In reflecting lately on forgiveness, I am left with a certain hopelessness and powerlessness regarding society. I feel this way because, in thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that those who have been brutalized by others, such as incest survivors, really have no other choice than to forgive if they are to save themselves from a life of deep resentment and all that negatively goes with that. What do you think about my thinking?

I agree that forgiveness can be a bold, courageous, and even controversial response to brutality.  Yet, for those who choose to forgive, they can become much more psychologically resilient and the science supports that conclusion.  I am wondering why this makes you hopeless.  You, yourself, see one solution to the anger and even hopelessness of the victims.  I agree that not all who are brutalized will forgive, but for those who do, they can reverse the psychological damage done even when it is impossible to reverse the offense itself.  This, to me, is a cause of hope, not hopelessness.

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