In my view: The best form of revenge is personal success

PUBLISHED: 20:56 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:06 09 April 2019

Is revenge a dish best served cold? Photo: XiXinXing/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Is revenge a dish best served cold? Photo: XiXinXing/Getty Images/iStockphoto


This is a good time of the year to think about forgiveness and whether or not we can actually do it.

It’s one of those difficult things I’ve never been able to totally agree with.

I understand that it’s a good thing, but I also feel too much importance is put on the wronged person to forgive and not enough is demanded of the wrong doer before they can be forgiven.

In my view before one can be forgiven there must be a process, which includes:


You did something wrong; made a hurtful remark, broke something and didn’t confess, spread a horrible rumour. You can’t undo them, but recognising that we have done them is the first step to putting things right.


If you truly regret what you did (or didn’t) do, beating yourself up about it is no good on its own. You need to seek forgiveness and that can only happen if you do your level best to make things right and do whatever you have to do to make that happen


Before you can be forgiven you must own up to whatever it is that you have done. Make an apology, pay for a repair or buy a replacement; return those borrowed books, pay back (with interest) that loan you so conveniently forgot about. In other words act like a grown-up. If you don’t do this eventually you will finish up with no friends. Friends are like balloons, if you carelessly let them go you may never get them back and then you will definitely not be forgiven – deservedly so.


Having put things right, resolve never to do tacky things again. Everyday has opportunities to start afresh, so if once in a while you slip back into old habits, put it behind you and resolve to start again tomorrow. As you practice this it gets easier to bite your tongue when the impulse to spread gossip starts up. Easier to confess that you’ve eaten the last chocolate in the box, or lit up a fag when you swore blind you had given up. Try it and see.

But! And its a big but; there are some things that are not so easily put right; especially when it comes to gossip. Once those words are out there its impossible to grab them back and unsay them. Sometimes the damage done to the gossiped about can be so damaging forgiveness is impossible. In that instance is the wish for revenge such a terrible thing? I think not.

The Chinese have a saying: Revenge is a dish best eaten cold. What they mean by that is that an immediate knee jerk reaction by retaliating in some way is not a good idea. Biding your time, (up to 20 years in some cases) will make your revenge is more satisfying.

I can feel the disapproval about what I’ve written so I need to explain what I mean by revenge. To me the best form of revenge is personal success. If, instead of focusing on the person who has wronged you – you focus on getting up each day determined to give yourself a lovely day on planet earth and go to bed at night having had an enjoyable day that’s success. In addition, you could also do a course or two, get a qualification leading to a better job with more money, or simply do a random act of kindness every day then gradually the thoughts of retribution will fade. Don’t worry, the fickle finger of fate will deal with the wrong doer but you have been successful.

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