Monday night, I caught a little of the Cleveland Browns vs. San Francisco 49ers football game. In this one-sided affair one incident really stood out to me. Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa of the 49ers sacked the Browns quarterback, Baker Mayfield. It was an excellent play. Bosa then got up and waved an imaginary flag and planted. This was to mock Mayfield’s notorious flag planting of the Oklahoma flag on the fifty yard line of Ohio stadium. That incident happened two years ago, and must have really stung the pride of Bosa. But finally, he got his revenge of national television.
I admit it is a silly analogy in terms of real-life revenge.
Revenge (rəˈvenj) n. to avenge (oneself or another) usually by retaliating in kind or degree. [Merriam-Webster]
I imagine forms of revenge often. Usually for very petty things. I perceive injustices toward me despite the often non-malicious intentions of the offender. When I look back at the acts of actual revenge I carried out in my youth, I can’t help but think how foolish I really was. In truth, the only injury I sustained was to my pride.
Thinking back on football. When there is a scuffle, who is usually the one that gets the flag? It is the one that retaliated. A simple act of revenge that costs the whole team, because the player had to get back at the instigator. He could have just let it go, but instead he allowed his pride to interfere with sound judgment.
Message to my son:
Revenge is a dish best served not at all. You don’t have to get back. The best statement you can make is to go about your business and not see retribution. In the end, everything will work out. Let karma do its work without your interference. By not retaliating, you will heap coals on the head of your offender and come away blameless.
The best revenge is to not be like that. –Marcus Aurelius