There are people who have made me so mad, that I wish them bad luck . . . and worse. I envision all kinds of evil events befalling them. And every time I hear that bad things happen to these people I rejoice, but at the same time I feel like maybe I’m less of a civilized person. Now, I’ve found a release for my frustration, while still achieving revenge. That’s the best of both worlds.
I think it’s human nature that we seek revenge when we have been ill treated by people. Most of us think about it and dream about it, but do nothing. But, just those actions of imagining make us feel better . . . without exacting punishment.
When we do hear of bad things happening to those people, we feel better. In reality, our enemies, just like us have bad things and good things happening to us all the time. It’s just that we search out the bad news because it makes us feel better. Just wishing doesn’t really make it so, unfortunately. The bad news may make us feel better for a while, but it can leave a bad taste.
Even though we don’t actually make bad things happen, we always should try to do the right thing . . . like turning the other cheek and loving our enemy. I’ve never been able to do that . . . completely. I’ve always liked the John F. Kennedy quotaton, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” But what really strikes home for me was penned by H. Allen Smith, “I may get as mad as Hell upon occasion, but on this you can depend . . . I always hold a grudge.” This doesn’t make me a bad person . . . it makes me a flawed person. But then, I’ve lived with flaws all my life.
There is a study that gives me hope. It makes me think that I can be a better person, and still deliver hurtful results.
In a study financed by the Templeton Foundation, Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and other scientists tested the effects of prayer for specific heart surgery patients. The prayers were for “a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications.”
“In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.”
– Associated Press Story – Study: Prayer doesn’t affect heart patients
What was interesting about the study was that one of the control groups received prayer and the individual patients were told they were being prayed for and those were the ones who did worse. They had the highest numbers of complications during recovery. The people praying were only told the initials of the patients, so they could not really pray for particular people with them directly in mind. Just think about the damage they could have done, if they had been able to associate names and faces. This produces all kinds of “good works” and possibilities.
No longer will I have to wish bad things for people. I have an alternative. I think that I’m going to start praying for people I don’t like. It will no doubt make me a better person. Also, I’m going to send these people an anonymous postcard saying “I know what you’re going through, and I’m praying for you.” I’m sure they will appreciate it.