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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks


Paul has been away on a business trip for seven days now. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed the peace and quiet since I’ve been on my own. If Paul happens to see this, I will tell him there was a typo, and it should have read “how much I have NOT enjoyed the peace and quiet.“

It has been an odd experience. I’m doing different things and trying new stuff. I’m eating at weird times and very different foods than I normally eat. I’m sticking with spicy dill pickles, and toast with tapenade. I’m drinking tea instead of coffee.

I barely recognize myself. I’m even watching different types of TV shows or movies. I'm watching action movies with violence and robberies and murders. I rarely watch things like that. But in doing so, I’ve noticed that a lot of the storylines are fueled by the idea of revenge.

Revenge: retribution, pay back , retaliation, getting even. It’s all about getting some licks in on the person who has done you wrong. There’s a lot of motivation in the desire for revenge. From 2011 - 2015, there was a TV show called Revenge. In all, 89 episodes all focused on getting revenge. That’s a lot of anger.

Probably the most commonly known statement about revenge is that it’s a dish best served cold. A phrase that originated in the mid-1800s and has probably been used at least once by almost everyone. I always thought it was a cautionary phrase telling people to wait until the intended victims don’t expect it so it’ll be easier to get away with. Turns out it means you’ll be able to enjoy it all the more if you let your emotions calm down first.

It’s all very dark and sinister, and while it makes for great entertainment, it’s not a good way to live in real life.

I have known people who carry a grudge like a professional. They hold onto the hurt and anger across generations a la The Hatfields and McCoys. I’ve never sought revenge, but it’s not due to any moral high ground. I simply don’t have the mental capacity to remember for very long why I'm angry with someone.

The other day I ran across a quote by speaker John Southard, and he said, “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.“ Probably a better mantra to live by than the one about revenge being served cold.

I absolutely love this quote, particularly because he used “whom” correctly, but also the whole idea of focusing on the good and repaying those who have helped you get to where you are today.

It certainly puts a different spin on the “hit list.” Who would be on yours? Who are those people? Surely our families, friends, teachers, preachers, mentors. That person that always encouraged you even if it was from afar. When you think of where you are and all of the help you have gotten along the way, it’s humbling. I guess this would be the opposite of paying it forward, but what an amazing way to “get even”!

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