A Dish Best Served Well

Jose 3 Comments

Plotting Revenge is FunMan, it’s been a crazy weekend. Unfortunately, I can’t go into specifics, but it’s all accumulating with my father’s worsening health. (If you know how to decrypt, then this is the post for you.) It’s been astonishing to see the feedback I’ve gotten about him, especially with the mixed relationships his children have with him. Some of his children love him All of his children love him, but each has a different way of approaching the father we all share. Some of us are openly affectionate to him, and others are condescending and even hostile to him, but most of us are somewhere in between. I’m just wishing for the best.

For the children on the angrier side of the spectrum, they feel like they have to exact some sort of revenge for how they or their respective mothers were wronged, and that’s where things get messy. Even with other situations I’m noticing, that revenge can get really ugly, where people often feel more pity and taken aback by the person seeking the vengeance for whatever happened.

Revenge is a dish best served well. Some might use the cliche “success is the best revenge,” but success is such a variant term that it can mean anything from actually capturing Osama bin Laden or standing on a boat and telling the country that your mission is accomplished. That’s why when I’ve seen revenge played out in various circles, it makes me feel bad for both parties: there’s usually no sense that the person who messed up to begin with gets that chance to reflect, and the avenger usually doesn’t know how to take the appropriate steps towards revenge. In other words, revenge isn’t being served; it’s just a mess of $#!+ that never ends.

I’ve personally felt the need for revenge, and usually I turn it into something positive. Someone calls me fat, so I lose 20 lbs. in a summer. Someone said I couldn’t make it up a mountain, so I get up the highest mountain in New York State. Someone slighted me academically, so I get the highest grades and win all the awards in the school. Reason #5 as to why I became an educator was to prove to doubters that I’d be making a real difference in someone’s life and not just preaching it. Our actions speak much louder than our words.

For the many people who get hurt, it’s hard to know when to draw the line, but that usually takes some experience and a lot of foresight. Some don’t do it well enough and end up still feeling a bit of resentment. Others go overboard and make themselves look all the more foolish for the whole episode. For most of us, it should give us another opportunity to reflect, improve, and bring something positive to the world. And you don’t even have to be on the precipice of winning another MVP for a New York team ;-) … That truly is the best revenge …

jose, who might have to go to Florida on Thursday

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 3

  1. Frumteacher

    Wow, 20 lbs over the summer?! That is quite something. It is so true that the energy of revengeful feelings can be better challenged into something constructive. This holds true in the classroom, as well.
    I pray your father will be better. Such occassions always bring the emotions in a family to the surface. I hope you and your siblings will find a way to deal with it!

  2. BK Teaching Fellow

    “Reason #5 as to why I became an educator was to prove to doubters that I’d be making a real difference in someone’s life and not just preaching it. Our actions speak much louder than our words…”

    Ashe!

    Peace brother.. How you?? Yea man- I’m still around! Just steady on the grind! You know how that goes! How is your first week and a half? Things are going well. Your encouragement is always helpful brother.. Respect

  3. Repairman

    “For most of us, it should give us another opportunity to reflect, improve, and bring something positive to the world.”

    You said that right, Jose.

    I’m praying for a safe trip for you, peace for your father, and great things for you after.

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