One person jokingly says she never goes to bed angry. Instead, she stays awake and plots her revenge.
As one story goes, a group of occupational soldiers hired a local boy to run errands for them. The soldiers liked to relieve stress by playing practical jokes on the young boy. They would hide his belongings, put gum in his shoes, or send him on silly errands.
The boy handled the joking quite well. He never seemed upset by it. After a while, the soldiers decided that they had bothered the child enough. They approached him to apologize and to tell him that they would no longer play any jokes on him.
The boy replied in stilted English, “You stop making joke on me, I stop spitting in your soup.”
He had his revenge. But for most of us, revenge turns out to be more bitter than sweet. Unsatisfying at best. It “has no more quenching effect on emotions than salt water has on thirst,” one writer says. And it’s true. The desire to inflict hurt and pain remains long after one has given in to the urge to get even. Bitter emotions are more often quenched by love and understanding than by fighting back.
Over 400 years ago, the English poet George Herbert said, “Living well is the best revenge.” Good advice – especially when tempted to get even.
-- Steve Goodier