I haven’t had an ‘Ali McBeal’ moment for quite a while – not since the pity face fish slapping after Mumbo died. But I had one today.
It almost happened in slow motion…. Seeing my son being slam dunked by his legs; his body hovering high in the air above the scrum capped heads, and being whipped down to crash land on his neck and back…. And as I groaned out a ‘Nooooooooooooooooo’, I grew several feet, my chest, arms and neck filled up to the size of Martin Johnson and I lumbered across the pitch, the ground shaking with each giant step towards the action. With my giant hands I plucked out the offending boy from the opposition and did a Hancock, throwing him high into the sky while I growled an angry rumble and turned back to my sideline position, shrinking back to my petite blond form.
In reality, I just held my breath. I think. Or perhaps I shouted obscenities. I am not really sure.
But my son, always one of my favoured teachers, showed me that revenge doesn’t have to be served with violence, or anger; that you don’t have to sink to the level of cheating or corruption. He just got up. I saw him take a deep breath, adjust his mouthguard and play on… and play on he did; within moments, turning the ball at the centre line and sprinting back to the try line; triumphant.
He showed me that revenge, the best revenge, if it is even that, is to rise above it, to be your best self, turn a bad situation to a memory best forgotten and replace it with a story to be praised and remembered.
And that reminded me of an old fable I had come across that morning:
An old Cherokee told his grandson “There is a battle between two wolves inside of us all. One is evil – it is anger, jealously, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. One is good – it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy and truth. The boy thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather. “ Which wolf wins?”. The old Cherokee replied quietly, “the one you feed.”
I absolutely love that. Feed the good wolf. Choose love over fear and ego. Always. Tom, the good wolf.