“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”― Oscar Wilde
TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about forgiveness. Whether we accept it or not, it’s easy to forgive our family for errors. It’s convenient to forgive our loved ones for most omissions. We want to let transgressions from friends disappear. But, how about your opponents or those you distrust? What happens when these transgress against you? The simplest strategy for this complex intonation is forgiveness.
1. Forgiveness annoys those who attack you. As the introductory quote above explains, forgiveness – to the closed arms of an opponent – is extremely annoying. Your sporting opponent, corporate rival, or feuding adversary attack you to elicit a reaction. The hope is your reaction is irrational, hastily conceived, and poorly executed. This is the benefits of an attack and why we don’t just engage in predetermined deliberations. By responding with forgiveness, you disarm most of the possibilities your opponent is trying to elicit from you.
2. Forgiveness is strength. Forgiveness is not about being a doormat. Forgiveness is not about being a pushover. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names” (John F. Kennedy). Forgiveness is about strength!
By forgiving, you show restraint and the ability to strategize counterpoints. Forgiveness, in this context, is counterintuitive because of our overriding desire to tap into primal reflexes in moments of duress. But, “the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” (Mahatma Gandhi). Your opponents will be dumbfounded by your act of forgiveness and your enemies will be confused by this show of strength. Then, consider what the attack was based on and begin to develop a plan that addresses the reasons for the existing adversarial relationship and how it can be mutually overcome.
3. Forgiveness is a sustainable overarching strategy. No one can survive with grudges against all who have ever crossed them. No one can grow while holding anger and resentment in their hand. Strategy, without the ability to forgive, eventually falls to some stronger opponent. However, one who shows forgiveness can broker relationships based on trust. The latter is a fundamental part of a long-term successful strategy.
MEDICINE & MACULA: Check out our new photo essay in the October 2016 issue of Ophthalmology entitled, Pigmented Paravenous Retinochoroidal Atrophy (Lucas T. Lenci MD, D. Wilkin Parke III MD & David R.P. Almeida MD MBA PhD)
This is a great example of prominent atrophy of the retina and choroid surrounding the retinal venous circulation. You never know what’s going to walk into clinic…
GRATIS: There is another benefit to acts of forgiveness. “If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others? (Dolores Huerta) If you can forgive others, it means you can forgive yourself. That you can accept events beyond your control. That you can let go of the errors we are all bound to make.
My best to you,