Forgive the World

Day 18 – Forgiveness and The World
Another case where this book becomes wildly vague and expansive in its categories. “The World”? The examples given are politicians and religious groups. The aim is to ponder how we sometimes malign entire groups of people, and why.

I try not to do this. I realize in every group that can traditionally be maligned – politicians, lawyers, used car dealers – that there are people who are honest and good. It’s unfair to harm them, even just through constant teasing, about something they care about. I wouldn’t want someone continually teasing me about being a writer.

I feel a twinge of sadness when I see generally disparaging posts about “all religious people are XXXX” or so on. People have different opinions and that’s OK. If a group acts in a way which infringes on another group’s rights, then legal action can be taken to create the proper boundaries. But being nasty about them personally doesn’t seem to be constructive. They might feel the way they do because they were brainwashed for their entire life by their family and community. That’s hard to undo.

If anything I would feel sympathy that they live in a state of unhappiness and hate. I’d hope that they can find their way out of it. Spending so much energy on fostering hate would, I would think, also fill one’s own body with stress hormones. So it’s not good for others and it’s not good for the source person either.

My aim in these cases would be to look at the person / group’s actions and be able to first say “I disagree with the action”. Then it’s a question of whether I feel their action is harming others or not. If it isn’t, I need to let them hold their own opinion and be at peace with that :). If I do feel their action is harming others – for example if I feel they’re infringing on others’ rights – then I should take some action. I would feel, if I just ranted about it and spread stress around, that I’d damage my own health, I’d damage others’ health, and I wouldn’t be doing much good about the issue I cared about.

So those were my ponderings on “The World” :).