“One of these days I’m going to get even with you!” is a phrase all of us are familiar with. In life, people are always either threatening to or actually getting even with others. The problem with getting even is that you will never get ahead, which most of us want to do.
I love the story of what happened during the days of the Berlin Wall. One day some of the East Berliners decided they were going to send their West Berlin adversaries a little “gift.” They loaded a dump truck with garbage, broken bricks, stones, building material, and anything else with zero value. They drove the truck across the border, gained clearance and dumped it on the West German side.
Needless to say, the West German populace was incensed and were going to “get even” with them. They were going to “pay them back.” Fortunately, a very wise man intervened and gave an entirely different counsel. As a result, they loaded up a dump truck with food—which was scarce in East Berlin—clothing, which was also scarce, medical supplies which were even scarcer, and a host of other needed items. They took the truck across the border, carefully unloaded it all and left a neat sign which read, “Each gives according to his ability to give.”
The West Germans had taken Booker T. Washington’s philosophy literally: “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.” The Bible says that when you repay evil with good, you “heap coals of fire” on the other person’s head. In Bible times, heaping coals of fire on an enemy’s head was an act which would be rewarded by the Lord. It makes you smile as you wonder how the East Berliners felt, along with the gratitude for the much-needed supplies. I’m willing to wager that they were somewhat embarrassed at their own attitudes.
Message: “Kill ‘em with kindness.” Don’t return in like kind. Be more magnanimous than that and if you do, I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Reposted from Zig Ziglar’s newsletter.
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