The battle between the self-centered and benevolent sides of our ego

Oh, how easy it is to get lost in your own mind, caught in worries, and in your own insecurities. To be locked in a never-ending cycle of what if, why me, and life isn’t fair. We tend to be stuck in a tunnel view of life at times. It is so easy to fall into the trap of seeing things as always about ourselves or that the world is against us. I think everyone deals with such thoughts and feelings from time to time, and that is okay I think. But being constantly stuck in that train of thought is unhealthy and it keeps us from moving forward and from enjoying life.

Life is about everyone and everything around us, we are not the center of the universe though it is easy to feel like the center of things. I believe it is human nature to be somewhat self-centered, It is part of the self-preservation mechanism within us all. I do not think it is even possible to be totally selfless, though I do think we can reach a pretty high percentage of being such. But then again there are known mental illnesses such as the martyr syndrome and so on that may make one appear more so selfless and other mental illnesses that can cause the opposite effect.

I think people should regularly check themselves, see how they treat others, and how they react to being treated by others as well. Since how one person acts and treats others influences all those around them in one fashion or another, then we should try to be a force for good in society. We should try to lead by example, and treat others, and ourselves in a kind and compassionate manner. If more people focused on how they treated others around them, the less toxic people and environments we all would have to encounter. Being toxic and/or self-entitled is damaging to society and in the long run, will only eat away at the person being toxic and/or self-entitled.

A percentage of toxic and self-entitled people may be suffering some sort of emotional or mental illness, and we should remember that. It is best to avoid those people if you can not get through to them and set boundaries for them when it comes to your relationship. Do not allow the toxic behavior of others to bait you into being toxic yourself, you have to hold the high ground and lead by example. It is so easy to fall prey to being baited into a word battle with toxic people. They seem to enjoy causing turmoil and thrive in the toxic atmosphere.

It is not easy to try and be a good-hearted individual, to think of others as much if not more than yourself. But then anything worthwhile takes a lot of effort, and it does not only help you emotionally and mentally, but it also helps those around you. To love, have compassion for others, and be charitable are very important and are quite therapeutic in the end. When we help others we are also helping ourselves, it causes our body to produce chemicals that make us feel happy or content. The human body and brain are geared towards pleasure as a reward, reason why humans are so prone to addiction, But that’s a topic for another post.

In the end, it boils down to the battle between the self-centered and benevolent sides of our ego. When they are in balance all is good, when it tips one way or another there are complications. Either we will put ourselves before and above all others causing harm to others eventually or we will put others above ourselves to such an extent that we will neglect our own well-being. It is all about balance, and what balance is right for you as an individual.

Just some thoughts for you, not bad for me before my first cup of coffee lol.

Blessings and happiness to all

Advertisement

Dealing with low self-esteem

Here are some steps that may help to improve low self-esteem:

  1. Challenge negative thoughts: Start by identifying negative self-talk and replace it with positive, more realistic affirmations.
  2. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you feel good about yourself.
  3. Set achievable goals: Accomplishing small tasks can boost confidence and help improve self-esteem.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people: Seek out supportive friends and family members who will encourage and motivate you.
  5. Seek professional help: A therapist can help you understand the root causes of low self-esteem and develop effective coping strategies.

Remember, improving self-esteem is a process and it may take time to see results, but with persistence and patience, it is possible to feel better about yourself.

Causes of low self-esteem

Low self-esteem can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Childhood experiences: Traumatic or negative experiences during childhood can affect a person’s self-esteem.
  2. Perfectionism: Holding oneself to unrealistic standards and constantly feeling like you fall short can lead to low self-esteem.
  3. Social comparison: Constantly comparing oneself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
  4. Mental health conditions: Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can affect self-esteem.
  5. Relationships: Negative relationships, such as abuse or bullying, can lower self-esteem.
  6. Physical appearance: Society’s emphasis on physical appearance can lead to low self-esteem in people who feel they don’t meet certain standards.
  7. Life events: Significant events, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or job loss, can lead to low self-esteem.

It’s important to understand that low self-esteem is a complex issue and there can be many different causes. A combination of factors may contribute to low self-esteem in an individual.

Meditation and Self Esteem

Meditation can be a helpful tool in improving self-esteem by:

  1. Reducing stress and anxiety: By calming the mind, meditation can help reduce the negative impact of stress and anxiety on self-esteem.
  2. Increasing self-awareness: Meditation can help increase self-awareness and help you identify negative thought patterns that may contribute to low self-esteem.
  3. Boosting positive emotions: Regular meditation practice can help cultivate feelings of calm, peace, and joy, which can counteract negative emotions that may contribute to low self-esteem.
  4. Improving self-compassion: Meditation can help increase self-compassion by promoting a kind and non-judgmental attitude towards oneself.
  5. Enhancing focus and concentration: Meditation can improve cognitive abilities such as focus and concentration, leading to improved self-confidence and self-esteem.

It’s important to remember that meditation is just one tool that can help improve self-esteem, and it may take time and consistent practice to see results. It’s also important to seek out additional resources, such as therapy or support groups, if necessary.

Visualization and Self-esteem

Visualization is a technique that involves creating mental images to help achieve a desired outcome. It can be a helpful tool in improving self-esteem by:

  1. Boosting confidence: Visualizing yourself successfully accomplishing a task can help increase self-confidence and improve self-esteem.
  2. Changing negative thought patterns: Visualizing a positive outcome can help replace negative thoughts and beliefs with positive, empowering ones.
  3. Building resilience: Visualizing yourself overcoming obstacles and challenges can help build resilience and improve self-esteem.
  4. Improving self-image: Visualizing yourself as confident and capable can help improve your self-image and increase self-esteem.
  5. Enhancing motivation: Visualizing your desired outcome can help increase motivation and drive to achieve your goals, which can help improve self-esteem.

Visualization is a tool that can be used in conjunction with other self-esteem-building techniques, such as positive affirmations, self-care, and goal setting. It’s important to remember that visualization is just one tool and consistent effort and practice may be needed to see results.

Diet and self-esteem

Diet can have an impact on self-esteem by affecting physical and mental health. Here are some ways diet can impact self-esteem:

  1. Physical appearance: A well-balanced diet that provides essential nutrients can improve physical appearance, leading to increased self-esteem.
  2. Energy levels: A balanced diet that provides sufficient nutrients can help improve energy levels, which can enhance feelings of well-being and boost self-esteem.
  3. Mental health: Certain nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, are important for brain health and can impact mental health, including self-esteem.
  4. Body image: Negative body image can impact self-esteem, and an unhealthy relationship with food, such as disordered eating, can exacerbate these feelings.

It’s important to note that a healthy diet is just one aspect of overall physical and mental well-being, and it’s important to address any underlying issues contributing to low self-esteem through additional self-care practices and seeking professional help if needed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, low self-esteem can have a significant impact on one’s life and well-being. Improving self-esteem requires a holistic approach, including a combination of self-care practices, goal setting, and seeking support from others. Meditation, visualization, and diet can all play a role in improving self-esteem, but it’s important to remember that each individual’s experience and the journey is unique. If low self-esteem persists or interferes with daily life, it’s recommended to seek help from a mental health professional.

Here are some books that can be helpful for individuals looking to improve their self-esteem:

  1. “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden
  2. “Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem” by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, and Kim Paleg
  3. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers
  4. “Mind Over Mood” by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky
  5. “The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt” by Russ Harris

It’s important to remember that self-help books can be a useful tool, but they should not replace professional help for individuals experiencing persistent low self-esteem or other mental health issues. It’s always a good idea to consult a mental health professional for personalized advice and treatment.

Dove’s Thoughts 1-24-23

Buddha said, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule”. Love is the energy behind what we call forgiveness, and is one of the most important keys to ridding ourselves of hatred and anger. The Qur’an has the verse “The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah… (Qur’an, 42:40)”. Forgiveness is found in almost every great religious text.  In the new testament of the Christian bible “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13, NIV)

It seems that forgiveness is something important in religion, but it is also important to philosophers, poets, and great thinkers throughout history. The following are just some of what has been said/written about the subject of forgiveness.

  • Confucius ~ “Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.”
  • Voltaire ~ “We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies – it is the first law of nature.”
  • Paramhansa Yogananda ~ “Today I forgive all those who have ever offended me. I give my love to all thirsty hearts, both to those who love me and to those who do not love me.”
  • Epictetus ~“When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche ~ “And if your friend does evil to you, say to him, ”I forgive you for what you did to me, but how can I forgive you for what you did to yourself?”
  • Horace ~ “It is right for him who asks forgiveness for his offenses to grant it to others.”

So forgiveness is something important, it is the key to freeing yourself and others from past mistakes and all the pain and suffering those mistakes have caused. It is just as important to the forgiven as it is to the forgiver. Forgiveness may not always be easy, but in the end, it is well worth the effort. Holding on to a grudge, all the pain and suffering attached to it does no good for either side in the long run.

Ray’s Thoughts 1-23-23

anonymous ethnic man strolling on ocean beach

Too Much Violence in our country and around the world, lately we have been seeing killings at dance clubs and it seems to be target attacks on minorities or one sort or another. It seems hate has rooted itself in a percentage of the population, it seems bigotry, elitism, and terrorism are becoming too commonplace in recent years. Too many trying to justify hate and violence through belief systems and idealisms.

I never thought I would live to see a time in which there would be so many hate-driven mass shootings/killings in America. How anyone could take the lives of others so easily, why has it gotten to the point that so many have no concept of how valuable life is. Racism is still alive and hate seems to be on the rise around the world. It is sad that after all these years, all the suffering that people had to go through racism still has such a hold on a small but dangerous percentage of the population.

We all are a part of the same species, a species that has done some miraculous things, but we are a species that is stuck in a tribal-like mentality though we claim to be living in modern society. It is really shameful that a percentage of the human race still gives in to fear, hate, and tribal mentality. One would think that we would be beyond such early human instincts and social structures this far down the timeline. When will we as a species get to the point where we see that we all are the same species and that hate and fear are the enemies, not each other.

I guess the fear and hate will continue to grow as long as we keep enforcing the bad practices of using the labels made to describe our differences as a way to separate ourselves from others. Seems too much focus is put on such things as our nationality, race, political beliefs, and one’s religion. We should be focusing on the commonality within the human race. We all need certain necessities to survive, and we all desire to be happy and healthy. We all also desire a better quality of life for ourselves and our children. And I would believe we all would love to live in a world where we wouldn’t have to live with fear or hate. In the end, there is far more we have in common with each other than what is different.

Dove’s Thoughts 12-12-2022

person sitting outdoors

Why all the stigma around mental health? Why do people have to be so cruel to those that just need a little help? We all need a little help now and then (even if some folks won’t ever admit it). There is no shame in admitting you need help and asking for it is the best thing to do. Life can be quite challenging at times, and our hearts and minds can be somewhat fragile at times as well. Getting help shows courage and demonstrates you have the strength to do what is needed to move forward in your life.

We face so much negativity in life, and a good part of it is during our youth, during the years we are developing our emotional and mental makeup and forming our personality as well. School years can be both the most wonderful and also the most dangerous time for us as individuals. During those years we form social bonds and face opposition from others in the form of bullying and social stereotyping. This is when we tend to gain many emotional and mental scars and problems. If we do not learn to overcome them eventually they just get worse as we age.

With all the suicides and gun violence and other forms of violence on the rise, it should be very apparent there is a need for more extensive mental health programs for all ages. Parents and teachers alike should be more observant and responsive to signs of depression, being bullied, and psychotic behavior. If we can catch a lot of the problems early we may avert the negative outcome that many may have to experience later in their lives. More has to be done both on the local and federal levels to make mental health services easier and more affordable to access so we can get a handle on this mental health problem our nation is facing.

Just remember the next time you see someone who needs help don’t just laugh at them or ignore them, instead try to help them find the help they need.

Dove’s Thoughts 12-7-2020: Holidays and life.

It is the holiday season yet again, it seems as I get older it gets a bit tougher to get through it without reflecting on the times I had with friends and family that had passed away. Only this year I lost three friends and two family members. Very recently lost a former employer and friend with another friend that I have known for some time online in active worlds (3d community).

Though I feel sadness, I also feel blessed that I have gotten to know and share time with those I lost. We feel sad because of the loss we endure, and the absence of those we care about in our lives. However, they live on in our memories as well as in the memories of those who were in their lives. Some think it is hard to be joyous when you have lost so much, I say it is hard not to be Joyous of what we had and that which we still have and shall receive in the future to come. I remember how blessed I was to have those people in my life.

I wish everybody a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a happy holiday season. Know the blessings you have and remember the blessings that have passed your way in life. Embrace the people you love and celebrate each day with vigor, my friends. Remember those that went on before us and live for them and cherish their memories and pass on the wisdom they may have shared with you as well. Count your blessings, and forget the negative things that only get in the way of being happy in life.

Dovestar’s Ramblings 11-9-2022

There are many things in life we have little to no ability to change or affect. There are things though, that we have complete control over in our lives and that is where we should focus our energy on. For example, you may have no control over how others perceive you or how they think about you in general, but you do have control over how you treat other people and how you view yourself. One would hope that how we act and treat others, and the words we chose to have some influence on the opinions of others but in the end, it is something that is out of our control.

Basically, your life is yours to lead, and how you live it has a great influence on how much happiness you have in life. You can live your life selfishly, find some quick self-gratification and temporary bliss from possessions and wealth or you can choose to live a more selfless and humble life. Not everyone is cut out to be like a monk and live without any sort of possessions and be totally selfless, but we can find a balance between serving the ego and serving others.

I believe that we all have been given life not only to live and experience all it has to give but also to be stewards of the earth and to teach, help and love one another. Each one of us has a part to play in this grand design of life and each part is unique to each person. Some of us are here to teach, some are here to heal, and so on. Discovery your the part you are to play is not always easy but usually the gifts you were given usually give you clues as to what you are supposed to be doing in life. One example is if you have a natural talent for playing the piano, you could be here to give people entertainment or teach others how to play the piano or you may write a song that changes the minds of others.

Life can be complicated and so can how your mind works, the mind can be your best asset and it also can be an obstacle. Many people battle with depression, low self-esteem, and poor self-image and that will make it an uphill battle in finding happiness in life. Most of us face the memories of past mistakes and the regrets that come from them and many times we face trauma from past experiences that we have a hard time letting go of as well. And once again we come to things we can not change, things in our past are set and won’t change o matter how much we wish they would. Though we can not change the past, we can change how we deal with those past experiences and memories, how we process them, and how they affect us in the present.

We must let go of our past mistakes and the traumatic experiences we suffered due to circumstances and others. Forgiveness is one step in putting those things behind you, you must forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made and forgive others for what they had done as well. Forgiving others serves to free you from the hurt and pain others brought on you more than to free them of guilt. Think about it, how many times have you done something wrong and had been forgiven but yet hold on to the regret? That’s because you haven’t forgiven yourself, so you haven’t released yourself from the grief associated with your mistakes. So forgiving someone is more beneficial to you than it is for the person you are forgiving in the long run.

You can also look at it this way, if the person feels no regret over what they did to you in the first place, then how is the person you are forgiving gaining from your forgiveness? It is about letting go of the hurt, pain, and anger you hold towards the person that has done you wrong in the end. Also Just because you forgave someone does not mean you will forget what they did, and thus the trust they lost will stay the same.

Unloading that baggage of past hurt and regret frees up your mind to focus on more important things, such as being happy and enjoying life with those you love. So that leaves us dealing with poor self-image and self-esteem issues, which is a harder issue since we all have different reasons for being down on ourselves. Could be a combination of us accepting negative opinions of family and/or peers, our own negative opinions of ourselves, and past failures.

You can try to trace things back to their origin, try and figure out why you accepted it as truth, and then accept that it was only opinion, not fact. To be honest there are many self-help books out there dealing with this and if they are not helpful I would suggest getting help from a professional if it is a severe case.

Do your best to change what is within your power and learn to accept the things you can not control or change my friend. Peace and Blessings to all!

Dovestar’s Ramblings on 11-7-22

History shows us there always was a small percentage that was in power and possessed the majority of the wealth. Regardless of the type of political system, there were always a few that had and the rest that struggled to have or had not. Even Communism and Socialism fell into that problem, in theory, those two types of governing sounded good, but those on top hoarded the money and lived in luxury as those they governed lived a meager and sometimes very impoverished existence. And to maintain that power and privilege those in power use force and fear to keep the common citizens in control.

This happens in all political systems to one degree or another, be it in the governing body or through the power of the rich merchants and business leaders. It has been a battle between those in power and the common citizens for centuries. Even democracy has fallen prey to the wealthy and powerful in multiple ways. The problem lies in the human condition, the desire for power and wealth, and the fear of losing those things. There is also the fact those who are wealthy lose touch with how it is on the bottom of the financial ladder, how it is to live from paycheck to paycheck or be faced with the choice of getting food or medicine etc.

It is sad to see profits being a higher priority and wealth as more important than those people who are starving, living in the streets and struggling to survive. Also a shame when you see so many who want to sunset social security and medicare when it was paid into by those on it all their lives. Those in retirement where the ones that worked to maintain the level of life the rich enjoy and voted all those politicians into office. Elderly people are not disposable, they should be respected and looked to for the wisdom they possess and many of us have either forgotten or never learned.

Photo by hitesh choudhary on Pexels.com

The wealth divide is growing ever wider and there is very little hope to be seen at this point in history. Both democrats and republicans need to put thier rhetoric aside and start representing all the people not just a portin of their base. Time to stop the partisan bull hockey and reach across the isle and come up with real solutions that both sides can benifit from. Right now those that are representing us citizens are acting somewhat immature and seem set on dividing the nation instead of doing thier actual jobs.

We The People is meant to be all of us not just one political party or the other or just some obscure percentage. If things dont change soon we will be the divided states of america and what we once known as a democratic republic may be gone. Both political parties are to blame in one fashion or another. The greatest threat to our democracy is not which party is in power but how they goveren and if they serve us the people or their own agendas. Something to think about when you go out to vote tuesday!

Blessings to all

Random thoughts-Toxic people, self-worth, and forgiveness

person sitting outdoors
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Basing your self-worth on other people’s opinions of you and building your self-image on such only leads to a rollercoaster of emotions usually ending you up in depression or in a state of low self esteem. It is human nature to follow such patterns since we enter this world seeking the approval and acceptance of our parents and siblings. Which is fine in the earliest years of our life, but we are supposed to let go of such patterns as we age into young adults.

Unfortunately, many of us either let go of such behavior much later or continue on with it throughout our lives. Sure we can not avoid the opinions of others nor can we let go of that desire to belong and be accepted, but we can learn to navigate with the knowledge that what we think about ourselves is more important. Knowing that our psyche tends to seek approval from others and responds to the opinions of others, we should avoid toxic friends and try to navigate around toxic relatives as much as possible.

There will always be those in your life that do not like you and those that try the hardest to bring you down. Those are people we should try and avoid and ignore their negative comments and actions as much as we can. We should seek out those people that support us, enrich our lives, allong with those who may criticise us in a constructive way. We need some people in our lives that care enough to point out when were going astray just as much as we need those that emphasize with us and/or act as cheerleaders for us.

Toxic friends tend to break you down emotionally and mentally, some of them may not even know they are doing such because they never had positive reinforcement in their lives or a caring family possibly. Do not hate toxic people, just feel sorry for them. They are missing out on the love and happiness they could have in life and embrace the negativity in their lives for the short-lived rush they may feel or the temporary relief from the emptiness they feel.

Being a person that has both been toxic on occasion and the victim of toxic friends I can relate to both sides. On many occasions, I have tried to help some fo those toxic people in my life and rarely did I succeed in helping them because they didn’t want to change their way of thinking or being. This probably was due to my lack of abilities more than anything, so if you want to attempt to help someone who is toxic, I would suggest getting help for them if not seek out help for you to achieve such.

Life is hard enough at times, subjecting yourself to the negativity of toxic people makes it an even harder life to live. I guess there may be some strong enough to deal with toxic friends without suffering the ill effects of being around them all the time.Those people are probably rare and possibly the saving grace for the toxic people in their lives.

Just remember no matter what others may say or think, or even what you may beleive about yourself at times, you are unique and just as important as any other living creature on this planet. There is only one you in this universe and you were born for a reason. Just becuase you can not figure out what that reason is does not mean you do not have purpose in life nor does it mean you are less than anyone else.

If you stop worrying what others might think about you and focus more on how you could impact those around you in a positive and contructive way, you may find that you are quite a good person if you give yourself the chance. Forgive yourself of your past mistakes, and go forward with compassion and understanding. Forgive others as well, since holding onto grudges only does more harm to you than the one you hold the grudge againts. If too much energy is spent on regret and vengence the less energy is left to love others and for you to enjoy the gifts in life that you have.

Yom Kippur: What does Judaism actually say about forgiveness?

Two women embrace before a Yom Kippur service held outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Adam B. Cohen, Arizona State University

The Jewish High Holidays include Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Traditionally, Jews view the holidays as a chance to reflect on our shortcomings, make amends and seek forgiveness, both from other people and from the Almighty.

Jews pray and fast on Yom Kippur to demonstrate their remorse and to focus on reconciliation. According to Jewish tradition, it is at the end of this solemn period that God seals his decision about each person’s fate for the coming year. Congregations recite a prayer called the “Unetanah Tokef,” which recalls God’s power to decide “who shall live and who shall die, who shall reach the ends of his days and who shall not” – an ancient text that Leonard Cohen popularized with his song “Who by Fire.”

Forgiveness and related concepts, such as compassion, are central virtues in many religions. What’s more, research has shown that it is psychologically beneficial.

But each religious tradition has its own particular views about forgiveness, as well, including Judaism. As a psychologist of religion, I have done research on these similarities and differences when it comes to forgiveness.

Person to person

Several specific attitudes about forgiveness are reflected in the liturgy of the Jewish High Holidays, so those who go to services are likely to be aware of them – even if they skip out for a snack.

In Jewish theology, only the victim has the right to forgive an offense against another person, and an offender should repent toward the victim before forgiveness can take place. Someone who has hurt another person must sincerely apologize three times. If the victim still withholds forgiveness, the offender is considered forgiven, and the victim now shares the blame.

The 10-day period known as the “Days of Awe” – Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and the days between – is a popular time for forgiveness. Observant Jews reach out to friends and family they have wronged over the past year so that they can enter Yom Kippur services with a clean conscience and hope they have done all they can to mitigate God’s judgment.

The teaching that only a victim can forgive someone implies that God cannot forgive offenses between people until the relevant people have forgiven each other. It also means that some offenses, such as the Holocaust, can never be forgiven, because those martyred are dead and unable to forgive.

Many people dressed in black and white stand in a courtyard between ancient walls.
Thousands of Jewish pilgrims attend penitential prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem ahead of the Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashana. Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

To forgive or not to forgive?

In psychological research, I have found that most Jewish and Christian participants endorse the views of forgiveness espoused by their religions.

As in Judaism, most Christian teachings encourage people to ask and give forgiveness for harms done to one another. But they tend to teach that more sins should be forgiven – and can be, by God, because Jesus’ death atoned vicariously for people’s sins.

Even in Christianity, not all offenses are forgivable. The New Testament describes blaspheming against the Holy Spirit as an unforgivable sin. And Catholicism teaches that there is a category called “mortal sins,” which cut off sinners from God’s grace unless they repent.

One of my research papers, consisting of three studies, shows that a majority of Jewish participants believe that some offenses are too severe to forgive; that it doesn’t make sense to ask someone other than the victim about forgiveness; and that forgiveness is not offered unconditionally, but after the offender has tried to make things right.

Take this specific example: In one of my research studies I asked Jewish and Christian participants if they thought a Jew should forgive a dying Nazi soldier who requested forgiveness for killing Jews. This scenario is described in “The Sunflower” by Simon Wiesenthal, a writer and Holocaust survivor famous for his efforts to prosecute German war criminals.

A color photograph of an older, balding man in a blue shirt and striped tie.
Simon Wiesenthal at the White House during the Reagan administration. Diana Walker/The Chronicle Collection via Getty Images

Jewish participants often didn’t think the question made sense: How could someone else – someone living – forgive the murder of another person? The Christian participants, on the other hand, who were all Protestants, usually said to forgive. They agreed more often with statements like “Mr. Wiesenthal should have forgiven the SS soldier” and “Mr. Wiesenthal would have done the virtuous thing if he forgave the soldier.”

It’s not just about the Holocaust. We also asked about a more everyday scenario – imagining that a student plagiarized a paper that participants’ friends had written, and then asked the participants for forgiveness – and saw similar results.

Jewish people have a wide variety of opinions on these topics, though, as they do in all things. “Two Jews, three opinions!” as the old saying goes. In other studies with my co-researchers, we showed that Holocaust survivors, as well as Jewish American college students born well after the Holocaust, vary widely in how tolerant they are of German people and products. Some are perfectly fine with traveling to Germany and having German friends, and others are unwilling to even listen to Beethoven.

In these studies, the key variable that seems to distinguish Jewish people who are OK with Germans and Germany from those who are not is to what extent they associate all Germans with Nazism. Among the Holocaust survivors, for example, survivors who had been born in Germany – and would have known German people before the war – were more tolerant than those whose first, perhaps only, exposure to Germans had been in the camps.

Forgiveness is good for you – or is it?

American society – where about 7 in 10 people identify as Christian – generally views forgiveness as a positive virtue. What’s more, research has found there are emotional and physical benefits to letting go of grudges.

But does this mean forgiveness is always the answer? To me, it’s an open question.

For example, future research could explore whether forgiveness is always psychologically beneficial, or only when it aligns with the would-be forgiver’s religious views.

If you are observing Yom Kippur, remember that – as with every topic – Judaism has a wide and, well, forgiving view of what is acceptable when it comes to forgiveness.

Adam B. Cohen, Professor of Psychology, Arizona State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder

UK Help, Advice, Resources and FAQ's all relating to the mental health disorder BPD

Considering the Bible

Scripture Musings

ULUA.COM

Ultimate Living Ultimate Aloha ULUA

saveyourmarriage

You Can save your marriage with the right knowledge

Chiecyclopedia

Join The Movement

DIGITALNEWSLINK

Bringing The World Together...

Health and Fitness Better

Information for your best health and fitness.

MindYoga4U

A Site To Learn More About Meditation And Yoga

Shaping Prosperity

Shape Your Mind, Body, and Spirit to Prosperity

tonysbologna : Honest. Satirical. Observations

Funny Blogs With A Hint Of Personal Development

Reasonedandseasoned

Rating without complicating

Writing about...Writing

Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Freaken Sports

Sports news for sporty people!

The Healthily Magazine

Maximum Health, Life, and Love

𝗦𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗲, 𝗜𝘁𝘀 A 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗽𝘆

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”

Eat Think Health

We provide useful articles to help you make the right informed decisions to achieve your health, wellness and fitness goals through exercise and eating right.

AM Yoga Space

All About Yoga Practice, Poses, and Benefits

Lazarus Books

Something For Everyone!

Edge of Humanity Magazine

An Independent Non-Discriminatory Platform With No Religious, Political, Financial, or Social Affiliations

Rooster Crows

From the Roof Top

Life Inspiration 4all

understanding Why Mastering the Art of Perseverance and Self-Confidence is the key to success in life.

Blackxreptiles.com

Reptile breeder and blogger

Irish Myths

plumbing the depths of Irish and Celtic mythology, legend, and folklore

Ominous The Spirit

Ominous The Spirit is an artist that makes music, paints, and creates photography. He donates 100% of profits to charity.

Intellectual Shaman

Poetry for Finding Meaning in the Madness

Learn, live and experience East Asian Cultures

East Asian cultures are a whole world of travels, yoga, meditation, Feng Shui, Buddhism, Hinduism and more. Let us share with you the beauty of East Asian Cultures.

Lifesfinewhine

The Life & Ramblings Of A Zillennial

Thomas W. P. Slatin

American Writer, Photographer, and Website Designer. Former career Fire and EMS Lieutenant. She/Her/Hers. Lesbian.

Art By An Ant

dedicated to everyone who wonders if i'm writing about them. i am.

Miracle of Manifestation

Powerful Laws of Attraction and Manifestation

TechWordly

Best Tech Gadgets Advise

G-FX.NET

Digital Multimedia and Search Engine Optimization

Awake Your Inner Dragon

Combine the mental (mindset), the physical (exercise) & the spiritual (meditation) together to Awake Your Inner Dragon.

Churape's Dungeon and Stuff

Movie, TV, and Game Reviews

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

%d bloggers like this: