When vindicated, don’t be vindictive PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 11:19

REFLECTION

 

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

That’s right. When we feel vindicated of some misunderstanding, mistreatment or false accusation, we should avoid being pulled down by the strong urge of vindictiveness. Let’s not spoil the grace of vindication by replacing it with the desire to make revenge.

Let’s pay attention to what St. Paul said in his Letter to the Romans:

“Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (12,17-19)

In the first place, we should be ready to face and suffer some kind of misunderstanding and mistreatment in this life. We should consider this as a given. Our human condition, already with its limitations and aggravated by its woundedness, can easily give rise to these possibilities. We should just be sport about them, and not allow ourselves to be dominated by too much worry and hurt feelings because of them.

We should not be surprised by this phenomenon. Between our limitations with respect to making ourselves understood and for others to understand us, an ocean of possible instances of misunderstanding and mistreatment can occur.

This is not to mention that the world today is in a very toxic condition that easily lends itself to misunderstandings among ourselves. The rapid developments, considered as progress, is actually creating a Tower-of-Babel effect where people, communities and societies are increasingly fragmented instead of being more united, giving rise to all forms of animosities and discord.

People are hardening in their biases, preferences and peculiarities, in their perceptions, views and opinions, and even in their core beliefs, without the corresponding effort to understand those with different positions.

In the face of all this, we should make an effort to be magnanimous always. Let’s play the game of charity and not that of our emotions and worldly reasonings. Magnanimity pays always even if its blessings and benefits escape merely human standards.

Without magnanimity, we easily become emotional, that is, we think with our emotions rather than with reason, and much less, with our faith, hope and charity. We caricaturize the positions of opponents while canonizing ours.

Without magnanimity, we fail to understand why others think the way they do. There’s always some reason, perhaps flimsy to us but very convincing to them, as to why they think the way they do. But we tend to make our own views the absolute truth.

In short, without magnanimity, we become rigid, short-sighted and narrow-minded, unable to go through the humane process of analyzing and clarifying issues. Obviously, it would be difficult for us to be tactful and courteous in the discussions and argumentations.

Let’s be sport and magnanimous. We should think well of the others no matter how different and even in conflict our views may be. The ideal is that while we can have different and even conflicting views, we manage to be friendly with everyone. We should have no enemies.