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Society Must Forgive



Without compassion the most treasured person in my life may well have destroyed his own.

Without understanding my son may never have received that valuable support that he desperately needed.

Without forgiveness both of our lives wouldn’t have had the positive outcome that you see today.

My son’s involvement in the Far-right was initially met with Judgement, Criticism, anger and fear.


Emotions that I understood only to well because not only did I feel them myself, but I also felt what it was like to be on the receiving end of them too.

I understood why people initially couldn’t understand his involvement, his extreme opinions and the hate that John felt because I couldn’t understand it either and I was his mother.


Horror, fear and disappointment quickly takes over all other emotions.

It is easy to cast blame and judgement and just walk away. Write off that individual as a problem that cannot be helped.

John and I are living proof that this is not true.


All it took was one individual that listened to John, He listened, and he heard John’s vulnerabilities and concerns. He gave John a voice.

He soon came to the realisation that John wasn’t a boy full of hatred, he was just an angry and confused young man that had become disillusioned with society.

He looked for and focused on the positives in my son and not the negatives.

Within months my son had left the Far-Right groups he was involved in, and I could see fantastic changes in him.


I failed to recognise those early signs of Johns unhappiness, however there were organisations there that did spot them. Far-right organisations on-line manipulated and lied to my son over a period of time, and they bred and cultivated a new narrative, they bred that anger and fear until he was barely recognisable.


They used his own insecurities against him, they destroyed my son from the inside out until virtually no one wanted anything to do with him, why do they do that? The answer is simple, they caused that divide because if they had him all to themselves, he would be easier to continue to manipulate.

This is why compassion, forgiveness and understanding is vital in these situations.

The next person you see who may displaying similar behaviours may not be a hate filled person who is beyond or not worthy of help.


They are most probably a victim of their own fears and insecurities and of horrendous organisations that prey on those vulnerabilities.

So, if ever you come across someone who is displaying hateful views and opinions, please do not just write them off.


Talk to them, listen to what they have to say. Recognise that although they may be saying some horrendous things that they may not deep down actually believe them.


In many cases, they are in fact just a lost, lonely soul that is desperate for help.

Instead of disappointment and judgement, look instead at offering compassion and support.

If your loved one was once a kind and caring soul, then chances are that they still are.


For many, this has got to be the most difficult journey people go on, be it as a mother, as a daughter and as a friend or colleague.


Today my son and I are living proof that forgiveness, opportunity, compassion and support are much more beneficial than rejection, resentment or fear, so let’s look at what we can do and as a society, lets forgive and look to create a real alternative to extremism and lets offer support which has a profound and long term effect on people, instead of walking away or turning away.

Enough is enough! Extremism is not wanted in our society. Love is.


Sarah

Exit Support Worker.

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