Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts on Mercy

So far I have written about two virtues, trustworthiness and forbearance. Those are two of five virtues that have been pointed to as "virtues that befit human dignity." Tonight I am going to write about the virtue known as "mercy."

Mercy goes beyond justice. A merciful person is willing to give a person, or an entire nation of people more than they would seem to deserve. In the presence of mercy, there would be little reason for any country to stir up a war or other confrontation, based on the religion or the cultural beliefs of another nation, or of those people who do not share the view of the majority.

Mercy calls on people to display a willingness to start anew, after an argument or battle has ended. Mercy means wiping one's mind of past grievances against one person, or against an entire nation. A wise leader uses mercy and diplomacy in dealing with other leaders. Only if some leader fails to learn from merciful actions do other leaders attempt to exercise some form of justice.