Getting Revenge and Forgiveness

We have all heard it before, “forgive and forget”; yet, revenge is a huge part of our society.  Michael McCullough is a professor of psychology at the University of Miami, author of Beyond Revenge and guest on On Being, with Krista Tippett.

McCullough writes that forgiveness is more than just a nice notion, but instinctually embedded in each of us.  Thus, the question is how we embolden our instincts to forgive and quell the desire for revenge?  The surprisingly ally, at least to me, was not religion, but science which says that we instinctually cooperative and thus have a tolerance for mistakes.  Without that tolerance, we would never be able to achieve all that we have because there would be no cooperation.

As for revenge, while it is often the popular subject of many songs, revenge does not work very well in the animal kingdom – in fact, it usually works against us.  So does revenge serve a purpose?  Tune in to find out.


Credits: Tippett, Krista. “Getting Revenge and Forgiveness”  On BeingAmerican Public Media.  May 24, 2012. 


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