chapter  3
20 Pages

Resentment and forgiveness

At the age of twenty-six, Gary Wright became the eleventh victim of the Unabomber.Wright went to look at a strange wooden structure in the parking lot of his workplace; when he moved it, it blew up, giving him severe physical wounds. He required extensive surgery, including plastic surgery and was still finding that bits of shrapnel worked their way through his body thirteen years after the event. In a conference address, Wright emphasized the emotional wounds after these severe injuries and told how those wounds had shaken his beliefs about himself, his relationships, and the world itself. After years of reflection and struggle, and still not knowing who the Unabomber was,Wright came to the conclusion that continuing to resent this unanticipated trauma and hate this perpetrator could do no good to his life. He overcame his anger and hatred to adopt a forgiving attitude to the perpetrator. Years later, the identity of the Unabomber came to be known, after David Kaczynski revealed to the police that his brother Ted had written letters and tracts with material extremely similar to Unabomber manifestos. Wright sat across from Ted Kaczynski in court and told him that he had forgiven him “years ago.” The revelation seemed to shock and move this man, who for most of the court proceedings had sat erect and apparently proud of himself.1