There is no way of living with other people without, at some point, being hurt. When we are hurt we face the choice to retaliate or reconnect.
Evolutionary biologists suggest that we are hardwired to seek revenge and hurt back when we are hurt. This is how our ancestors survived when confronted by a threat. But we are also hardwired to forgive and reconnect. Primatologists have observed that even monkeys seek to make amends. They extend their hands to one another and become very agitated when the group is not in harmony.
For humans, “sorry” joins “please” and “thank you” among the earliest additions to a child’s vocabulary. This thirst for harmony is why our hearts soar when we hear that someone who has been wronged has chosen to forgive. Somewhere in our heart of hearts we know that forgiveness is truly the gateway to peace. This is why there is a certain kind of dignity we admire, and to which we aspire, in the person who refuses to meet anger with anger, violence with violence, or hatred with hatred.
We are social creatures, and our physical survival is just as dependent on happy relationships and social connections as it is on food, air, and water. Today we are going to look at when we have chosen to retaliate and when we have chosen to reconnect.
Desmond & Mpho
When I think of a time when I have been hurt, and have hurt back, I felt angry and I retaliated. A huge negative energy force in me builds up and then I just explode. After I drain these negative emotions regret comes rushing in. There is nothing positive. I just create more negative energy that makes the situation worse.
When I think about a time when I chose not to hurt back, when I was hurt, I felt like an observer and not a participation. I felt like I rose above the situation and looked down on all the players involved, and just observed. With non-judgement. I felt free.
I have not retaliated against the person I will forgive in this challenge.