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Healing Historic Memories

Thomas Menamparampil


The history and reality of violence ceaselessly plagues communities all over the world. There is no history book and news agency that lacks a piece on violence. Retaliations and reactions as a result of fear and anger quickly turn to violence whether it is protecting one’s boundaries from invaders, fighting for one’s rights, or even the simple prioritizing of the self over the other. Narratives of protection from violence through violence have been (dangerously) immortalized through the collective memory of these injuries that are relived through both myth and history, promoting the conqueror/conquered and hero(ine)/victim narrative and cultivating prejudice. Despite the multiplicity of views that accompany the presence of numerous cultures, we must collectively turn away from this instinctive response to harm and move toward a healing of these memories. Forgiveness alone can break this cycle of violence. We must realize and understand that we become fully alive only when we share with others the values and ideas that are precious and true. Self-interest is a reality of life, but we must learn to combine it with a concern for humanity. We must prioritize the ‘higher motives’ that persuade us to forgive past injuries and create a new start together.


collective memory; forgiveness; healing; historic memories; prejudice

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