Revenge is a difficult human emotion to get our arms around. This week I sent around on Facebook an interview with Mandy Patankin about his favorite line from the classic, The Princess Bride. It was not – “Hello, my name is Indigo Montaya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” Instead he talks about his last line where he says he has been in the revenge business for so long he doesn’t know what to do with the rest of his life.” Mandy talks about how “the purpose of revenge is totally useless and worthless.” If you haven’t heard him e-mail me and I’ll send you a link to the interview. (I haven’t figured out how to post it on the site.)
I’ve been thinking about his words. Revenge in athletics and business can be a powerful motivator. Getting back for a lopsided victory, a dirty trick, or a betrayal in many circles has become a legitimate if not sought after goal. There’s a current TV show with the title, Revenge. Who can forget the book, The Count of Monte Christo. There is a part of every one of us that wants in some way or fashion – revenge. Is it the work of the devil, cooked in hell, or is it something that can be a tool of God? I urge you to give it some thought.
I know that even when accomplishment revenge is often bittersweet, and much like bitterness revenge is like swallowing poison it does permanent damage to the soul. It is difficult for me to find balance or harmony in the emotion of revenge, thus I suggest when it touches your lips, and it will, and it tempts you with its sweetness, you spit it out. There are other emotions and motivators that are just as sweet, and do far less damage to your heart and soul.