The Power Forgiveness Has Against Hatred
The more I think about discord and anger the more I realize how poisonous those sentiments are. When we arrive to a point in our lives where we make a choice between chasing after our misconceptions or taking a journey inward, we start on a cleansing process. And, as we move towards contentment feelings like resentment and conflict cause damage. We become ultra-sensitive to them and the reason is very simple; hatred hurts its own host the most.
When people believe the only way they will get rid of the pain they have inside is by exerting the same pain back, all they do is continue to feed resentment. It takes incredible strength of character to say no to the continuation of hatred.
In extreme cases, such as violent crimes, most of the studies have showed that victims who were able to stop the cycle of “an eye for an eye” have been able to fair better than others who searched for revenged. Those victims did not embrace the crime. They made a choice not to propagate viciousness.
In our daily lives, where hopefully we are not dealing with violent crimes, making a choice not to “payback” is a sign of wisdom. Lashing back is easy and it always leaves us feeling unsatisfied. Processing, understanding and making decisions, on the other hand are empowering.
Take a moment and visualize the following scenario: In NYC a cab driver cuts a bus off. The bus driver stops the bus, gets off and calls the cab driver every name on the book. The argument escalates. The two men are sieving. The cab driver goes in his car takes out a tool and kills the bus driver. This is a true story and a man is dead because both men were consumed with “paying back”. This clearly shows the consequences of uncontrolled anger.
What if the bus driver’ wife hired someone to kill a member of the cab driver’ family? Would she feel better? And what if she demanded the death penalty and saw the man die in front of her, would then she feel better? The answer is probably no on both questions. But, what if she knew the cab driver would stay in prison and no longer be a threat to anybody else and she could find the strength within to realize her husband was gone, the man who killed him is a sick individual, what happened was tragic, and turned all of those feelings into acceptance and understanding. Would she feel better? Most likely. It takes strength and courage to arrive at this point. But a life filled with hatred is a difficult life to live. Stopping the hatred is part of the healing of the victim.
We can apply the same principle to situations we have on a daily basis with family members, friends and colleagues. If we value these relationships isn’t it better to protect them by not engaging in needless arguments and hurt feelings? Isn’t it sometimes wiser to remove ourselves instead of engaging? And if someone has truly hurt us isn’t it healthier to mourn the hurt and then release the feeling?
Think about it.