My New Year resolution for this year is to be more understanding, or forgiving, if you prefer. This for the sake of my own happiness.
Humankind has disappointed me over and over again. True enough, those who hurt me personally and directly are few. However it is also true that far too many among the world's human population fail to appreciate an individual's right to his own life and body, with what I consider awful consequences. At worst, people are outright killed. For gain, for having commited a crime themselves, for claiming the right to believe what they want or just for choosing a sex partner not to the killer's liking (by being gay, for example). This I consider evil. And it doesn't just happen incidentally. It is outright propagated by twisted moral systems and political ideologies, disguising quest for power and domination in coats of beautiful words.
Some people disrespecting others' right to their own lives wouldn't kill anyone. They would just insist on making the decisions for others, on ruling them, that is. Substituting their own judgment for the judgment of the other. Considering themselves more knowledgeable of the other, than the other himself. This is disrespect. And most people are guilty of it, thinking their own way of life is the right one for all. Defend yourself, call it necessary, call it what you want. It's not worthy of praise.
In the name of tradition and for the sake of farmers' profits, people cage up animals, depriving them of the space and freedom to act according to their impulses, instincts and urges. In the name of the same traditions, the animals end up slaughtered and eaten, even though there is plenty of evidence showing that it is unnecessary and even detrimental to the eater's health.
I have trouble breathing in this polluted global village of madhouses. When I'm walking in a crowded street, I am most probably walking amongst perpetrators of the greatest evils there are.
The only way I can deal with this is to remember they don't think like me. They act on different information. They cling to other standards of morality. They didn't live my life. They might never have heard any of these things discussed or debated. One cannot act in a space one isn't located in.
I believe in information. I believe in knowledge. I believe in understanding.
When not informed, how can you be judged from making decisions on the wrong premises?
Jesus reportedly said: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" (Luk 23:34). That is what I intend on doing (without being anyone's father). I intend on forgiving. Most have no idea what they do, or don't share my perspective. They don't mean to mean. They just happen to be.
It's not personal. It's not intended. It's not a quality of the victim that causes evil. It's a lack of understanding and information on the part of the oppressor, of the abilitiy to stand in another's shoes.
Bad actions might not be the offspring of hatred, they might just be the products of ignorance.
Things can change.