I am part of the Temecula Rises FB group. Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the 412 Church and the rhetoric the pastor has been eliciting. He seems determined to create division and animosity, not unlike many alt-righters these days. Not only has he targeted one of our own, but essentially anyone else that wants to encourage inclusiveness and unity. He can be very intimidating and isn’t afraid to bully those he deems “less than”.
I realized I was falling into the abyss of negativity and contributing to the darkness both on the Temecula Rises FB page but also
in my personal life.
Society puts a lot of pressure on us to “take the high road” when someone wrongs us. We’re suppose to turn the other cheek, tell them we’re not going to retaliate because we are better than them and just go about our daily lives without them in the picture. But I’m going to be very honest here… sometimes the high road is at the top of Mount Everest and difficult to get to.
But for those who take the high road it doesn’t mean forgiving the other person, nor does it mean keeping them in the picture. What it means is not retaliating and that’s a difference many people don’t understand. In most situations, taking the high road is commendable and will actually make things better for you. It’s a classy way to handle a tough situation.
When you’re dealing with people who actively hurt your or did something insane to try to control you, taking that high road is basically putting yourself and others at risk for their bad behavior. The high road only works if the other person you are dealing with has morals and ethics that match yours. Some people need consequences to learn a lesson and taking the high road removes these consequences. People often need to feel like they are the good one even when they know what they did was
wrong. They need “positive press” or at least silence to keep living their lives in their own way.
I have often wondered how 412 looks in the mirror every morning. I am fully aware, like me, he thinks what he does is both
justified and “right”. Narcissists want the world to revolve around their false pretense they believe to have.
Revenge may give me a blessed moment of relief, but it comes at the cost of spoiling my own reputation. I become the bully I hate – damaging my own dignity, breaking my own trust, and ultimately moving me farther away from who I want to become and a little closer to who I despise. The question is, do I you want to be a person who uses revenge to incite fear, or a person of genuine kindness who inspires grace and brings about peace? (That being said, don’t get me started on the societal norm of
the roles and behavior of women.)
The truth is, someone who resorts to immature expressions of anger in public spaces will eventually ruin their own reputation
just fine, without any of my help. No need for me to get tangled up in that craziness.
I’d love to say that by taking the high road, the fight just ends. Sometimes it does. Sometimes people give up, get bored or
move on. And sometimes they amp up their attacks or just plain don’t get over it. The fight goes on with them and within
them. But it stops with me. I always have a choice whether to participate in the battle.
“How beautiful it is to stay silent when someone expects you to be enraged.” ~ Unknown
I feel I should show respect even to people who don’t deserve it, not as a reflection of their character but as a reflection of
The most important lesson I learned in the past year is don’t let anyone turn you cruel. No matter how badly I wanna give the world a taste of its own bitter medicine; it’s never worth losing myself over.
Each of us gets a fresh start everyday to be a better person than we were yesterday. It’s up to me if I am going to take that chance.
Never sacrifice your class to get even with someone who has none. Let them have the gutter.