Moving On

Hitchhiking photo‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ George Santayana

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:” God

There is a fine balance between learning from the past and being free from the past. It makes a world of difference, we must learn, yet move on. 

Most people who suffer from psychiatric disorders have gone through some traumatic episodes in life. My fellow patients in the hospitals have been the victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, bullying and other things that are quite evil. I remember my one friend a woman name Geri. She and I would smoke cigarettes together and talk a lot. She was quite stubborn in her ways with the staff but I adored her. She was well up in her years. One day she told me “Every time I wake up I see the face of my stepfather that raped me.”

Bad things don’t only happen to individuals but also to groups of people. Just examine the treatment of Native Americans and African Americans in the United States. When we identify with a group we also identify with their woes and sufferings. In truth the ramifications of genocide and slavery still haunt this nation to this day. It is not part of the history but an ingrained part of modern day society.

So what are we to do?

We cannot forget the past because if we do we will fall for the same tricks that are used to manipulate us. As individuals we must acquire wisdom. As a society we must recognize the methods of trickery. Right now, on and off they are beating the war drums to attack North Korea. I  need to only look back to the Vietnam War and the Iraq invasion to learn the methods. That is a demonizing the enemy and lying about their military threats. Remember when we were told that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? It was an outright lie and everybody that voted for the war knew it. But it was good for business so they didn’t care. Remember the story of the incubator babies, it was totally fabricated. So am I to trust the government about anything they are trying to tell me? I think not!

Still there is something to be said about letting go of the past. We must move on. In life we must forgive those that have done us wrong. In forgiving there is liberation. Your mine is no longer inflicted by the hate, and anger you hold to the offender. Rather you acknowledge that you were done hurt, accept it and forgive the perpetrator. Of course you would not allow the person the opportunity to do their evil again.

I recall my grandfather who had a great hatred for the Russians. With a Polish background he could not forgive the wrongs done to his people by the Russians. But I know my history and I have come to understood that on those rare times that Poland had the upper hand they did not treat their subjects that well. We as a people must learn to dismiss the hatred that is ingrained in almost from birth.

Yet there is more to the story. The world is suffering from the ill effects of colonialism. Just like a human being must mature in their mental health to successfully live their lives, so too the world must change. The status quo where the ‘west’ dominates the economics and politics of the world must change. The ‘west’ maintains its luxurious standards off of the oppression of the world’s impoverished. In the same way society should rally around and support it’s weakest members so too we should fortify those nations and peoples who are kept down.

As an individual what we suffer from can make us both strong and wise. But if you never forgive those who do you wrong the bitterness will poison your present day life. In knowledge I have come to understand that many of those who offended me when I was young were going through struggles of their own. Their negative behavior directed towards me was manifested by their own ill begotten situations. In the same way I too lashed out at others who did me no wrong.

These words remind me of a novella called “Johnny Can’t Run”. It is about a group of Nazis exiled on a distant planet who cannot escape the evil of the past. I think it would be worthwhile that you take a look.

Photos by nmrmak,

Moving On

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). Moving On. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 16, 2018, from


Last updated: 4 Mar 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Mar 2018
Published on All rights reserved.