Hurt People Hurt Other People

Early this morning, at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” 12 people were shot and killed in a senseless act of violence. James Holmes, 24, kicked down the emergency door at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, dropped some type of smoke bomb, and started shooting.

My heart aches. Can you imagine how hurt and lost someone must be in order to carry out such a horrific act?

Killing is the most severe form of hurting others. But if you think about it, we are all guilty. We’re all hurt people who hurt other people. It might be on a smaller scale, but it still counts. Every day we hurt friends, family, and strangers with our words, actions, or lack of action.

The world is full of hurt. And you can do something about it.

  • Stop the cycle. You’re in pain. It’s a fact. Everyone is hurting in some way, great or small. Don’t let your affliction cause you to hurt others. Make a decision right now. You will turn your pain into a reason to show others kindness. To help people. Causing others to suffer does not make your pain go away. It makes it worse.
  • Pay attention. Look outside your own circumstances and notice people around you. Reach out to someone who is hurting. Don’t wish them away. Or ignore them. You might be the only person who cares.
  • Forgive someone. We all have people in our lives who’ve hurt us. Some very badly. When we harbor bitterness and anger, the only person it hurts is us. My favorite quote about forgiveness is this: “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” The best way to free yourself of the pain is to forgive in your heart. Remember, hurt people are the ones who hurt other people.
  • Get help. If you are the one in distress, ask for help. Talk to a friend. Call a professional. Do something about it. There are people who care, even though it may not feel that way right now. Things can get better. But you need to ask for help.

You can help change the world, one hurt person at a time. Will you join me?



  1. Our first response to hurt and violence is to lash out.  I appreciate the idea to pause and understand that even the perpetrators of horrific violence are themselves hurting people in need of love.  It goes against our nature to show love to those that hurt others – or hurt us – yet it is the one thing that overcomes evil.  Everyone can do something to help.  Thanks for bringing a needed positive perspective to this tragedy.

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