One of the characters pointed out to us, in this peculiar village, was an old, gnarled man.
Let’s call him Leonard. Leonard was a colourful character – almost as colourful as his language. With a greying ponytail and a bald head, he didn’t pay much attention to rules and etiquette.
Leonard was bothered by baboons. They ruined his garden, ate his veggies and played havoc on his patio. He vowed to get rid of them.
Leonard spent some time planning and plotting his revenge.
In the middle of summer he attacked: he put a bowl of poisoned peanuts out on the patio table. By the end of the week, the nuts had still not been touched. He marched grumpily into the house and put the bowl on top of the freezer out of harm’s way.
Or so he thought.
A few months later, he was tidying up the kitchen and spied the nuts.
“Yum”, he thought, and popped a handful of nuts in his mouth.
After a few days in intensive care, he recovered slowly.
But did Leonard learn anything?
Fast forward a few more months. Leonard was snuggled up in bed on a frosty winter morning. Through the open window opposite his bed, he spied the baboons ambling across the lawn towards his house. He leant over and grabbed his shotgun. Because of the bitter cold, he decided to shoot from the bed. Lying down, he aimed through the window at the closely approaching baboons.
The baboons scattered.
Leonard surveyed the damage. His walls were full of bird-shot. His curtains were shredded. The tops of all his toes were shaved off. He was in agony once again.
I wonder if Leonard learnt this time?
What I take from this is:
- Stand up when shooting.
- Also: don’t kill baboons.
- (OK OK a bit tongue in cheek !! After all I haven’t ever done either of those two things, have you? )
How often, though, do we tread the path of revenge and get nowhere?
If your mind is consumed with revenge and your life is stuck in the endless obsession of getting back at someone, it’s likely to be you who is shot in the foot.
Reflect on these questions:
- Who is suffering because of my revenge?
- What role am I playing in creating misery in my own life?
- What will it cost me to let go?
- What will it cost me NOT to let go?
Can you name anyone who is consumed with revenge that is happy and content?
Letting go of revenge opens up the space for something else in your life.
Less revenge, more peace!
As for leonard I hear that the baboons are still winning…
Revenge is often like
biting a dog
because the dog bit you.