Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims

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Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims by Howard Zehr

This was a compilation of different interviews with crime victims. They shared their stories, how i affected them, and how they have found meaning in their lives and transcended their difficulties. The first-hand accounts by these people were so inspiring and touching and full of so much hope for the future.

I was really moved by so many of the individual testimonies. I found some common themes in the thinking. First off, most of the people that were interviewed did not want to be referred to as victims. They instead viewed themselves as human beings first and foremost, human beings that experienced extreme pain, tragedy, shame, and anger — yet survived it all. Each story depicted how they were victimized but used their experiences to grow from, how they were able to transcend it all and become stronger in the process. All had to pay an extremely high price, it would not even be a fair comparison by any means; yet these survivors made the best of a terrible situation.

I realize though that these people were more the exceptions, rather than the rule. Our victims, the people whose lives we forever altered with our selfish and destructive ways, could sometimes be stuck in a never-ending cycle of grief, shame, and anger and not be able to find their way out of it. The cause lies squarely on the shoulders of murderers like myself — the book reminded me to always remember that and to continue to restore myself so as to never return to those same patterns of thought ever again.

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