ďIíve got paybackĒ he told me as he dragged the wheeled cooler behind him. I was finishing up a run and as I headed home I saw this little fellow who was about ten years old muscling the large cooler through his front yard. He was a red headed, chubby guy who probably got picked on. I smiled and continued running, wondering what was in the cooler, and who he was retaliating against.
Have you ever had a conversation that didnít turn out the way you wish it had? You know the conflict you encounter only later to find yourself hashing it over in your head. Afterwards you come up with all the things you could have and should have said only if you had been a little sharper. Itís easy to look back into the past and come up with the verbal payback, the retaliation; somehow in the heat of the moment it rarely turns out that way. Maybe it is because our feelings are involved and there is something about hurt feelings that urges us to get even, to retaliate or inflict revenge. But Iím not so sure that revenge is sweet. In the last year I can think of two instances where my feelings were hurt and a funny thing happened, these people are now struggling financially because of our current economy. I donít feel good about that. Now Iím talking about two daily life kind of incidents, not a serious crime against me or a person I love. After both of these incidents I carried a grudge against the perpetrators, but time passed and the feelings sort of faded away. I wouldnít consider these people friends anymore, but I no longer had the same emotional scar. The incidents were just that-incidents, a past event and when I noticed that my feelings had mended I realized that time changes things. Time erases the unimportant. It no longer mattered and maybe payback isnít necessary.
ďIsnít it surprising how many things, if not said immediately, seem not worth saying ten minutes from now?Ē ĖArnot L. Sheppard, Jr.