How to Forgive

How to Forgive


Let’s say you just had a big row with someone close to you. They behaved terribly, maybe broke something and said something hideous to you. It’s so tempting to give up on them and just hate them, but there’s another way. Here’s a big idea People are almost never simply bad. What they are far more often is scared. When they behave in really horrible ways, it tends to be because they’re extremely anxious for some reason or another. Though their behavior can seem strong, no one who actually felt strong would be all arsey like that. The mature response shouldn’t therefore be to increase tension and flare up in return but to strive to see all you’ve got in front of you is someone who can’t cope. We are so aligned to the idea that it’s patronizing to think of people as younger than they are we forget that it’s also, at times, the greatest privilege to look beyond someone’s adult self in order to engage with and forgive the anxious or disappointed, furious or inarticulate child within There’s another thing to bear in mind when all you can see is a person’s weak points. Weak points are always linked to strong points and vice versa. So, for example, the strength of thoroughness is always going to bring with, in other contexts, the weakness of pedantry. Creative brilliance might well be inseparable from logistical unreliability. People who are fantastic leaders at work are likely to be seriously difficult around domestic chores. The reason for keeping this in mind is that we often encounter people’s weaknesses at moments when we’re in danger of losing sight of their strengths. At certain points, all it seems we’re bumping into are the weaknesses. We wonder “how did I end up in this relationship or hanging out with this person?” During tough times, we only see the flaws. We are failing to step back enough and ask a really vital question not just what are these people’s weaknesses but what are the strengths of which these annoying traits are the unfortunate shadow sides. Everyone is going to have the weaknesses of their strengths. Forgiving people must mean doing everything we can to keep their strengths in view at moments where their weaknesses are only too painfully apparent. if you like our films, take a look at our shop theschooloflife.com/shop You’ll find lots of thoughtful books, games, stationery and more

100 Comments

  • Sampark Sharma says:

    Forgiving is just as dangerous as altruism. One must learn never to forgive people. And yes, it's something that needs to be learnt.

  • Mnakekeli Ngcamphalala says:

    What is the strength shadowed by this weakness I see.

  • lesorax123 says:

    The narrator can read better than me… what's with the hate?

  • cimmik says:

    But I don't want to forgive. I'm scared indeed but there is something I'm scared of, and if I forgive that will hit me. I'm talking about one very specific conflict here. Normally I end up forgiving people I have conflicts with.

  • marioriospinot says:

    Nice.

  • CMStrelsky says:

    May we have a transcript for the hearing impaired?

  • Jorge Silva says:

    I appreciated the idea of using a child's voice to narrate this video, alluding to innocence. However, I didn't get the message quite well because English is not my native language. I usually do better when there is an adult narrating or when there are subtitles in the video.

  • Futures says:

    id like to see a follow up on this where it zooms out of the individual proximal issues that impact on us to see the broader distal power games that we're all caught up in using David Smails ideas

  • Sabr3cat says:

    Forgiveness is the best and only true policy towards promoting the spread of peace and prosperity ^.^

  • Pasquino 0 says:

    Thankyou so much School of Life and Alain, this is fantastic. It reminds me so much of the east London buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm who speeks of gocusing on the chicken eggs and thr chicken shit. Sorry to sound so unceremonious but he is very much the same. Between both you and him, I think wholeness might actually be possible. Thankyou x

  • Giselle Sarmiento says:

    What a great video. Thank you!

  • Ben Aaron says:

    Great animation and adorable narrator.
    I'll think of this video the next time someone says, "Please forgive me…but…"
    Thanks, School of Life.

  • ma rk says:

    That was great could you also help with a video on how to get revenge

  • Zed Orchard says:

    Forgiveness is pseudo-power for those unable to seek vengeance.

  • arqueotm says:

    0:00 Let’s say you just had a big row with someone close to you. They behaved terribly, maybe broke something and said something hideous to you. It’s so tempting to give up on them and just hate them, but there’s another way.

    0:16 Here’s a big idea: people are almost never simply bad. What they are far more often is scared. When they behave in really horrible ways, it tends to be because they’re extremely anxious for some reason or another. Though their behavior can seem strong, no one who actually felt strong would be all arsey (?) like that.

    0:47 The mature response shouldn’t therefore be to increase tension and flare up in return, but to strive to see all you’ve got in front of you is someone who can’t cope. We are so aligned to the idea that it’s patronizing to think of people as younger than they are, we forget that it’s also, at times, the greatest privilege to look beyond someone’s adult self in order to engage with and forgive the anxious or disappointed, furious or inarticulate child within.

    1:21 There’s another thing to bear in mind when all you can see is a person’s weak points. Weak points are always linked to strong points and vice versa. So, for example, the strength of thoroughness is always going to bring with, in other contexts, the weakness of pedantry. Creative brilliance might well be inseparable from logistical unreliability. People who are fantastic leaders at work are likely to be seriously difficult around domestic chores.

    1:55 The reason for keeping this in mind is that we often encounter people’s weaknesses at moments when we’re in danger of losing sight of their strengths. At certain points, all it seems we’re bumping into are the weaknesses. We wonder “how did I end up in this relationship or hanging out with this person?” During tough times, we only see the flaws. We are failing to step back enough and ask a really vital question: not just what are these people’s weaknesses, but what are the strengths of which these annoying traits are the unfortunate shadow sides.

    2:35 Everyone is going to have the weaknesses of their strengths. Forgiving people must mean doing everything we can to keep their strengths in view at moments where their weaknesses are only too painfully apparent.

  • solosaphien says:

    dear school of life. I have a humble opinion. more like request. İ am not a native speaker. sometimes it is har for me to understand what it is saying in videos especially one like this video. could you consider adding some subtiteles to the videos. I am a big fan by the way. keep up with the good work.

  • Infinite .Zero says:

    Could the SOL do a video on forgiveness when it concerns other people. I mean when you see someone else do something bad to someone else and you're in way involved. This type of forgiveness should be talked about if it's possible.

  • Wafa Alimam says:

    It will be appreciated a lot if you make something about overthinking. Cheers !

  • Coolidge Dollar says:

    Great narrator. As a side-note, I honestly can't tell whether it's a boy or a girl. The voice is so perfectly on the margin.

  • OmegaTaishu says:

    …I can't seem to understand why people disliked the narrator's voice.
    I'm not a native speaker of English too, but I find her accent pretty cute, and when I don't understand something I just listen to it again.

  • Catalin Lartist says:

    that accent is disturbingly mean

  • T T.K says:

    wonderful video, i really needed to see this

  • Will M says:

    Who disliked this?

  • Jason Hsu says:

    I can't understand some of the words that she is speaking, is there a text script available?

  • Zineb says:

    So beautifully narrated ❤️‍

  • Gina Jie Sam Foek says:

    Sound quality is not so good and the transcript needs corrections…

  • Dixon Magister says:

    0:45 arsey…. rofl

  • Dominic Go says:

    i love her voice ❤

  • chris d says:

    I liked this until the kid swore, unforgivable

  • Lam Heiyeung says:

    Anyone thinks this girl is the voice of the computer in Resident Evil? anyone?

  • Marshall L. says:

    Brazilian Portuguese – TRADUÇÂO

    0:00 Vamos dizer que você só tinha uma grande briga com alguém próximo a você . Eles se comportaram terrivelmente, talvez quebraram algo e disseram coisas horrorosa para você . É tão tentador desistir delas e apenas odiá-las, mas não, há outra maneira.

    0:16 Aqui está uma grande ideia : as pessoas quase nunca são simplesmente ruim. O que eles estão mais frequentemente é com medo. Quando se comportam de maneiras realmente horríveis, tende a ser , porque eles estão extremamente ansiosas por algum motivo ou outro. Apesar de seu comportamento pode parecer forte, ninguém que realmente se sentiu forte estaria todo entravado assim.

    0:47 A resposta madura não deve ser o de aumentar a tensão e incendiar-se em troca, mas se esforçar para ver que tudo que você tem na sua frente é alguém que não pode lidar. Estamos tão alinhados com a ideia de que é condescendente pensar em pessoas como mais jovem do que eles são, esquecemos que também é, às vezes, o maior privilégio seja olhar para além de persona adulta de alguém, a fim de se envolver com é perdoar a muitas vezes, ansiosa ou decepcionada, furiosa ou inarticulada criança de dentro.

    1:21 Há outra coisa a manter em mente quando tudo que você pode ver são os pontos fracos de uma pessoa. Pontos fracos estão sempre ligados a pontos fortes e vice- versa. Assim, por exemplo, a força de rigor sempre vai trazer consigo, em outros contextos , a fraqueza do pedantismo . Brilho criativo pode muito bem ser inseparável da falta de fiabilidade logística. As pessoas que são líderes fantásticos no trabalho tendem a ser seriamente difíceis em torno de tarefas domésticas.

    1:55 A razão para manter isso em mente é que, muitas vezes encontramos as fraquezas das pessoas em momentos quando estamos em perigo de perder de vista os seus pontos fortes. Em certos tempos, tudo aparenta apontar em seus pontos fracos. Gostaríamos de saber "como eu cheguei a este relacionamento ou sai com esta pessoa?". Durante tempos difíceis, a gente só vê as falhas. Estamos falhando de recuar o suficiente e fazer uma pergunta realmente vital: não apenas quais são os pontos fracos dessas pessoas , mas quais são os pontos fortes das quais essas características irritantes infelizmente são os lados sombra.

    2:35 Todo mundo vai ter as fraquezas de seus pontos fortes. Perdoar as pessoas deve significar fazendo tudo que podemos para manter os seus pontos fortes em vista, em momentos em que suas fraquezas são dolorosamente aparente.

  • Kaiser Basileus says:

    A lot of these videos excuse people for being emotionally immature. I don't think this sort of thing ought to be forgiven, or excused, or tolerated. We are not talking about children.

  • TheProgressiveParent says:

    we need schools to teach us emotional mastery

  • Terry Price says:

    I wish there was some way I could give back to you guys non-monetarily. I'm a student, so I don't have much money to spend on things.

  • Cevin Zeke says:

    Ehhhh there are some who aren't worthy of forgiveness, rapists, child molesters, terrorists. I mean most people are able to be forgiven but some simply aren't worth the life they have much less forgiveness.

  • Pedro Carneiro says:

    baile de favela

  • Eduardo Bezerra says:

    I really like her narrating the video! It makes a lot of sense that a child's voice reminds us of the child within each person, and that we should be more forgiving.

  • pillow tyme says:

    damn that was beautiful

  • Gerald Davis says:

    Or perhaps he is being a fucking KHJIHI#'#@~. They should create video of the dangers of easy forgiveness.

  • Fernaureason says:

    Her voice reminds me of Aisling from The Secret Of Kells. Adorable.

  • Casual Cadaver says:

    disliked I don't like getting advice from an 8 year old who has such limited ideas ,and more importantly ,experience on these topics. If this was read by an elder it would be so much better. Is this a joke ?

  • Marcela Marques Amador says:

    PT

    0:00 Vamos dizer que você só tinha uma grande briga com alguém próximo a você . Eles se comportaram terrivelmente, talvez quebraram algo e disseram coisas horrorosa para você . É tão tentador desistir delas e apenas odiá-las, mas não, há outra maneira.
    0:16 Aqui está uma grande ideia : as pessoas quase nunca são simplesmente ruim. O que eles estão mais frequentemente é com medo. Quando se comportam de maneiras realmente horríveis, tende a ser , porque eles estão extremamente ansiosas por algum motivo ou outro. Apesar de seu comportamento pode parecer forte, ninguém que realmente se sentiu forte estaria todo entravado assim.

    0:47 A resposta madura não deve ser o de aumentar a tensão e incendiar-se em troca, mas se esforçar para ver que tudo que você tem na sua frente é alguém que não pode lidar. Estamos tão alinhados com a ideia de que é condescendente pensar em pessoas como mais jovem do que eles são, esquecemos que também é, às vezes, o maior privilégio seja olhar para além de persona adulta de alguém, a fim de se envolver com é perdoar a muitas vezes, ansiosa ou decepcionada, furiosa ou inarticulada criança de dentro.

    1:21 Há outra coisa a manter em mente quando tudo que você pode ver são os pontos fracos de uma pessoa. Pontos fracos estão sempre ligados a pontos fortes e vice- versa. Assim, por exemplo, a força de rigor sempre vai trazer consigo, em outros contextos , a fraqueza do pedantismo . Brilho criativo pode muito bem ser inseparável da falta de fiabilidade logística. As pessoas que são líderes fantásticos no trabalho tendem a ser seriamente difíceis em torno de tarefas domésticas.

    1:55 A razão para manter isso em mente é que, muitas vezes encontramos as fraquezas das pessoas em momentos quando estamos em perigo de perder de vista os seus pontos fortes. Em certos tempos, tudo aparenta apontar em seus pontos fracos. Gostaríamos de saber "como eu cheguei a este relacionamento ou sai com esta pessoa?". Durante tempos difíceis, a gente só vê as falhas. Estamos falhando de recuar o suficiente e fazer uma pergunta realmente vital: não apenas quais são os pontos fracos dessas pessoas , mas quais são os pontos fortes das quais essas características irritantes infelizmente são os lados sombra.

    2:35 Todo mundo vai ter as fraquezas de seus pontos fortes. Perdoar as pessoas deve significar fazendo tudo que podemos para manter os seus pontos fortes em vista, em momentos em que suas fraquezas são dolorosamente aparente.

  • cutiekitty678678 says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this child sounds like the Red Queen from Resident Evil?

  • Paul Harris says:

    I think forgiveness is strongly linked to our need of the qualities another person possesses. If we need them,we compromise; if we don't need them,we let them go.
    In my personal experience,peace is secured within, when I say "I do forgive;I will let it go… BUT – you will never,ever have the chance to do this again." This
    puts the responsibility for reconciliation entirely in the court of the offender,leaving me with no unnatural feelings,and self respect in tact –
    an m.o. not so widely popular,but one that has made me actually like people more,not less – because I like myself more.

  • MARSBELLA1 says:

    This is an incredibly, impretive subject for our survival as a species that bless the child it is not the appropriate – the child can not impart to a sub concious level the profound act of forgiveness – please think this through The School of Life because I really need your help in this life!!

  • amy 16 says:

    "A sufi holy man was asked what forgiveness is. He said, – It is the fragrance that flowers give when they are crushed." – unknown

  • King Aphro says:

    I would have taken this video seriously if it wasn't in a Peppa Pig voice

  • Daniel O says:

    Is every weakness really just the opposite side of a strength? Is, say, being cruel or dismissive just a shadow of their…what…passion? Deep feelings? Being dishonest or manipulative is the flip side of……what, exactly? It's fine to say it might all stem from fear, but it doesn't follow that every weakness is necessarily countered by a strength. That might be a nice way to frame it in order to focus on positives, but it isn't a formula that applies all the time, or even most of the time, unless there is a study and source that can show me otherwise…?

  • Kucing Kampung says:

    Sorry, this method doesn't work for me. I've tried to think the best aspects of my used-to-be-best friend. But the more I think about it, the more I think that I won't survive with his emotional turbulance and end up eating me up inside. I've grown tired to deal with him, and surprisingly as he asked that we might need time to be apart, I actually feel more carefree when we, sadly, broke our friendship.

    Sometimes things just don't work out.

  • Juanita Grande says:

    Well, that was a sad delight.
    Brought a tear to the peepers in its truth.
    And to get the reminder from child was refreshing.

    Thanks.

  • Family B says:

    A child narrates this, because this is something you should learn when you are one… or now, but it's never too late. Also people since 2011 there's a button on Youtube with CC… press it and magical subtitles will appear

  • halfpipefreak says:

    i still hate my friend and ex :p

  • 555sarin says:

    How to forgive? Revenge.

  • ghylltarvoke says:

    How do you find a way to forgive yourself,i,ve tried for forty odd years and still haven,t figured it out.

  • John Addaquay says:

    love the moonwalk in 2:23

  • Hyena Edits says:

    But what if someone didn't just break a vase, what if they actually abused you for years while making you think they were your best friend?

  • xxNitroaaaaxx says:

    The child sounds exactly like Lady Mormont of Game of thrones

  • Marin Marinov says:

    I love the child's narration and had no problems understanding everything even though English is not my native language. It actually made the video more impactful for me.

  • Dingle Berry says:

    Not sure I agree with the weaknesses of strength philosophy, does that mean that if someone works on their flows some different flow is going to come up to replace the old one? I don't think human character can be defined as simply as a zero sum game…

  • Augustin Ladar says:

    I would like to show my whole-hearted appreciation to your channel. Thank you very much! You have had a great impact on the way I view life.

  • fredocorleone says:

    Forgive sociopaths?
    Fuck that.

  • S. O. says:

    I like how the narrator enunciates

  • Not Ben Stiller says:

    Considering that your useless test associated me with "craving authority" and one of the pages couldn't go one paragraph before bringing up patriarchies, I'll treat this as a very useful "how NOT to forgive people" video!

  • Nicholas Bonasoro says:

    I really made a concerted effort to behave like this my 4 years in college. I had several unreliable friends who would take advantage of me and I would forgive them and think if I just waited enough time they would grow up, or I would have irresponsible co-workers who would make promises but never deliver and I would just do the work for them and hope they would get their life together. My question is how do you constantly forgive without getting taken advantage of, and how to do friendly nudge somebody into bettering themselves without coming across as bossy, or unappreciative of them? .

  • Ed sup says:

    can someone tell me the whole point in just a simpler way? I didn't understand it so much. I know im dumb srry

  • Adam says:

    'People are almost never simply bad' I used to agree with that but I now think that those who are wilfully malicious without provocation and ignorant to suffering they cause are indeed bad to the bone.

  • Pete Shields says:

    Yes they are scared poor love.

  • MusicKnowte says:

    this video is so poignant it made me cry

  • Payton Holmes says:

    I don't get it. Should I rewatch this?

  • jaziel tan says:

    To those who complained so much about a child narrator and no able to understand the video.

    Try to look at it as an exercise for us all to learn to listen better. Not everyone child nor adult are perfect communicators in life. Go watch it again and again. at the end of the day we are all here in the school of life to learn to better ourselves.

  • PAMELA TORRES says:

    No. Some people are born bad. And bullies don't change, the older they get, the more rotten they get.

  • She Said says:

    Is the narrator the same voice as Peppa Pig???

  • ruoweii says:

    just turn on the subtitles jesus guys

  • Kevin Keller says:

    Just because the kid can read very well doesn't mean he/she can grasp the concepts well enough to deliver the concepts with enough emotional maturity and intuition to rival the narration that has made this channel one of my favorites.

    I had to mute the video and read aloud from the subtitles…

  • Ivkan Marsovski says:

    It is so unnatural for these sentences not to be spoken by Alain De Botton, but by a child which probably wouldn't even understand them.
    What does "logistical" mean to a child?

    It would be great, though, for the same things to be said in a much simpler vocabulary.
    Like a child explaining a noble idea to another child. Simply, but cleverly.

    Even if precision would be somewhat degraded, the main idea would remain, and would be much easily understandable to a much, much wider audience, especially in translations.

  • Abhilash S says:

    Why are people getting annoyed over the child?

  • Locutus Borg says:

    I don't hate the kid or anything, but come on — it's just distracting.

  • Noor Mohammed says:

    i dont like this kids voice

  • Charles Gancarz says:

    I hate you, the School of Life; you make life more complicated! It's easier to just hate on someone and remove them from your life than try to forgive them and make the goodwill effort of keeping them. *sigh* guess I'll have to make that phone call….

  • Daniel Cannata says:

    "Giving up on them: as it were actualy has worked wonders on me.
    I hardly ever spend a moment thinking about "them".

    They were shitheaded for reasons i dont care to find out, and if theyre willing to do it to me once, they can do it to me again. So bye bye.

  • Perla Lopez says:

    I can't believe I have a harder time understanding British adults than kids…

  • Chester X says:

    I’m in an argument with a friend and I’m trying to talk to them like normal but they seem to not care about me and I said sorry multiple times but I also can’t seem to forgive them myself as they had offended me as well too many times and I just want to learn how to forgive that person but I can’t seem to when they hurt me

  • Cesar Ortiz says:

    I dont understand…

  • witwct3 says:

    Sorry, nice idea, but I couldn’t hear/understand the child voice narration.

  • Allan donald says:

    I want to hear the Narrator say "you're all going to die down here"

  • The Resistance says:

    ….I love you so much, E.C.J.M. <3

  • Winona Daphne says:

    "creative brilliance might well be inseperable from logisitical unreliability" bitch you got me down to a tee

  • Si Fi says:

    This isn't very good. It assumes arguments and criticism are things to forgive. Well there are other things which are more complex, insidious, subtle and or long standing. The video doesn't say how to forgive or what it means. It basically gives you a couple of reasons to excuse some behaviours. You may as well tell yourself the person didn't mean it, whatever it was. But that doesn't mean you've necessarily forgiven them. Most of the videos are about Alain rationalising his experience/life with digs at his father. For instance people who run big companies aren't good on the domestic front. Is that a generalisation or just a part of Mr Boton Snr?

  • PAMELA TORRES says:

    Um, yes there are people who are entirely bad because they would rather take all their anger out on you rather than face their own mistakes and admit anything.

  • Standard Popcorn says:

    Something about this channel doesn't want me to leave, i feel pain when i watch these videos, but it feels like I'm being true to my self when i feel the pain, it makes things a little bit more clearer, so much useful info on life and how to live it.

  • Bastard says:

    :28 horrifying.

  • Pamela V says:

    Does anyone else find this kids voice SUPER annoying? Or am I just a hater? Make a video about that, eh

  • Yo Yoyo says:

    Forgive them but do what's best for yourself.

  • Ibrahim Deniz says:

    Türkçe alt yazı ekler misiniz?

  • PAMELA TORRES says:

    So men who lose their tempers and hit their wives are only scared and vulnerable? I don't think so. Sorry, asshole. You're going to prison.

  • Sachio Hideki says:

    Please do an episode on how to forget bad things in your life.

  • rok&rolstar pjl says:

    I guess you deliberately made this video hard to understand in order for it to be effective, however some things like bigotry should only be forgiven when it no longer exist.

  • Ravi r says:

    As a non native speaker it would have been better if they used an adult. Even though it’s cute, it’s hard to understand her

  • cor e says:

    I hate forgiveness

  • Michael Rexrode says:

    Destroy your enemies by making them your friends.

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