Someone once said to me, "I hate you." I'm sure that most people have probably had that thrown at them, whether jokingly or via spiteful dishonestly. But in this case, there was none of that. No insincerity.

The feeling wasn't mutual. I'm generally not a hateful person, or at least toward people. I mean, the things I hate are usually certain TV shows, like The Big Bang Theory, or routine activities like brushing my teeth or putting on my socks, but those disdains don't really leave me scarred. For me to have such animosity toward a person, he would have to intentionally try to hurt me, and it has happened before.

This guy, I met him freshman year of college at the pool table I would frequent in my dorm lobby. He would walk in the room, loud and obnoxious, wearing cut off Abercrombie shirts and acting like he owned the place, a stereotypical jerk. To top it off, he was really bad at pool, so his confidence had no foundation.

One night, I was waiting for my turn at the table. The guy was playing, and I was up next after him. When he finished his game, he made up a reason not to step down from the table, so I stood up to him, despite him being much bigger than me. When he told me, "do something about it," I complied by grabbing the triangle out of his hand. Immediately, he jumped on me, and after shoves and words were exchanged, he walked off. That's when I started to hate this guy, to the point where I wished harm on him. He deserved it, right? How dare he treat me like that! I believed those feelings were justified because I was the good guy by doing the right thing. He was the bad guy.

I tell this story now because I look back on it, and all I can really think is how ridiculously trivial the whole situation was. We fought over a game, and I walked away pridefully, holding onto this hatred against this person, a person who I haven't even seen since and will never see again. And honestly, like his arrogance, my pride had no foundation. I didn't stand up to him for goodness' sake. I just didn't like him and wanted to do what I could to ensure he didn't get his way.

Then years later, which is an embarrassing length of time, I finally let it go. There was no epiphanic moment. It was insignificant, just like the event that caused it. But what allowed me to relinquish such bitterness was the opposite of that. I found myself on the receiving end of somebody's hatred, and the way I saw that guy was the way somebody was looking at me. This was different though, because it was coming from a friend, and I deserved it.

That hatred seemed irredeemable, but it immediately started a work in me, plowing through any pride I had, showing me I was never anything more than a bad guy. The worst parts of me were exposed. All the times I chose to be selfish and treat others cheaply were summed up in those words.

This all took place a while ago, and I still often dwell on my regrets and sorrows and wish that all this had never happened, but then who would I be now? Probably still some jerk, shoving people around trying to get what he wants.

One was Vengeance

If I get murdered in the city
don’t go revenging in my name.

One person dead from such is plenty.

Revenge has never been something that I've cared to partake in. I do think it's wrong, but that's not the reason I choose to abstain. It might sound like I'm trying to be high and mighty, but I assure you that my reason will make you think otherwise.

I think the idea of getting revenge is sweet. If somebody were to wrong me, I would love to get payback, and most people would tell you that that's okay and right. It's the plot to so many movies where we want to see the avenger succeed. We always root for that guy. The thing that stops me from doing so isn't my religion or any moral guidance. It's because I don't want to deal with the aftermath of my revenge. The revenge to my revenge, I guess. Maybe it's because of cowardice, or laziness.

Is it flawed to think this way? I tend to let a lot of things go that I shouldn't. It kind of just makes me a pushover. This might be mainly because I don't really ever get wronged so horribly to illicit a strong reaction. I'm blessed that way. But for the sake of not having such a boring post, let's assume that somebody does do me dirty, and I become overwhelmed with anger. I suppose I could be the "bigger person", but I feel like that title can only apply if your reaction to wrongdoing is to extend forgiveness. I think I'd be very tempted to extend secret disdain and passive aggressiveness. I was taught to love my enemies, but even in doing that, my intent might be to make my enemy feel guilt and shame and grovel at my feet instead of to bring harmony. Maybe I'm wrong. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Maybe I don't believe in seeking revenge because of the implication it would have on my life. I'm sure if I ever carried out my vengefulness, I would initially enjoy it before the guilt trip, but then I couldn't complain if someone did the same one me. Hah. I say "complain" like I would be in a position where I didn't deserve what's coming. The truth is that there are people I have wronged who deserve retribution, no matter the size of my crime. I really hope they get it, though, but in the form of my sincerest apologies. I pray that I learn to give that, truly. If not, then surely evil and vengeance shall follow me all the days of my life. But like I just said, can't complain.

Cheery post, I know. Thirteen more to go.