Can You Forgive Casey?

Can you forgive Casey?

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about rage, anger, revenge and forgiveness, and the connection to Casey Anthony.

First a quick update:

“From the archives – the Law of Deservedness”
Watch the interview I gave to Harrison Klein of The Masters’ Gathering about the power of our subconscious beliefs; you can never be successful or happy if you don’t believe you deserve it.

“Counselors, coaches, therapists”
To learn and use the therapeutic technique that guarantees bigger, better faster results for your clients, for which you can charge more per session and generate more clients and more business, click here.

Now, lets’ talk about anger, revenge, justice and forgiveness, and the connection to Casey Anthony.

If you live outside of the US, you might not have heard about Casey Anthony, a young mother, 25, who three years ago was charged with the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. A jury acquitted Casey Anthony of the charges.

The Casey trial became the most publicized trial in the US since O.J. Simpson was charged and acquitted of the murder of his wife in 1995. The Casey Anthony trial was labeled as “the social media trial of the century”, and with the constant claim by many TV show hosts that Casey was guilty, many people, too, decided Casey was guilty and were subsequently outraged by the verdict. While the justice system prides itself on “innocent until proven guilty”, the US is one of the few countries where people can express their opinions in public while a trial is on. Accordingly, the jury for Casey Anthony was sequestered to prevent jurors from being affected or influenced by media coverage and opinion.

The jury concluded that they were unconvinced by the evidence that Casey murdered her daughter and were not even certain that a murder was committed. “We don’t know the cause of death,” the jury foreman told ABC news. “Everything was speculation.”

The justice system is designed to prevent, punish and rehabilitate. But now Casey has been acquitted, and many people remain full of rage and anger, seeking revenge and claiming they want justice.

So does the anger, revenge, bitterness help bring back Caylee? What positive purpose might it serve?

When we feel injured we respond or react automatically with anger; when someone hurts us, we automatically want to hurt that person back. As a result of the constant media coverage, opinions and editorials, many people, particularly mothers and women, felt a personal connection to the Casey Anthony case and are now angry believing that Casey is a murderer and she got away with it. The original motivation for justice has turned into revenge with harassment of jurors and death threats to Casey.

But this article is not about justice, it is about the impact that anger, bitterness, revenge has on us as individuals and as a society.

Anger is not always a negative emotion. When someone is being attacked you need anger to push you to action to protect the victim. But when you continue to beat the attacker after the victim is safe, the anger has transformed into rage and revenge.

It was anger and frustration that led to social revolution in Egypt and toppled a corrupt government. And it is anger that is fueling social revolutions around the globe. In fact, some people have used their anger to lead a petition for “Caylee’s Law” – a law that would make it a felony to fail to quickly report a missing child or the death of a child. Casey did not report her missing daughter for 30 days and when Caylee’s body was found six months after she disappeared, it was so badly decomposed that an exact cause of death was indeterminable.

But staying stuck in anger, bitterness, vindictiveness or a desire for revenge does not bring about positive results. As a human behavior expert and therapist, the most common denominator of the pain, mental and emotional affliction that I see people suffer is the lack of forgiveness i.e. the anger and revenge towards mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or self for something that someone did or didn’t do.

But why should we forgive and can we forgive Casey Anthony?

One person wrote to me: “So you agree to forgive a mother who duck taped a two year old and buried her! How sad!”

How do we forgive anyone?

It was the spring of 1944 when 10 year old Eva Kor, her twin sister Miriam and her mother, arrived in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Immediately, guards ripped both girls from their mother and they were never to see her again or their father or older sisters.

Shortly thereafter, in a sick bay, a doctor told Eva “You have just two weeks to live.” The doctor was Josef Mengele; He himself had just injected her with a lethal cocktail of bacteria as part of a barbaric experiment with twins.

Eva had a strong immune system and survived but so, too, did the pain of her suffering; her sister Miriam suffered an inexplicable disease from the injection of poison. Eva had tried to save her sister’s life by donating one of her own kidneys but Miriam died in 1993.

In January 1995, at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Eva Kor brought along Dr. Hans Munch, a doctor who worked alongside Joseph Mengele who poisoned her and her sister. Eva read a confession of guilt from Dr. Munch and then shocked the world press: “In my own name, I forgive all Nazis.”

Eva says the forgiveness lead to her inner peace and healing and she has made speeches about forgiveness across the US, at her museum, to school groups and organizations. Eva teaches that forgiveness freed her from victim status: “I felt as though an incredibly heavy weight of suffering had been lifted. I never thought I could be so strong…What the victims do does not change what happened .And the best thing about the remedy of forgiveness is that there are no side effects. And everybody can afford it.”

Eva is featured in The Forgiveness Project which “encourages and empowers people to explore the nature of forgiveness and alternatives to revenge.”

Most world religions teach the nature of forgiveness which also infers that you stop demanding punishment or restitution. Love, forgiveness and compassion are primary teachings of Jesus.

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Jesus said on the cross, asking God to forgive the people that were about to kill Him.

Although there are many reasons we hold onto a lack of forgiveness, the pain, anger, revenge and rage only hurt us. Listen to my audio book that focuses on forgiveness “Secrets to Getting Over it”. If Casey Anthony were put to death would that help Caylee or other living children? Would it truly free us in our hearts? Would our energy not be put to better use if we were to choose to help other children who are at this moment starving, homeless, at risk or in danger? What if the tens of thousands of angry people devoted that energy to helping other mothers and children who have been abused or battered?

It is much easier for us to hold onto judgment, anger, revenge, hatred and bitterness than it is to forgive. But forgiveness sets us free. Look in your heart and consider “How does the poison of anger and revenge affect you and your life?” We have all wronged and we are all imperfect; and yes murder is not the same as the wrongs that most of us commit but if Jesus could ask God to forgive the people that were about to murder him and if a Holocaust survivor could forgive the people that poisoned her and tried to exterminate her family, then what holds you and I back from forgiving anyone? The next time you commit a wrong, will you be saying “Please forgive me”?

You can comment on this newsletter below.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

Facebook Comments



5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Rex Lutherin says:

    Great way to attract new business, isn’t this? I would expect this and not much else from a CNN Belief Blog contributor, as well as someone who caters to celebrities. Yourself and the Anthony family aside, the people who should Never be forgiven in this case are the jurors. After all, they had the chance to find Casey Anthony guilty of the disappearance and death of her child and they failed to do so. You don’t need forensic evidence to say “YOU were the last person the child was seen with therefore YOU were fully responsible for her safety and well being. Seeing as the child is dead, YOU are responsible.” The third charge was completely suited for that reality and obviously was never considered by a jury composed of spineless idiots. Wake up and think people, what the ruling in this case means is that any parent(s) can now directly or indirectly cause the death of their child and get away with it. All they have to do is lie through their teeth and not give any plausible explanation as to what happened. And for that, my sincere wish is that each and every juror in this case spend the rest of their life living with guilt in the shadow of the precedent they just set, never able to forgive THEMSELVES. Some may even commit suicide when they start to witness the implications of this outcome, some maybe even sooner. In the meantime, while everyone is busily preoccupied discussing million dollar interviews, book deals, and movie stars best suited for the tentative film production, where is Caylee in all of this? It would appear that the most innocent of victims in this sick crime is long forgotten and deemed not important. If there is ONE person who should be asked to forgive Casey Anthony in all of this, it’s her daughter. However, that is impossible because she is dead. As for you, Mr. Wanis, you should be quite ashamed for having the gall trying to cash in on this fiasco.

  2. Avatar
    alli says:

    Another good reminder for us to be forgiving and cut the cords that keep us bound in a state of ever-increasing toxin accumulation.

    At the same time, when it comes to Casey Anthony, forgiveness rests really with Caylee, not with us. If it’s anyone she wronged, it was her. But, I think, the sign of a healthy, thinking, feeling, and fair society is that people SHOULD feel angry when clearly someone hasn’t been punished for what they did – in Casey Anthony’s case, people aren’t stupid. The hoi polloi know that she had something to do with her daughter’s death, and she should be punished with obstruction of justice or negligence of some kind, at the very least.
    I know for me, what really draws my ire is the fact that with the RIGHT lawyer, some select people of our society can get away free just like OJ and now Casey. It’s the legal system that we’re angry at – it’s not fairly holding people accountable for damages they’ve done. There’s already an understanding within our society – that there’s a legal system for one group, and a legal system for the rest of us, as we’ve seen with the slap on the wrist the b@nksters have gotten with their aid in turning over the economy, corporations getting away from paying ta#es for financially backing the pr3s, etc. It just adds to the feeling like there’s not so many institutions or systems we can turn to and trust anymore.

  3. Avatar
    natacha says:

    Thank you Patrick for this beautiful article. Being resentful, not forgiving is like drinking poison, hoping that the other person will die! It only slows you down! Forgiveness is a gift that you do to yourself first!
    Thank you, God bless, natacha

  4. Avatar
    Russ says:

    Last year, I was wronged by a long-time friend I had trusted. It was deeply hurtful, and I had to do a lot of soul searching to come to terms with it. But I ran across one word painted on a sidewalk (by whom and directed whomever, I probably will never know), and that word was “forgive.” I took a picture of it and still see it on an almost daily basis. It led me to studying, discussing and pondering what forgiveness means. I am now much more at peace with what happened. I have risen above another person’s mistake. I am able to put it in context. I know this person is sorry by subsequent actions and communications, even if there is no stated contrition. The relationship is not what it once was, but we can be in each other’s presence with no sense of anger or malice. It took forgiveness to move past hostility to a place where vestiges of the former friendship are allowed to continue living. The good things of that friendship are not buried with the bad.

  5. Avatar
    Audrey says:

    Patrick, we met long ago during work here in Orlando, through Leda. I have received your newsletter since you began and find it always insightful and applicable. In this case however I disagree. I was not in Orlando when this fiasco started, I was out of the country for four years and would have been a perfect juror because I had no previous knowledge of the case. Long story short I believe the reason people are so angry is because they could not get to the truth and only she holds it. There was no satisfaction of knowing what happened it will be kept within that family alone. I believe they are all guilty of reaping the benefits of that child’s death and for that they should all be ostracized and never forgiven!!!

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