Many people injured by what they perceive to be corporate indifference may be understandably angry. Such people can be doubly troubled. Not only may they have lost a loved one or been grievously injured as a result of a company’s recklessly marketing a dubious drug or medical device, or a car maker’s failure to order a timely recall on a defective vehicle, the incident or accident may also severely damage a person’s disposition, crush the spirit, which, in the end, is all we have or can hope to have. (We all gotta’ go sometime.)
Seeing the Good, Appreciating Humanity
No one can put a price tag on the ability to see the good in life and people and remain optimistic, or at least hopeful, in day-to-day affairs; but that doesn’t mean that the ability to see the good, or at least to feel empathy for others is not valuable, or even priceless. The problem is that no matter which side of the political aisle one sits on today, anyone can see that cynicism and decay at the heart of our political institutions are tearing the country asunder. Anger and hatred appear to be the leading themes of the day, at least in politics, as well as internet “relations” that increasingly govern our lives.
Edward Wasserman, Knight Professor in Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University, notes that one cause of all the hatred is bad examples set by media. He commented in an article published on the university’s website:
“[M]ainstream media have made a fortune teaching people the wrong ways to talk to each other, offering up Jerry Springer, Crossfire, Bill O’Reilly. People understandably conclude rage is the political vernacular, that this is how public ideas are talked about.”
Communication, the scholars say, is really about taking someone else’s perspective, understanding it, and responding, but that doesn’t happen with the one-way communication commenting on the internet, or in the monologues texting encourages.
“Tone of voice and gesture can have a large influence on your ability to understand what someone is saying,” says Mr. Markman. “The further away from face-to-face, real-time dialogue you get, the harder it is to communicate.”
Forgiveness helps heal Forgivers
Many people carry on fights with faceless others in internet comments’ sections to settle or inflame old grudges that may in reality have little or nothing to do with the topic or person at hand. (It’s hard to see how so much vitriol could otherwise be summoned for a stranger.) Such people would be well-served to study the art of forgiveness.
Dr. Malynn Utzinger knows something about forgiveness, not only for its emotional benefits but for its immediate physical health impacts. She’s double board certified in Family Medicine and in Integrative and Holistic Medicine. She is also a certified yoga instructor who has been exploring alternative medicine for many years. She has worked with such modern-day visionaries as Deepak Chopra MD, Dean Ornish MD, and Andrew Weil MD.
Dr. Utzinger recently collaborated with a filmmaker to put some of her ideas into a presentation that should be required viewing for all of our considerable multitudes of angry people. She was recently interviewed in a very enlightening piece that might well save some folks thousands of dollars in psychiatric fees. (It’s hard to put a price on your mental and physical health, isn’t it?) You can find that interview here in Gratitude Revealed.
In the film below, Dr. Utzinger guides us through a beautiful journey towards forgiveness, and inner peace, which become all the same thing, and lead, finally, to gratitude, without which we are all most decidedly lost; for the list of things to forgive yourself and others for in a day and a lifetime is virtually endless, isn’t it? Give yourself a treat. Enjoy this amazing 4 1/2-minute film: