There’s a new term that is finding traction on our world – it is especially being used in the area of things like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hungary Budapest Holocaust memorial

A Holocaust memorial in Hungary. PICTURE: Mika/Unsplash

It’s called 'moral injury'. Not physical injury, but moral injury.

It’s when someone has had an experience that is so repugnant to their moral framework, that it’s difficult to recover.

Think of child abuse, or the horrors of war. It could even be betrayal.

We are moral beings. We live with moral ambiguity every day. But then some things go beyond ambiguity. The Holocaust. The Gulags. Cannibalism.

How does one come back from experiencing things like that? How does one restore a morality? If we have no moral framework life becomes meaningless.

Can a whole society suffer moral injury? When leaders, politicians and institutions fail it so fully? Pray we don’t find out.

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at atthetop.org.au.