“LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE”
The British poet, George Herbert (1593 -1633) wrote those words a few hundred years ago. I believe in “living well,” – however each of us might define that – but the question of course, is “Wait a second, what did Herbert mean by ‘revenge’? Revenge for what??”
Robert Frost (1874 -1963) said something similar to Herbert’s words hundreds of years later when he wrote, “Forgive, Lord, my little joke on Thee….And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me…”
But back to “revenge” for a minute. Having read a bit of George Herbert’s work, I think the “revenge” he’s referring to is revenge for the fact that in the end, it turns out that we actually don’t live forever, no matter what the theologians tell us; we, well…we die. And that could get a guy pretty worked up if he’d thought he’d actually been promised “eternal life” (according to his own definition…)
Frost takes a more light-hearted approach. But he’s referring to the same “reality,” ie., death: the “great big joke” he’s promising to “forgive” God for playing on him – if He forgives Frost’s “little joke” (like a slight “transgression” of some sort) he played on Him…
I guess if we’re lucky, it all evens out in the uh, “end” (between God and us, that is.)
But it’s actually the “LIVING WELL” part that I’m interested in. What does that – or could that – mean? What does it look like? Because whatever it is, I want to be sure I live it! I don’t want to wait until the last second and say to St. Peter (or somebody,) “Wait!! I’m not ready! I haven’t lived anywhere near “well” enough yet! Can you just hold it for a minute?!”
So I took a crack at putting down some thoughts that would get me on the path to at least part of my particular idea of “living well.” I plan to work on it more. (You never know when that rascal St. Peter might get impatient…) Maybe they’ll ignite some of your own thoughts.
Look, we might not have forever…but we have now.
- Celebrate the good stuff – however “little” and “big.” It all counts.
- Look for reasons to be happy…now.
- And look for reasons to feel good about yourself – and who you are, now. Not just what you hope to accomplish sometime in the future…but right this very minute!
- Celebrate the small wins every single day, Delight in them. Get a kick out of them. Don’t overlook any! Share them with people you love. Listen to theirs.
- Celebrate your growth – your “evolution” – what and whom you are becoming. Be generous with yourself.
- Take the “high road” every chance you get. Be a class act. Never stoop to anything petty.
- Go from “already knowing” to “always learning.”
- Take risks; explore, be open to anything new. Put it all out there. Get crazy…
- Surround yourself with beauty – beautiful music, beautiful ideas, beautiful food, beautiful plants, beautiful (on the inside) people. And of course, beautiful animals…like Willa (our beloved Golden Retriever…)
- Embrace new people with new ideas, people who love without judging, people who give with out expecting anything in return, people who make you feel glad you’re you…
- And finally, give it – life – everything you’ve got. Everything.
Oh, and forget “revenge.” In the “end” there won’t be any room for it. Just love.