One way in which the Catalan showed up in my father was advice. On revenge, it was mixed; a man who seeks revenge digs two graves, or revenge is a dish best eaten cold. My mother merely smiled and reminded me that good things come to those who wait. Neither of them were precisely neophytes about this either, and I’ve realized the wisdom of their counsel over the years.
Nowadays, The vibe is that “enemies lists” are so Nixsonian. And yes, I do have an enemies list. But it is almost empty.
Time has taken care of what anger could not. At one point, the list boasted a coterie of some of the biggest A-holes I had ever met. But to quote another old saying my dad enjoyed, “Keep family and friends close, and your enemies closer.” My dad liked to keep tabs on those who displeased him. If they were in the neighborhood, he wanted to know where and why. And so, via the internet, I have kept the occasional tab on those for whom I hold in dread regard.
Frankly, it takes too much energy to plot an effective revenge, and I’ve learned that if a person irritated me so much that they wound up on the “list,” they were upsetting others, too. It was just a matter of time before they wound up in the sights of someone they should have left in peace. The list has emptied between that and their eventually coming to their “just rewards” via age.
I’ve confirmed two of my parent’s proverbs on revenge – that it is best eaten cold and that good things come to those who wait. Two out of three is not bad.
But about grudges and enemies, I’ve found that the best way to stay clear of “lists” may be the simple “I’m sorry.” Regret, expressed sincerely, resolves many issues, and disrespect and poor manners fuel anger.