Writing Prompt: The Best Revenge Is Not To Be Like That

Writing Prompt: The Best Revenge Is Not To Be Like That

An old black and white image with the words, "Revenge of the Virgins"

Last week, was “If Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them”, and encourages letting people go if they walk away, and not putting on rose colored glasses.

Today’s prompt is mean to be the counterbalance to that point.

On facebook the other day, someone posted this question:

Would you accept a friend back who has walked away from you in your times of difficulty?

Of all the replies, mine was the only one that said, “Yes.” In fact, I said:

” Yes. Absolutely.

Everyone has a right to make choices for themselves.

And I like them for a reason. If I only liked them for their help and support, then I’m not much of a friend, am I?”

I was not surprised that I was the only one, though.

That question seems like there is only one right answer, and it’s an easy one.

But I don’t think it’s easy or simple. It’s not even as simple as what I wrote. I mean, it’s true. I do believe that I am friends with people for more than what they can do for me. I do believe that people need to make their own choices, and the choices are valid whether I agree with them or not.



And, here is the kicker: There are times I have had to walk away from someone in their times of difficulty. More than once.

  • Because I did not have the strength.
  • Because I did not have the heart.
  • Because I believed helping them through would do more damage in the long-term than their learning to stand on their own.
  • Because I was just tired.

In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius tells himself to “Avoid false friendship at all costs.”

I agree with this. I make it a point in my life.

And I also believe that to truly put this into perspective, I also feel that it’s important to look inward, and ask “When have I been false to my friends?”

He also suggests in Book Six, if you are sparring with someone and they hurt you, don’t yell at them or whine or hold it against them — just make a mental note about it and act accordingly in the future.

This rings true to me. I can still love them for the laughter and joy they bring to my life, knowing I can’t rely on them to bail me out of jail (if it comes to that). Because not all friends are (or can be) bail-out-of-jail or sitting-next-to-me-in-jail-giggling friends, and THAT’S OK!

And finally, in this particular vein, Marcus says this:

“What injures the hive, injures the bee. The best revenge is not to be like that.”

Meaning: When you hurt others, you hurt the group and you hurt yourself.

The Prompt

  • How many times have you turned friends down for help? Have you held similar situations against others, when you were the one in need?
  • When have you been a false friend and still accepted back?
  • When have you had to walk away?
  • How do you choose to “not be like that?”

Feel free to write in the comments or in your own journal and link here (so others can read it), or just think on it or write on it and keep it to yourself, if you prefer.

Write a sentence. Or a paragraph. Or an essay. Or whatever this is to you. Talk it out. Make it yours.


So, the image doesn’t really have anything to do with this blog post, but it came up when I searched for “revenge,” and I was too tickled to resist using it…

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