Society constantly bombards us with messages telling us to get what we ‘deserve’. We reinforce it by saying, ‘That’s not fair. You deserve better than that.’

But what do we really deserve?

Sure, people have hurt you, but you’ve hurt people too, and you probably didn’t even realise it. We all walk around with the assumption that the way we see the world is accurate, and everyone else is wrong. So what do we do when someone hurts us? All too often we make a bunch of assumptions.

Forgetting our own capacity to be selfish, unthinking, or even cruel, we assume the person who hurt us (by cutting us off in traffic, wasting our time, pushing in line at the supermarket) did it because they think they’re better than us. However, when pride meets pride, neither wants to lose, so we both do. But there is a better way. As hard as it is, as counter-cultural as it is, try forgiveness.

Nelson Mandela said,

“Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Don’t drink poison.