The Daily Stoic for October 13th, “Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served”.

“The best way to avenge yourself is to not be like that.”

—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.6

“How much better to heal than seek revenge from injury. Vengeance wastes a lot of time and exposes you to many more injuries than the first that sparked it. Anger always outlasts hurt. Best to take the opposite course. Would anyone think it normal to return a kick to a mule or a bite to a dog?”

—SENECA, ON ANGER, 3.27.2

It’s easy to fall into the “revenge” trap. I’ve been a lot like that. I would chase cars after they have cut me off, even honking at them.

When I think about it now, I can’t believe how incredibly stupid I was at the time. Not just because I was putting my life -and the lives of other– in danger, but also because of the futility of the whole thing.

What did I want to achieve?

Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served

This week, my parents got married again. It’s been a ceremony to renew their vows as a celebration of love and life.

One of my aunts was not there. Why? Because after the death of my grandpa, there was an argument among their daughters for the inheritance. Honestly, I don’t think anybody in my family will remember today the initial reason for the argument. Especially when the inheritance of my grandfather was a bottle of whiskey, a -not very expensive- clock, and a toolbox. Not a fortune to fight for in sight.

However, those initials quarrels sowed the seeds of hatred. You know how it works. From that moment onward, every little detail, every misunderstanding was a chance for resentment.

Seneca was right when he wrote that “Anger always outlasts hurt“. Way past those alleged affronts, nobody can remember why everything started. There’s only hate and anger.

The result? My aunt was not at the wedding of my parents, probably one of the most beautiful and relevant moments of their lives. And it’s a shame, because none of that hate, or anger, makes sense anymore. I missed her, and probably she would have enjoyed that day in the company of her sister and her family. Revenge never brings anything positive to your life.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served”, discusses how revenge brings nothing but misery to our lives. And I can’t help but agree.

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