Stories | Themes | Making meaning

Energy consumed by harbouring resentment and nursing wounds rarely aids recovery and can usually be put to better use. As Viktor Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning (1959), survivors are able to heal by finding "some purpose and meaning in the suffering."

Making meaning is not about making sense out of pain (some things will always be incomprehensible), but rather that survivors now pursue things that really matter to them which in turn puts meaning and purpose back into their lives.

Lynette D. Grace

"Ever since then I have been searching for my purpose for surviving the attack. My mission now is to work with Johnny to offer a story of healing, forgiveness and restoration in the hope of inspiring others."

Cathy Harrington

"During those early years of trying to make sense of such unspeakable horror, I spent a lot of time living among the poor."

Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix

"We believe that in every crime there is an opportunity to improve society by learning how to prevent that crime from happening again."

Scarlett Lewis

"I ask people to honor Jesse’s memory by consciously changing an angry thought into a loving one, to make this a better world."

Hashim Garrett

"The very next day I got a call asking me for the first time to tell my story to kids teaching violence prevention. I realised then that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Helping others became my healing."

Munira Beba Hadzic

"I believe there exists in all of us the ability to help others when terrible things happen. Men and women are like plants that if watered, grow."

Sue Hanisch

"I was able to stand back at last and see the bigger picture of my life and its meaning."

Ghazi Briegeith and Rami Elhanan

"Since then my work with the Parents’ Circle has become the centre of my life, a sacred mission. If we – Ghazi and I – can talk and stand together after paying the highest price possible, then anyone can."

Margot van Sluytman

"Half of me was void, full of nothing before I embarked on this path, whereas now I have a friendship with the man who killedmy father and that has put meaning back into my life."

Stanislav Krezic

"We are trying to reach out to others, to help them think differently about what happened to them during the war, to try to stop the cycle of violence."

Kia Scherr

"My commitment became to be the opposite of a terrorist; to love like an extremist."

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