Scientists Discover It Is Wise to Forgive Others

Zhou Zheng

PureInsight | April 5, 2008

[] When other
people ill-treat you, will you laugh it off or find a chance to take
revenge? Recent research carried out by Harvard University has
discovered that revenge not only doesn't bring any benefit to the
person himself, but also does no good to the team or group, which also
means that it is wise to forgive others.

Martin Nowak was the team leader of the research. The report was
published in Natural magazine on  March 20, 2008. The experiment
looked into the relationship of interests between individuals and
teams/groups as well as influence between individuals. The report
concluded that one needs to damage some of his own interests to punish
or take revenge on others, which will cause harm to himself.

David Rand was one of the co-authors. He stated that when one takes
revenge on another, the negative chain reaction will continue, thus
harming everyone. In fact, a successful person does not choose to do

Nowak said that the discovery tells us that successful people are those
who don't flare up during conflicts. On the contrary, people who take
revenge don't do any good to themselves or others.

Our traditional Chinese culture regards forgiveness as a virtue. From
the Wu Emperor in the Liang dynasty, or Lincoln in the western world,
they were all honest to others and never cared about their own feelings
of gratitude or resentment. Therefore they had many distinguished men
around them and readily accepted their good advice.

From another aspect, we can see that God gives everyone a chance and
observes how we lead our lives. When we treat others in an evil way, it
will bring a negative impact to society. If everyone does that, what
would be the end result? On the contrary, if you can just laugh it away
or don't care about it at all, others will admire your broad mind and
even be moved by that. Wouldn't society then become better and better?

The most precious goodness and virtue in one's life do not change
because of what other people do to you. However, the true mind and
state of a person is shown when one reacts to those kinds of things.
Therefore the final destination of a person is not decided by others
but himself.

Among Truthfulness-Goodness-Forbearance, some people say that
truthfulness and goodness are easy to understand, but forbearance is
hard. Why should we forbear? I hope people will gain some insight from
this discovery.

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