Monday, October 20, 2014

Let Go or Get Dragged

Image by Lee Wright

Do you know who the hardest person to love is?

The name "Benedict Arnold" is synonymous with "traitor." But he was actually a loyal citizen of what was to become the United States, a gallant soldier and a five-star general. Wounded twice in battle, he was highly respected for his military leadership. He even enjoyed the friendship of George Washington.

Arnold never thought he received the recognition he deserved. During the American Revolutionary War, he saw five subordinates promoted over him, and the blow to his esteem was more than he could manage. The injury to his pride was far greater than those physical injuries he sustained in battle. So he laid plans for revenge.

In 1780, he attempted to betray vital West Point to the British. He later moved to England and was paid a sum of money to compensate for his property loss, but he was never fully accepted in British society. He eventually returned to trading and died a mostly unsuccessful and unhappy man.

Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics) said, “There are two things people want more than sex and money -- praise and recognition.” Benedict Arnold is an unfortunate example.

Interestingly, do you know who is the most difficult person to love? It is easy to love friends and not too difficult to love those less fortunate than ourselves. It certainly isn't easy loving enemies, but sometimes the person most difficult to love is the one who is MORE fortunate than we are. The one who receives the promotion we deserved. The one who gets the recognition we desired, the honor we sought or the affections of the lover we had hoped to win. It is easy to resent those who seem to be more fortunate – those who “get all the breaks.”

But as one person said to me, "Let go or get dragged. Unless you let things go, you should be prepared to have that thing drag you around until you have to let it go."

Jealousy? Let go or get dragged.

A desperate need to be appreciated or loved? Let go or get dragged.

A need for recognition that simply isn't coming? Let go or get dragged.

A desire to get credit for your hard work – credit that is going to someone else? Let go or get dragged.

We've all felt these things. And if we want to move beyond them in a healthy way, the answer is to let go or get dragged.

Besides, if you ever want to grab onto something good, you'll need a free hand.

-- Steve Goodier

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