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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The High Cost of Getting Even

Years ago, Dale Carnegie was touring Yellowstone National Park. He was sitting in bleacher seats along with some other tourists, anticipating the appearance of the mighty grizzly bear. Sure enough, one appeared, eating the food park rangers had set out to lure him within view.

A park ranger had briefed the tourists on the might of the grizzly. With the possible exception of the buffalo or the Kodiak bear, the grizzly could defeat any other animal in the Western world.

Strangely enough, while the excited tourists were viewing the awesome grizzly, another animal came into view. Casually, he walked up and began eating from the same food. Conceivably, if a Kodiak bear or a buffalo had appeared, the grizzly could have very well have fought them.

What animal could have possibly materialized that the grizzly bear would have left alone? The answer? A skunk.

The grizzly could have destroyed that skunk with one swipe of his paw, yet he left him alone. Why? Because he had discovered from life’s experiences that it did not pay.

Carnegie makes the excellent point that hatred, bitterness, and the desire for revenge do not pay. Those emotions systematically destroy us, not our enemies.

The writer of Proverbs said this in 15:17—

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.

Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from the grizzly, and the skunk.

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