-“That one,” I said to Lita, my great-aunt. “Get that big one to make nice sausages.”
When we were in Mita’s—my maternal grandmother—home in Colón, we occasionally visited her cousin’s small farm where they raised several pigs. When the time came to choose a swine to butcher for consumption, I always liked to accompany Lita to the pigpen and she encouraged me to select one.
There was an ageing white elephantine pig that had a marked limp of his left hind leg; I always pointed at him but inevitably it was always spared. After taking a long look at him, Lita said: “Poor thing…Let’s chose another one.” It never had to confront the knife, died very old and was interred in the field.
Carmen Maganto et al. published an article a few years ago where they discuss the results of a study with 140 participants—parents aged from 45 to 60 years old and the children aged 17 to 25 years old—to observe the empathy. Empathy is the human capacity to recognize the thinking and feelings of other people in order to immerse ourselves in them and act in a timely way.
The study showed that women are better at forgiving than men in general as they show a greater capacity and readiness for empathy vis-à-vis other ones. Even though both parents and children agreed that there is a need to forgive in close personal relationships, the capacity for forgiveness takes time to develop in earnest. Overcoming negative feelings is an act of volition that requires certain effort but it is beneficial for the psychological well-being.
The capacity for forgiving must be considered as a tool to achieve a healthier lifestyle, comparable to nutritious eating and good sleep; people that forgive have less physical signs of stress, depression and circulatory disturbances.
Could it be related to the longer life span that women enjoy in our society?
“Hacerse el chancho rengo” is a Spanish expression that epitomizes the trick of malingering to elicit feminine sympathy, which I have unabashedly used ever since that wise pig taught me how to interact with the “difficult genre.”
What do you want me to say? We should use whatever works with women.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.