Thursday, February 2, 2012

Forgiving Everyone For Everything

Alan Watts once said, “To understand all is to forgive all.” That is, when we are fully aware of something- we know its history and make up- we find it hard to blame it for anything, because we see it shaped by forces not controlled by itself. In other words, the thing in question is seen only as reacting to circumstances outside of it, thereby removing any accountability for its status. We see it as a product of its environment.

As a psychologist, one studies behavior. The peculiar thing is that when you start to understand behavior, you forgive it. Where before one would have been appalled or offended by a given action, now one feels sympathetic and does not judge the person rashly or harshly. One reaches a place where all behavior is seen as a reaction to environmental factors outside the complete control of anyone.

When one comes to that realization, its supremely hard to get mad at anyone. Should psychology be taught in public schools to help people become more aware of behavior in general so they are more forgiving when they meet people with different ways of expressing behavior? I think so.