Sweeter than Revenge

Abhishek Paul
2 min readJun 19, 2019

Couple of conversations I listened to gave me a new perspective on dealing with people who are not nice or even do harm to us. Coincidentally both were podcasts on completely different topics and these insights were shared simply in passing.

The first one was about a taxi driver who was complaining about the drop location (how many of us have been there), the problems he’d face in getting a return fare, the amount he’d lose as a result, etc — pretty much an open grumbler throughout the trip. When the passenger (who was narrating this incident) got down, he chose to give the driver a 100% tip! The driver was shocked and kept thanking him profusely. His rationale was that had he decided to not tip the driver (or give a poor tip) as was justified, the driver would’ve just continued grumbling throughout the rest of the day. In fact, he might have become angrier and that would’ve been passed on to the next passenger — but this way, he had broken the cycle, he had not only given the driver a reason to stop grumbling, but also the motivation to spread a cheerful attitude to the next person who’d get into his car.

The second was more interesting because it came from an interview with the MMA champion Georges St-Pierre (at 2:04:14), not the first place you would look for this kind of perspective. He shared a story of how in his later years, he came across an old school mate who was on the streets. This guy used to beat and bully GSP regularly when they were kids. But now as adults, their lives were completely different. GSP says how he gave him the money he had on him (100$+) and asked him to find a job. Sometime later GSP’s father told him that the schoolmate had come home to thank him saying that he had taken up a new job and was doing better. According to GSP the feeling of genuinely helping someone who had harmed him was “sweeter than revenge.

But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you” — Matthew 5:44, Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.