Positive psychology: altruism, love, appreciation, and forgiveness

Positive Psychology: Altruism, Love, Appreciation, and Forgiveness of the of the Positive Psychology: Altruism, Love, Appreciation, and Forgiveness
It is almost a certainty that man is God’s most complex creation. Our capacity to remember past events and learn from them, or rather to make inferences about future actions or events in the light of previous dealings with individuals or groups makes us alert and discerning human beings. The concepts of love, appreciation, altruism and forgiveness are usually found intertwined along life’s pathways and this through this journal entry I propose to recount an incident that touched upon these concepts in my daily existence.
We all remember our first crushes and how we got to meet them. It so happened that I developed a crush on an Asian girl, Samantha by name. We were in the same class in fifth grade and she was introduced to us as a new girl at school, her family recently having migrated to the USA from India. She was a shy demure girl and I was told to share my seat in class with her. I was struck by her innocence and beauty and the fact that she came from a country so far away. Although many girls in the class did not like her at first, I took it upon myself to be her protector and confidante, looking out for her well being and helping her understand American values. She was an eager learner and truly appreciated my concern. However her father was quite overprotective and did not want her to mix with American boys. He preferred she mixed with others in her own community. Well, although we liked each other she could not return my feelings for her due to this fact. Her father came to know about our relationship and even phoned up my parents telling them to keep their son away from his daughter. My parents did just that and in the end she got friendly with an Asian guy and they got engaged as well. She phoned me once to say that she did not really love him and was being pushed into marriage but I decided it was not my concern.
One might well question my intentions on meeting and befriending her. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to want to be with her, but I wonder if I had really acted unselfishly? (Ratner & Miller, 2001). Is love an unselfish act and can we help who we are attracted to? I do not know the answer to this one but I know people who have married for fame and money. I could have helped her escape from her forced relationship but would that act be out of altruism or self egoism? (Batson, 1990). I wonder whether we are all really self egoistic human beings. Though acts of altruism do happen, it is best if the left hand does not know what the right hand has done. I have forgiven her father for his act of desperation, and decided to keep this episode behind me now. Maybe the impulse to help others is universal, but we clearly need to nurture our feelings for helping out other human beings presently in misery or more unfortunate than we are. Forgiveness is also a commendable human trait, and helps us lose much unwanted psychological baggage (McCullough et al., 2000).
Batson, C. (1990). How Social an Animal? American Psychologist, March 1990, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 336-346.
McCullough, M., Pargament, K. & Thoresen, C. (2000). Forgiveness: theory, research and practice. New York: The Guildford Press.
Ratner, R. K & Miller, D. T. (2001). The Norm of Self Interest and Its Effects on Social Action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume Issue 81, Number 1, pp 5-16.