Chris L. Minnick, M.D.

Forgiveness – Lessons Learned

1- Terrorism is designed to prevent dialogue.

2 – The only way out of the cycle of violence is to listen to the pain of the other.

3 – Forgiveness does not preclude justice.

4 – We can’t understand demonic acts – they are unfathomable to the conscious, adult self.

5 – Any of us are capable of anything.

6 – Restorative justice has victims and perpetrators working together.

7 – Truth is liberating because you know what is happening.

8 – Forgiveness requires remorse where the perpetrators acknowledge they have done harm to a real human being, but ultimately all of this resides in the victim independent of the perpetrator’s remorse.

9 – Trust is a result, not a precondition or prerequisite for coming together.

10 – Few of us can get through life without committing an unforgiveable act.

11 – Dehumanization of the victim is necessary to do a crime without guilt or remorse.

12 – The perpetrators must confess all, not just part, of their crimes.

13 – If nobody speaks up against monstrosity, no society can survive.

14 – It helps to create a government fund for everyone who lost someone, on both sides, involving a small sum.

15 – The survivor and perpetrator are connected forever.

16 – Forgiveness is necessary to change the future.

17 – Forgiveness accepts that we are imperfect and not ideal.

18 – Where idealization was, reality shall be.

19 – Vengeance is common and forgiveness is rare.

20 – Identification with the other allows guilt to be felt.

21 – A person cannot ask for forgiveness for someone else.

22 – Perpetrators dehumanize the victim. Propaganda makes the victim all evil so that hated and unwanted aspects of one’s own baby self can be projected into them. Then the victim can be annihilated without remorse.

23 – The victim wants revenge with interest, but that does not satisfy the victim. Instead, the revenge produces paranoid anxieties and initiates a never ending cycle of projecting guilt, blame, and pain back and forth.

24 – In the “sin of forgiveness” (actually manic reparation), a double evil exists because a crime is committed and then not acknowledged.

25 – For a therapist dealing with negative transferences, first must come “containment” as one tolerates the patient’s attacks for a long time. Then an elaboration of an understanding of the reality of the situation of the patient’s pain is possible.

26 – It is worth asking this question for the victim: Are you forgiving the perpetrator or are you forgiving the person asking for forgiveness?

27 – A patient needs to learn the distinction between a therapist/parent hurting a patient/child on purpose versus hurting them by their inherent deficiencies and handicaps.