In the 1989 comedy film, War of the Roses, Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner play the roles of a husband and wife–Barbara and Oliver Rose–who turn on one another with a vengeance. When Oliver has consumed the last bite of Barbara’s homemade pate, she tells him it’s made from dog meat (his dog.) He smashes her prized china. Their antics are pretty entertaining, but we know that revenge, in real life, is not the least bit funny.
But who among us hasn’t wanted to “get back” at someone who we feel “did us dirty?” Aren’t we secretly, or not so secretly, pleased when we hear a former back- biting colleague is fired? Or when someone who cheated us gets caught?
I intensely disliked a sociology professor at New York University because she was completely arbitrary about how she graded. Reading her obit in the paper years after we graduated didn’t bring tears to my eyes.
Consider the time and energy we waste thinking about people who don’t give us a second thought. We can’t undo what’s been done, but we can move on. Bad people usually get their comeuppance all by themselves. They don’t need a bit of help from us.
I heard someone say recently: “Success is the best revenge.” Can’t debate that.