I first began to gain a kind of respect for the revenge impulse in human life when we worked, in the early days of this program, on a show about the death penalty. I came to understand that revenge was the original “criminal justice system.” For most of human history, prior to the rule of law, prior to structures of justice that transcend the messiness of human interaction, the threat of retaliation has been a primary tool humans possessed to pursue justice and also to deter cycles of violence.
The poet Elizabeth Alexander once asked, “What if the mightiest word is love?”
Michael McCullough describes science that helps us comprehend how revenge came to have a purpose in human life. At the same time, he stresses, science is also revealing that human beings are more instinctively equipped for forgiveness than we've perhaps given ourselves credit for. Knowing this suggests ways to calm the revenge instinct in ourselves and others and embolden the forgiveness intuition.
Two thoroughly humorous and enriching animated shorts on teshuva (repentance) + slicha (forgiveness) from artist Hanan Harchol
A nourishing story of forgiveness, mercy, and redemption. Yes, StoryCorps does it again.
The director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project connects the dots between compassion and vulnerability.
A listener's story about a heinous crime reminds one of Desmond Tutu speaking about forgiveness during the South African truth and reconciliation process.