If I sound vindictive, in golden rule sort of way, I am. This weekend, I read the following quote in my October/November Guideposts and took it to heart:
“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. “
John E. Southard
November is the month we formally give thanks and sadly, immediately turn our attention to getting and giving stuff to each other. And I think Mr. Southard is reminding us that the ultimate present you can give someone is to give them the help they first gave to you.
To get even in the Southard way first requires that you invest in the relationship to understand what would help your benefactor. My first thoughts around getting even often revolve around what I “THINK” would be helpful. People will let you know where they need help only when they trust you. Trust takes time and willingness to show real interest in the relationship. Without this first step you may receive the following response to your request to pay pack their helpfulness: “Don’t worry about it.” Everyone could use some genuine help, and we signal those needs to those we trust and those who spend time with us.
So join me this month and get even with someone. Spend an hour reflecting on who has helped you unconditionally. Then make sure you reconnect with that person and see if you can figure out what would help them. Then go ahead and get even.
Then go ahead and get ahead of the game. I promise you, down the line, someone will get even with you.