By Diego Nascimento
To begin with, I have just arrived from a drive through the center of the city where I live, and I become increasingly perplexed at how selfishness has become an epidemic. People’s own body language shows that apprehension and anger are ‘stuck’ in the heart of the majority. And so the ‘storm’ experienced inside the house, at that unexpected encounter, or at WhatsApp / Facebook knocks on the door of work. It is all a result of a customary practice in postmodern society: the lack of forgiveness that slyly declared a Third World War (relationships).
Family, professional life, and leisure come down to a simple but complicated noun: relationship. I guarantee that last year’s party in department X, the look of secretary Y or that ‘so-and-so’ message is already on your mind, right? Wrong! Reliving the past is not healthy: the mind and body suffer from it. In what concerns Professional Ethics and Conviviality, I defend the idea that forgiveness is the antidote to a poison called resentment. Without this noble act, relationships become cold, brainstorming meetings lose quality (whether through resistance in speaking or listening to others), individualism develops, and teamwork breaks down. But what justifies the encouragement of the practice of forgiveness in daily professional lives and other areas?
- It is a biblical recommendation: In Paul’s letter to the Colossians (chapter 3, verse 13), Paul records: “Bear with one another and forgive any grievances they may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.”
- It’s good for your health: According to Dr. Karen Swartz, director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Clinic of Medical Consultation for Mood Disorders , “There’s a huge physical burden to stay hurt and disappointed. Chronic anger puts us in a fight or flight mode, which results in countless changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immunity.”
- It is a matter of honor: Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, became an emblematic figure in forgiving all those who accused him, attacked him and took him to prison, where he remained for twenty-seven years.
- It is an interpersonal relationship exercise: The act of forgiving is independent of social status, schooling or nationality. Great leaders chose to go hand in hand with forgiveness. Even the great King David, who commanded the empire of Israel for many years, in one of his records wrote about how “it is good to lie down in peace and then fall asleep.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “Talk is cheap. I want to see all this theory come to fruition.” The end of this war depends solely on you. As challenging as the situation has been, forgiving involves taking the first step even if the other side is not willing to listen. I learned that everything has the right time, and in companies where harmony circulates in the halls and corridors success is guaranteed.
My lectures take place in schools, colleges, universities, churches, micro, medium, large companies (even multinationals) and in each one of them I take up this challenge. It will not be a badge or salary range that will exempt A or B from forgiving or reaching forgiveness. Take action and clarify the facts, because tomorrow may be late.