Submitted by Don Doman.
I try to be a better person. I strive to be a better person. But I think it’s part of human nature to wish ill of people who have done us harm. The artist Paul Gauguin said, “Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.” It just makes us feel better.
I don’t go out looking for revenge, but I do so enjoy it when I hear about bad news that has affected people who have wronged me. It cheers me up . . . and it’s healthy. When people are passed over for promotion, or their comments fall on deaf ears at important meetings, people associate the people involved with their anger and disappointment. Anger affects us all, both at work and at home.
“Daydreams in which you are seeking revenge on someone is usually a way to vent your anger toward that person. It is healthy to have these types of dreams occasionally, but if you repeatedly have these dreams, it is an indication that you may act on your thoughts.”
– Daydreaming from [www.library.
Babe Lehrer in her book, Men, They Just Don’t Get It!, a book of short stories concerning relationships between men and women, told the story of a woman who was hurt . . . and angry.
She had been living with a paramedic in Alaska. He was accepted into medical school in California. The two of them planned their future in California. A luxury cruise was chosen as a departure present for the happy couple and her daughter, Diane. All of their belongings were shipped to Seattle by barge.
The day after the container was packed and ready to go, the boyfriend took her to dinner and over wine unloaded a bombshell.
“Honey, my mother has always wanted to take a cruise so I invited her to fly up here to take the cruise back to Seattle with me. I knew you wouldn’t mind, so I gave her your ticket and upgraded her room with the money left over from Diane’s ticket.”
She and her daughter were left with flying to Seattle, unloading the container into a truck rental and then driving to California. Angry and hurt she drove the freeway at about 30 mph. While on the road Diane awoke because she thought Mommy was crying. Not so, her mother was laughing. She had just heard a news report.
“The cruise ship The Arctic Sun is anchored off the coast of Alaska, in quarantine. A bad case of salmonella poisoning has broken out and both the crew and all passengers aboard seem to be affected. Weather conditions are of storm proportions, creating many cases of seasickness in addition to the flu-like symptoms from the salmonella. When the storm subsides, rescue boats will transfer passengers to tugboats.”
I can see images of the boyfriend and his mother spending their precious trip together in the bathroom and chuckle. In business we hear of problems affecting our competitors and we smile, and sometimes we even make them the butt of cruel jokes, so we can share our joy.
Laughter clears the air. It releases our emotions and hostilities. It makes us feel so much better. Revenge is sweet and laughter is the best revenge.