Some people got a problem with a man in long hair
I don’t care
Some people don’t like a poor boy ‘cause they think you can’t win
For the thoughts that he’s thinkin’
Don’t fuck with me ‘cause I don’t look like you
We can be brothers and wear our different colors too
Love/Hate – Don’t Fuck With Me – Wasted in America
The most simple rule of life is the hardest one to follow. “Treat others the way you want to be treated” also know as the golden rule. In this modern hustle and bustle world where we are thrust into a faster paced world then we want to be in it is hard to abide by this rule. Road rage, overly competitive soccer moms, hockey dads, out of control youth hopped up on goof balls… it seems if we try to treat people nice we get kicked in the gut. Not too long ago people would look each other in the eye and nod as they walked down the street, now it could get you shot by some young gang-banger trying to impress the only father figure he will ever know. With the threat of life and limb at every corner we would be crazy to interact with all these unstable, irate, pissed-off individuals. Right? There is an old adage that goes like this: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”. Sounds too simple to be true, well we all know how I like simple.
I am not suggesting to run around like a “little Marry sunshine” god no! My point is to use what we have learned so far to identify the hostility and stop it. By stopping it I am referring to not re-directing it towards the originator or some other poor sap. If someone cuts you off in traffic, and no real harm is done mind you, then instead of honking the horn and flipping them off, or racing around them to “get revenge” back off, calm down and get out of their way. Do not fall into the negative energy trap they lay before you. This may sound a little elitist but prove you are better then they are by not stooping to their level. I know, I know, I can hear you… yea and those kids pick on you because they are jealous. Why should you take your time, energy, and safety to gain revenge? Revenge for what, slowing you down 10 seconds, reminding you driving a car or walking around in a bad neighborhood is inherently dangerous?
Revenge, defined by dictionaries as “the punishment of somebody in retaliation for harm done”, “something done to get even with somebody else who has caused harm”, or “the desire or urge to get even with somebody”. Let’s look at if from a different view point. There are many energies in the universe. Humans can cancel some of them, reflect some of them, or harness and use some of them. As with anything we must quantify it, basically measure it and determine its spectra. These energies have positive and negative ends. Both ends attract like energies. Both ends can cancel the other out. Very rarely will you find a person with considerably more of one type then the other. From here we can see revenge is a negative energy that when released will attract negative energy. At this stage we have a choice, reflect it… show its originator the same they showed you, cancel it out… absorb it and let your positive energy cancel it out, or channel it… essentially store it like a battery to release at another time. With this in mind it depends on your demeanor as to which you will chose to use. Looking at what I have just stated trying to cancel out negative energy with negative energy will not work, only multiply the energies to those around you
A funny thing about revenge, as children we naturally take revenge and usually add some to it. As we grow we learn this is bad and to control our temptation to seek retribution ourselves. Over the years we find that if we act on our temptations we feel guilty afterwards. Is this because we went against one of the earliest lessons we learned? Is this because there is no way to fully give what was received? Is this because an action can not fully undo an already completed action? Most likely if is a combination of these along with the ego and superego bashing us for stooping to such a low level. Take an extreme yet sad example. Murder. Will executing a killer bring his/her victims back? Of course not. Will incarcerating them for life fill the void and pain of those left behind? No. Will rehabilitating the offender and turning them into a positive contributor of society give proper restitution? Sorry. Truth be told once something is done it is done and can never be undone. All we can do accept the situation and move on. The world and life will keep going… so must we. I am not saying we can’t hate somebody or something, just know revenge is an unachievable concept, kind of like communism.
We now know we should treat others the way we want to be treated and to resist the temptations of taking revenge. I can not cover most instances or scenarios of this as they are far too many. What I can and will do though is let you in on a little secrete. Karma does exist. I found this out the hard way by suffering for many years after taking revenge and going out of my way to make others lives horrible. At every turn I ran into more and more negativity and no matter how many ill feeling I threw at it I could never win. I had turned revenge into a game with an all to willing adversary. After a years worth of attacks, counter attacks, and regrouping I had had enough. When I moved on and gave up on the onslaught a funny thing happened. My life improved dramatically and two years later I found my nemesis ran into a much more powerful opponent… herself. The morel of this tale of woe is simply… avoid the pain, take the high road and realize what is done is done and can never be undone. There is no way to really “get back” at someone… all you are doing is falling into a perpetual cycle of never ending one-up-mans ship that will ultimately destroy the person you are. Oh the temptation is strong, believe you me but remember our previous lessons… be in control of yourself, not the little voices that cry foul and want to get even.
Now the hardest part is to try to treat somebody with respect and honor when they seem to be giving you a hard time. Case in point, the rude checkout clerk at the grocery store. We have all seen them, muttering under their breaths, slamming your food, hitting the cash register. How can we deal with them? Confrontation may work or it may not, depends on the person, what caused their ill mood, and how you confront them. Telling their manager is revenge and may lead to a horror movie moment. Remember this person rents movies too and might have been taking notes. Respectfully alerting them you and your groceries did nothing to them, or a simple excuse me with a smile, or even a simple question could snap them out of their situation. Today most people are longing for human acknowledgement they will change when they realize they have it. I am not suggesting you try to make friends or council them, but to let them know you see them as a person, a person with a tough thankless job, a person who is talking to another person. When we feel we know or have someone’s attention we act differently. Look them in the eye, smile, listen to the meaning behind their words… this will go a long way. Leave the situation on a positive note, wish them well and a good day, sincerely. Before you laugh reverse the situation. At your job, whatever it is (except hit man, SWAT member, soldier, NSA spy) imagine your day is going wrong, now if a client/customer/co-worker came up to you and treated you that way what would you feel? If you say anger and hostility then you may want to seek professional help. Learn how to empathize, not sympathize… people hate pity. Put yourself in their shoes then think how you would react to what you want to say and do, pick the answer that you would most likely welcome yourself.
We all deserve respect and acknowledgement. Those who feel they have lost one or both will act out trying to get it. There is another saying, “respect is earned, not given”. This is true in the military and political arenas, but doesn’t translate well into the civilian community. There is another saying, “you get what you give”. This is true in all arenas. If you give respect you get respect, if you disrespect you will get disrespected. Sounds a little like basic karma. If you run into one of those rare individuals that take pleasure in rubbing people the wrong way, leave… as fast as you can and take stock that in reality as a whole they are a miserable, self loathing, over compensating person who will get what they deserve… with interest! You get what you give and you get what you deserve. That is from a song, I want to say Tesla but my old brain is failing so please forgive as Google isn’t coming up with anything useful on it.
Life is short, we all know this… don’t waste it on revenge. Revenge is simply wanting to gain retribution for a wrong done to you or a friend. No matter the offense, revenge will not erase the deed done. Taking revenge will not fill or heal the loss; it will only lead to retaliation and more revenge. Revenge is an energy and we must control it like any other energy we encounter. We have to be rational and think about how to deal with people in everyday life. Treating people the way we want to be treated will improve their day and ultimately ours. Learning how to empathize and respectfully alert people to their hurtful nature will usually improve the situation. If all else fails remove yourself from the situation, it is not worth the time and energy. If you give respect you will get respect. This is a simple tool that works well and fits most applications perfectly.
The next chapter is on stress free living and will be posted on Monday. Have a great weekend and enjoy yourself with what ever legal guilty little pleasure you all may have