What is forgiveness, but another way to better our own existence?
Thinking back to ancient times, for what reason did man stick with fellow humans? True, it provided company, something alive in a harsh world, but above all, it was much more efficient. With a two man team, you could alternate tracking an animal to hunt, and you had double the manpower. This led to the discovery that one no longer starves to death during the winter if one works in a team. So if 2 people are good, then why wouldn’t 3 people be great? And 10 people? And a tribe? A village? A city? A nation?
In numbers, even the most incapable of animals find strength. It is because of this strength that the word “society” evolved.
Forgiveness then, has always been beside man since he joined forces with another being. Forgiveness, perhaps I sound too positive right now. A better phrasing would perhaps be the “power to pardon”. Imagine that in a team of two people, there is the stronger, more skilled dominant figure, and the lesser, slightly less skilled subordinate. The subordinate, being less skilled than the alpha, screws up and lets prey get away. The alpha now has to make a choice–a choice that probably flits through our minds at trivial acts, but nevertheless, a choice. Does he let the subordinate stay with him, or does he make him leave? By logical reasoning, he should be asking himself another question that determines his choice: Will my hunting be better without him? In other words, does the subordinate’s hunting outweigh the fact that there is another mouth to feed? If he decides that the subordinate is indeed an asset, then he has “pardoned” him.
On a darker note, if he decides that having the subordinate by his side is, in fact, bringing him down and making his existence less efficient, then he has refused to pardon him. If you think that our society is now beyond this stage, then think again. Why do students have new teachers every year? It is because they have taught students to the best of their abilities, and there is nothing more or quality that they can give them. In businesses, why do people get fired or laid off? It is because their pay has outweighed their work, and it is worse for the company’s income to keep them. Livelihoods depend on efficiency and the determination of what is beneficial and what is detrimental.
There is a saying that says that everyone has something to teach if you pay attention. In the human conquest to know, to fully live up to our name Homo sapiens sapiens, we have found that the quickest way to gauge profit is to see who a person really is. Observe how they react to different environments and situations, and see what their true face is. If a person is truly bad, it has been found through many centuries of society that said person is most likely to cause damage to our existence, therefore, making a bad person somewhat like loose baggage. If it is found that a human is with mostly good intentions, one has a greater chance of reaping a better reward, a better existence. Oftentimes, it takes years before a person “knows”. But in that instant, what will you choose?
When there is nothing more for me to gain, when I have seen the core of your existence, when the detrimental effects simply outweigh the benefits–it is then that you will become nothing to me.
– Beyond Apathy