Hold A Grudge Or Let It Go?

When it comes to personal slights, do you tend to hold a grudge, or let things slide off your back? Do you wish you were different?

Share why if you wish.

Hold A Grudge Or Let It Go?

How Can Humans Become More Humane?

Human history is filled with aggression, violence, betrayal, greed, and other negative acts. How can we become more humane?

While there are plenty of instances of people treating each other with grace and dignity, the opposite is alarmingly common. And all too often, the underlying cause is suspicion and mistrust of the other.

It is easy to understand bad behavior when life and death is on the line. If my family is going to starve, I might steal your food to feed them. That may not be right, but it makes sense.

However, what do we make of more abstract differences? Why do we attack or enslave someone else because their skin color is different from ours? Or they pray to a different god? Or they speak a different language?

There may be an evolutionary cause to our behavior. A person who mistrusted others in different tribal groups may have been more likely to survive into adulthood and have offspring. We may be hardwired that way.

Now however, that same behavior is counterproductive at best, and actively destructive at worst. We can see divisions growing between groups for the simplest of reasons. People are insulted and attacked online, which ruins the experience for everyone. Misogyny, homophobia, racism all run rampant in today’s society.

Is there any way we can improve things? Can we train ourselves to treat others with respect and compassion, even if we don’t know them? Can we overcome our baser instincts and be more humane? On a personal level, what do you do if you suspect you might be succumbing to your darker nature?

Related questions: How can we encourage meaningful conversation? Why do we hate? How can you love someone who does something you hate? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us?

Do You Consider Yourself A Happy Person?

Everyone is happy some of the time, and unhappy other times. On the whole, though, do you consider yourself to be a happy person?

How can you tell? It is tempting to simply count the number of times you are happy. If you are happy more often than not, you are a happy person.

But that can miss an important nuance: you may consider yourself to be a happy person, even if you are unhappy more than fifty percent of the time. Similarly, you might consider yourself to be an unhappy person, even if the happy times make up a majority.

And, of course, how you see yourself is not how others see you. You might consider yourself to be happy, but someone else might see you as unhappy, or vice versa. How important is how others see you, versus how you see yourself?

In addition, it’s not obvious that happiness should be the goal. There are many traits you might strive to have: to be kind, generous, thoughtful, helpful, and so on. Happiness may very well be an unintended (or intended) consequence of some of these.

Goal or not, you probably have a sense of your own happiness. Do you consider yourself a happy person? If you think about your day-to-day (or even hour-to-hour) life, is the answer still the same? And if you are an unhappy person, how might you bring a little more happiness into your life?

Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose in life? Why don’t you know what makes you happy? What makes you the happiest? Why do we put up with unhappiness?

How Does Technology Influence Your Emotions?

The technology we use in our everyday life is rapidly changing. In what ways are our emotions influenced by that technology?

The last century has seen the introduction of revolutionary technology, from the television to the Internet to the smartphone. These devices are used by most people every single day, often obsessively so.

In turn, our brains, which evolved without these influences, are reacting to and being shaped by this use. In particular, our emotions are being targeted by advertisers, media companies, and other people.

As you go about your day, can you think of ways your emotions are engaged via technology?

Positive emotions, like joy, love, happiness, and glee might be triggered in a number of ways. Seeing pictures of family members hundreds or even thousands of miles away might bring a smile to your face. The use of GPS might get you to your destination quickly and safely. You might laugh at a shared online joke or meme.

Of course, negative emotions are also being influenced. Cable news gets you to stay tuned by presenting scary news items. Advertisers make you feel envy toward others to get you to buy goods and services. You might also, at times, feel anger, jealousy, and lust.

How are your emotions influenced by our modern-day technology? What might you do to limit that influence, or at least not be controlled by it?

Related questions: Is technology neutral? What role does technology play in your life? What skills have you lost due to technology? What is the right amount of emotion? How does media manipulate you?

What Makes For A Satisfied Mind?

To live well, some philosophies say, you should try to cultivate a satisfied mind. What does that mean, and how might you accomplish it?

There are many reasons why you mind might not be satisfied.

On a personal level, you might want more: more money, more status, more stuff. Ambition can be a good motivator, but it doesn’t produce satisfaction.

You might also look at the world and want more justice. You might see the flaws in our society, or empathize with plight of others that are suffering. That might lead you to attempt to seek positive change. That’s a good thing — but “satisfied” is not the word you would use to describe that.

There are also a host of issues to be worried about, from civil unrest, to artificial intelligence, to climate change, to income inequality, and on and on. Yet another reason why you might not have a satisfied mind.

So what can you do? How might you quell your fears, curb your wants and desires? To calm your thoughts, and bring about a state of being that is less anxiety ridden, and therefore more healthy? And lastly, is there a concern that cultivating a satisfied mind might dissociate you from others?

Related questions: What do you think about when your mind is not preoccupied? How do you find peace when you need it? What do you do to clear your mind? Are we too busy?