The Psychology of Forgiving and Forgetting

The Huffington Post:

Nicholas Kristoff’s latest New York Times column was sad and moving. It was a tribute to Marina Keegan, an honors student and recent graduate of Yale University who turned her back on a lucrative Wall Street career — and eloquently urged other college graduates to do the same. In an essay that was viewed a million times online, she bemoaned the squandering of young talent for the mindless accumulation of wealth. Days after her graduation, she died in a car crash. Her boyfriend, the driver, fell asleep at the wheel.

Such losses are always tragic, and far too common, but that’s not what got my attention. I was stopped by this sentence: “After the crash, Marina’s parents immediately forgave and comforted her boyfriend, who faced criminal charges in her death.” Really, wow. I am a parent, and I cannot imagine a worse nightmare than losing one of my children. I honestly don’t know if I would be capable of such graciousness. Would I be able, in such awful circumstances, to overcome all my negative emotion and haunting thoughts, even vengeful impulses, and be magnanimous of spirit?

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology. Follow Wray on Twitter @wrayherbert.

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