The Best Revenge

5 May

Revenge – Something we all think we want when we’ve been hurt. We are angry, and we want to show those that hurt us that we can hurt them back. We want them to suffer as much as we have suffered. We want them to feel worthless, and rejected. We want them to feel pain. Sometimes we want them to feel a lot of pain. When we’re plotting revenge, we absolutely do not care about what is right or wrong. We just want to get even. Make them pay. Settle it once and for all. They started it, and we’re going to finish it.

On the outside, revenge seems fair. They hurt us, so now we’re going to hurt them. If we get back at them, the playing field remains level. And after all, fair is fair. Sometimes we buy into that, and go for the throat, and inflict all the damage we can. But if we think about what revenge really is, we realize it’s just a way to bring ourselves down to the level of the one that hurt us. Taking revenge just means that we are willing to mimic their bad behavior, and make it our own. We are willing to become them – the ones that started it. That’s really all revenge is. Getting even means standing on the same ground, and being the same. So to get even, we have to drop to their level. If we think about it like that, revenge doesn’t have the same punch. Nobody really wants to be less than they are, not even to get even.

There is a way to get back at those that hurt us without becoming like them, without lowering ourselves down to where they are. And it’s effective every time. All we have to do is look up, live better, rise above the fray, and with grace and composure, settle the score by not buying into the game. Refuse to play. It’s seems counter intuitive at first when you think about it. How can we get back at someone for hurting us without hurting them in return? We do it by standing tall, taking a breath, and letting it go. We do it by becoming better despite the pain. We do it by being more noble than they are.

There is a saying that the “best revenge is living well.” And it’s absolutely true. What could be more annoying to someone who has hurt us, than to see us succeed? What could be more galling to them than to see us happy? There is nothing that will bother them more or longer than that. Hitting them back, going for the throat, is a temporary fix. We might feel better in the short run, but the problem will still be there. Living well is the only way to permanently end the battle.

Today if someone hurts you, be calm, be polite, smile, be gracious, and do what will make YOU happy. Live happily. Live well. Keep smiling. It will drive your enemies crazy with envy. Your grace and success, and your happiness will hurt them more than anything else you could do. And really, what better revenge could there be than that!

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