Revenge is never a straight line. It’s a forest, and like a forest, it’s easy to lose your way... to get lost... to forget where you came in...
(as played by Shin’ichi Chiba)
"Who is this guy"? I thought to myself as I was driving down the freeway on my way to meet a friend.
As I was singing along with a favorite song playing on the radio, I noticed in my rear-view mirror a very large pickup truck that was probably no more than 4 feet from my bumper as I traveled down the fast-lane of the freeway.
There was a row of cars to my right so merging over to let this seemingly aggrieved driver pass was not an immediate option for me.
I was already driving down the highway 15 miles over the posted speed limit, but I sped up even more in order to demonstrate to the driver behind me that I was doing my best to accommodate their need for speed.
As I accelerated, so did the truck.
Now I was doing well over 90 miles an hours but the truck was still on my tail.
Finally, after what seemed like 2 minutes (but in actuality was probably only 10 seconds), I passed the long line of cars and merged right to let the pick-up truck pass me.
As the truck went by, the middle-aged man in the passenger seat looked over at me and unceremoniously flipped me the bird for the second or so it took for them to pass.
As I slowed down to a more reasonable speed, I wondered what it was that caused the driver and the passenger to be so upset as to significantly endanger me, themselves, and the other cars who happened to be on the highway that afternoon.
The following morning I was reading the newspaper, when an article caught my attention.
The headline read, "Most Admit Angry Aggressive Driving".
In the story, researchers found that 8 out of every 10 U.S. drivers admitted expressing anger, aggression or road rage at least once during the previous 12 months. This might be expressed as following too closely, yelling at drivers, cutting someone off or making angry gestures.
The article went on to say that male drivers 19 to 39 were 6 times more likely participate in road rage than women. It also stated that 1 in 4 drivers purposely tried to block another driver from changing lanes at some time in the last year.
While I’m shocked at the sheer number of road-rage incidences, I am not surprised.
Online bullying is at epidemic levels for a lot of the same reasons that road-rage exists... that is to say... because it’s essentially anonymous and the chances for reprisals and/or punishment are slim, at best.
As I continued my drive, I fantasized for a moment that there was actually a cop among the row of cars to my right who was watching the entire sequence of events...
My fantasy ultimately ends with the automotive bully being led away in handcuffs (along with his gesturing friend in the passenger seat)... and with that, I would have the satisfaction of having exacted a bit of revenge for being the victim of their potentially deadly game.
The idea of revenge briefly put a smile on my face and then my attentions returned to the song playing on the radio.
A very wise person once said that it’s impossible to control all of the actions around you... things happen all the time that you simply cannot control...
However what you can control are your reactions to the actions.
Now some people’s reactions might be to exact a small amount of vengeance toward the person causing inappropriate action.
They become vigilantes attempting to right wrongs by inflicting an immediate and appropriate response.
To them... it’s an eye for an eye...
...treat me badly... and I will treat you worse...
This is generally how conflicts quickly escalate into full-blown battles and wars.
By doing nothing... perhaps you feel that you are encouraging that person to continue their bad behavior... so you must react and respond.
However, I have often found that revenge is a lot like the 7 deadly sins of envy, lust, greed, gluttony, wrath, sloth, and narcissism.
These deadly sins often gnaw away at our soul like a cancer consuming our bodies.
Our plots for revenge take over our minds and become an all-encompassing force... often where we are not even thinking sanely.
But here’s where the concept of revenge gets really strange...
Thinking about revenge actually stimulates the region of the brain called the dorsal striatum, which becomes active when you anticipate pleasure or some kind of reward or antecedent like sex, making money, or celebrating with champagne...
...but in the case of actually exacting revenge on someone, studies show that instead of making a person feel good... it actually makes them feel bad and/or remorseful.
It’s only the anticipation of getting revenge that makes us feel good... actually doing it makes us feel bad...
So then the question begs, how can we harness the strong urges of getting revenge to actually make ourselves get better?
If we are unceremoniously dumped by our significant other... do we wallow in our sorrow eating ice cream and listening to Adele sing sad songs... or do we use all the free time and energy to get ourselves to the gym proving to our now ex-partner that they just made the biggest mistake of their life?
Can we use the experience to make us a better person?
Revenge, in essence, was the reason I started OptiFuse in the first place.
After what I perceived to have been a great injustice perpetrated against me by a former employer... I decided that the best revenge would be to create a better company and hopefully find more success than I would have ever found by staying with my former employer.
Although I might not have yet achieved all of the personal financial success I had once hoped for... my overall happiness is 10-fold greater than it was when I was with that company...
As Frank Sinatra once said... "the best revenge is massive success"...
Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we hope to exact our revenge by being the best circuit protection company in the world...