to ensure that current and future generations receive an education on the real history of events.
Unfortunately many cowardly or ineffective social and political leaders for their own personal gains, sweep the crimes under the carpet, where they rot and grow in size and intensity until they violently erupt once again one day. Some leaders wanting to be seen as 'Holier than thou' usurp the right of the individuals and unilaterally 'forgive and forget' crimes, in which they personally are not the victims. This is extremely dangerous, and as a result the crimes are repeated again and again.
Like in many places and times in the world, we in India have experienced great trauma. The only way we can move ahead is to come to terms with the reality of our history, find out root causes of why we were vulnerable as individuals and as a civilisation and take corrective action. Only then can we be able to live as a vibrant, happy and an integrated harmonious society.
How Eva Moses Kor healed herself and inspired millions?
One of histories recent great tragedies is The Holocaust, where six million men, women and children were simply exterminated. Their only crime was that they were believers in the Jewish faith.
There is this noble example of Eva Kor a Holocaust survivor.Her story of how she journeyed from a traumatised victim to a healed and liberated soul is inspiring.
After 50 years she finally healed herself.
She made contact with a former Nazi doctor, who was one of the perpetrators of the crimes carried out against her and hundreds of thousands of other Jews at Auschwitz (Poland). The ashamed doctor willingly gave Eva Kor a signed confession of what happened at Auschwitz.
Eva found the courage to forgive Dr. Munch, and to her surprise she began to heal but only partially.
Eva Kor then over a period of a year wrote a letter of forgiveness to Dr. Mengale the missing mastermind of the human Guinea pig program. It was then she discovered the great healing and that liberation that comes from forgiveness.
You can view the inspiring video on the great tragedy and the power of healing
International Holocaust Remembrance Day 27 Jan 2018