True Colors

Human beings are such complex creatures that we have a difficult time understanding what motivates us, hence the popularity of motivational social media. We need reminders of what’s truly important because life can be so challenging that it kind of muddies the waters of reason and response, distorting our clarity and our emotions. In this quote by Albert Einstein, some may think he’s trying to say there are three kinds of people: those who seek revenge (weak people), those who are forgiving (strong people), and those who ignore (intelligent people). But I prefer to think he’s trying to tell us something very different. I think he’s trying to say that each of is capable of demonstrating all three aspects of character (weakness, strength, intelligence), and that their activation is a reaction that we choose. I think Einstein is saying that it is a sign of weakness to seek revenge on another who has wronged you. Revenge can take many forms, some of which can put you in prison and destroy your life. I think he’s saying it takes more strength to forgive than to attack. Forgiveness frees you from negative retribution and karmic lockdown. And intelligence? I think Einstein is encouraging us to use our intelligence to identify the battles we can win with the least collateral damage to others and ourselves, and to focus our energies there rather than expend precious time on skirmishes that are truly insignificant in the bigger picture of our lives. Look, each of us is challenged every day with making hundreds of choices. So why not choose actions that benefit you the most in the long view of your life rather than in the immediacy of an emotion-filled moment?

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