What other cultures can teach us about forgiveness
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Forgiving someone can reduce our stress levels, risk of heart disease and mental illness. It can prevent cognitive decline in later life, help you earn more money, and be happier.
Forgiveness is part of every culture, but how we choose to offer forgiveness are affected by our cultures and our personal psychologies.
It is then important to be considerate of other people's differences, whether it is a result of their culture or worldview.
Individualists use forgiveness to relieve a burden and clear their conscience while collectivists use forgiveness to preserve social harmony, even if the individual still feels resentment towards their transgressor.
Western countries like the US or the UK tend to have more individualistic cultures, meaning personal gain is put before helping the wider group. In collectivistic cultures like Asia and Africa, the group is put first.
The separate types of forgiveness are sometimes used to explain the difference between collectivistic and individualistic approaches.
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"At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet." - Plato
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