Want Justice? Or to Meet Your Goals?


A few months ago I was in a horrible place: “done wrong” and really upset about it. A “spiritual friend” I had trusted was so unfair – and in public. I could chew nails. I didn’t know what to do and was telling my tale of woe to a friend.

“Here’s what your story reminds me of,” he said. “If someone slashed four tires on your car, would you run up the street shouting how unfair this was? Insist on telling your story far and wide? Or would you put your energy into getting your tires replaced as soon as possible?

Well there went the wind right out of my sails. He was right. Nothing I could do about the facts of the damage to me. What was done was done. But there was a whole lot I could do about repairing the damage as best I could.

Who was it said, “Being happy, doing well, is the best revenge?” And when I saw the following quote in Daniel Menaker’s My Mistake, A Memoir, I knew just what he meant:

The advice I give to others generally takes the form of a question, one that I finally am asking myself: Do you want justice – do you want to show them – or do you want to achieve your goal? The two sometimes – frequently – don’t go together. I stop being angry, or, anyway, I plug up the deep well my anger so often spouts from. In business, for people who want to and have the skill to “get ahead,” seeking justice in tough situations leads to failure time and time again.

So next time somebody does you wrong – will you want justice? Or to meet your goals?


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