Tag Archives: choice

The real reason to forgive

The real reason to forgive

When people talk about forgiveness it’s often in a religious context—as heaven’s admission price.

But forgiveness is not only for the deeply religious, it’s a fundamental human capacity—like capacities to think, work and create —that we either develop or it withers.  And before we can even talk about how to develop one’s capacity to forgive, it’s clear that many people need to understand that there is a practical non-religious, here-and-now benefit to forgiving.

Blame is costly

When you don’t forgive you blame, hold grudges, plot and even act out revenge.

All high cost activities because they consume a lot of your energy and focus; energy and focus that you can’t devote to more important concerns.

A tech analogy

Blame appIf you’re good at technology then blame is a power-hungry app on your smart phone that puts your battery in frequent need of recharge.  Your phone ( metaphor for you) also responds slowly because it’s using processing power and memory (on thoughts of blame).  Unless you close the app (forgive or let something go) it consumes resources in the background even when it’s not visible.

Forgiving allows you to recapture wasted energy

The practical reason for choosing to forgive is that you stop wasting emotional and mental energy. It allows you to move your focus away from a dead-end (hate, jealously, retribution) to what matters— your relationships, ambitions and dreams.

The transgression scale doesn’t matter; from murder or betrayal, to a cocktail party insult, turning off the blame app people frees up your energy to focus on more important things.

But you must know what’s more important.

Knowing what’s important

The reason many people won’t turn off the blame app is because they don’t realise that it’s costing them something else more important.  It’s like a friend of mine who constantly laments a close friend’s long ago betrayal.  He focusses on the past hurt and not on a possible renewed friendship in the last years of their lives. He hasn’t asked himself what’s more important?

Indeed for any injury this is the key question to ask.  What’s more important? Getting revenge or developing a relationship.

Mandela’s example

In “We can all be like Madiba,” Mandela’s forgiveness is also understood from this practical context.  Mandela did not allow revenge for his transgressors wrongs to become his focus.  He forgave so that he could devote all of his energy to what was really important for him: A South Africa where all men and women were equal and free.

What about you?  What in your life is consuming emotional and mental energy; energy that you could devote to repairing or building something?   If you’re still finding it difficult to forgive just ask yourself “What’s important?”

The purpose of Employee Engagement

The purpose of Employee Engagement

Whenever I think Employee Engagement (EE) has already become another buzz-phrase in the business world, someone asks me what it is.  I say engagement describes the degree to which people care about the work they do.  Engaged people care, dis-engaged people don’t.  That simple. It’s no surprise that businesses are increasingly turning to EE becauseContinue Reading

The thing about taking things personally

The thing about taking things personally

Have you heard the old joke about the guy who walks into the doctors office and says, “Doc, it hurts everytime I do this,” as he demonstrates bending his arm at the elbow; to which the doctor replies “Well stop doing that.” Taking things personally is just like that. It hurts when we do itContinue Reading

The Hubris of Free Will

One of the things we often hear about what makes human beings special and perhaps unique on the planet is that we have free will.  But what does that mean exactly? Is it that we are self-directed and autonomous in a way that no other animal is?  I think that’s what we mean when weContinue Reading

Two Wolves

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, there is a battle between 2 “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, fear, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The otherContinue Reading

Acknowledging what’s there

Feel like typing this morning.  Talking with my fingers.  Usually I prefer to handwrite with my fountain pen in the mornings.  Very therapeutic I find … a good way to corral “free radical” thoughts that could do damage if not captured and put away somewhere.  This morning my computer seems the best place to doContinue Reading

But I don’t feel like ……

How do you generate yourself to do what you know you ought to? How can you generate yourself to take the actions that are consistent with your declarations of who you say you are or what you say you are committed to? You know how it works. I just don’t feel like going to theContinue Reading