It’s true that we hold our lives very dear to ourselves. But, do we also hold dear those traits which actually make us alive in the true sense? As none of us would be ready to exchange our lives with howsoever big an offer comes to allure us; why then we discount our humanistic ideals in exchange of trifle allurements, succumbing to the commands of our mind?
One of the prime yardsticks that characterize a human being is ‘forgiveness’. It’s a trait which can metamorphose the entire behavioral make-up of an individual. On the other hand, if in place of forgiveness, hatred is nurtured, it severely harms the life. How forgiveness acts as a boon and hatred as bane, let’s analyze…
The son of Louis XVI, the Dauphin of France, was caught by the rivals of the king and was cruelly treated. The jailor was too harsh and used to beat him ruthlessly for the supposed crime that he was born as the son of the king. While thrashing him, one day, the jailor asked, “If you happen to get relieved and enthroned as the King of France, what would you do with me? As far as I believe, without thinking twice, you would hang me; wouldn’t you?” The fatherless prince replied without giving a second thought– “I would forgive you!”
Unless and until the weeds of hatred are rooted out with the sickle of forgiveness, they will keep spoiling inner peace and calm. In the language of neuroscientists, the brain has a set of wiring known as ‘the hate circuit’. Unlike a switch, which turns on and off, this circuit gets activated whenever the emotion of hatred is stimulated. This circuit communicates the message of hatred all through, not just to the psychology but also the physiology.
Research by psychologists has made it evident that with the upsurge of hatred feelings on recalling past incidents, there is a parallel effect on one’s physiology. The blood pressure, heart beat rate, and sweat gland activity increases, which certainly causes inconvenience. Coming to the impact on psychology, when we nurture the feelings of hatred in our inner being, truckload joules of heat is generated in the brain, thereby upsetting the nervous system. Consequently, the entire dynamics of the psycho-setup gets badly affected, thrashing down the peace of mind to pieces.
Doctors have proved to the extent that a person harboring within himself the toxic mixture of hatred, bitterness, resentment, and the emotions alike, infects the surroundings with the same. The condensed molecules being exhaled through the breath with his verbal expressions are thoroughly infected with these toxins. If these toxins are allowed to accumulate for one hour, they can suffice to kill 80 guinea pigs.
A proverb says– ‘The man who opts for revenge should dig two graves.’ In fact, the reality extends much beyond. It is not just the subject and the object of hatred, which are affected. Instead, the vibrations emanating from a person filled with the thoughts of hatred inflict threat to his surroundings, and the world at large. These vibrations cause disturbance in the magnetic field of the earth, thereby disrupting its state of equilibrium and peace.
With time, the power of forgiveness has been realized by the intelligentsia as well. It is apparent from the fact that where the number of researches on forgiveness numbered not even 60 till 1997, there the count has made a drastic jump to touch the figure of 1200 today. This clearly speaks of the phase shift in perception with respect to valuing the trait of ‘forgiveness’ in life.
In 2001, a research was carried out by a group of doctors. 10 subjects were considered for the study. They were made to read about certain moral situations and then formulate judgements in their minds. In order to take the account of the brain activity while they were in the judgement mode, the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) was used. It was found that the judgements which rated the situations as forgivable exhibited a simultaneous increase in the activity of the four brain regions: the left superior frontal gyrus, the orbitofrontal gyrus, the posterior cingulated gyrus, and the precuneus. The best part was that the above said regions were found to be linked with the aspect of promoting social cohesion.
Therefore, the wise ones always recommend that when you encounter any situation which tends to shatter your inner peace with the toxic fumes of hatred, adopt an intelligent route. Remind yourselves that although it is easier to reciprocate injustice with hatred, yet you will poison your inner-being by entertaining such feelings. Try practicing forgiveness once. After tasting its fruit, it’s guaranteed that you will never revert to the path of hatred. In this manner, you will be the fortunate one to say, “I was doubly benefited! I wasn’t harmed by your attacks; simultaneously, I wished for your well-being! These benefits were worth procuring than the momentary satisfaction of hatred and revenge!”