What is the first thing we often think of after someone has wronged or disrespected us? Getting even.
But as Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
It’s human nature to want to inflict the same kind of pain and punishment on our attackers, but at the end of the day what does that really accomplish?
Yes, getting even might gain you some temporary satisfaction, but inevitably you’ll find yourself riddled with disappointment that you’ve compromised who you really are.
Of late I’ve been struggling with this – so angered and frustrated by others complete disregard and disrespect that I’ve actually contemplated stooping to their level as a means of getting even.
But each time the thought pops into my head I begin to realize something. Life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle, it just means you’ve lost your self-respect.
I’d like to think that being a person of character will not go unrewarded. That relinquishing all the bitterness we harbor in our hearts will allow our own lives to flourish.
I’m reminded of something Helen Keller once said: “We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”