3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LET IT SLIDE: Self-Leadership Lesson from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet

The great Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” In recent times, this opinion has come near to extinction. To say the least, it has become outdated and replaced with a love of bloodthirsty violence. Our culture today is obsessed with inflicting pain. Clearly, we still live with the philosophy of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. How I wish this was the best way to resolve our differences!  If you are going to lead yourself well, you MUST master your emotions. The importance of this point cannot be overemphasized especially if you are leading others.

Now, let it slide when someone pushes you to it doesn’t mean that you are weak or that you can’t fight. It actually means that you are strong enough not to play by your opponent’s rules of the game. In my opinion, I think it is a great strength that deserves applause. So, the following are some reasons why letting it slide is often times the best option.

It’s not worth what you will lose

 If you are a Shakespeare Aficionado like me, I am pretty sure you have come across the screenplay called Hamlet. It was about a Prince of Denmark called Hamlet, who had lost his father and the throne to his uncle, Claudius. Claudius had killed Hamlet’s father and married his mother. A move that Hamlet calculated as an act of disloyalty. Inspired by the ghost of his father, Hamlet sought to avenge his father’s death by killing his uncle. He once had the opportunity to do so but he reconsidered it because at that time, his uncle was praying and he didn’t want to kill then, lest he goes to heaven. This shows you the utter disdain he had for his uncle. To cut the long story short, the play ends with both Hamlet and his uncle dead. In a sense, he got what he wanted but the price he paid was great. Often times, taking revenge is motivated by emotions. Most people would hardly confess that they have anything to gain beyond the emotional satisfaction of seeing the person they despise in anguish, which is really petty if you think about it… For Hamlet, I can understand his thirst for revenge but for your particular circumstance, I bet there’s little benefit taking revenge can afford you. Unless you are willing to tell me that your storyline is as messed up as Hamlet’s or worse. So, just take the emotions out of the issue and ask yourself, ‘Apart from feeling good, what will I possibly gain from this?’ If you find that its only emotional satisfaction alone, chances are that you were better off not doing anything.

Letting slide reinforces your self-respect

Now, I often talk about self-leadership and self-development but I don’t think I have ever mentioned self-respect before. Self-respect entails the level of respect that you have for yourself. You find that great leaders and other people of great stature have a high level of self-respect and this reflects in the way they treat others. Look, if a person knows who they are and how they should be treated, they will oppose anyone who thinks of them in another way. They will refuse to stoop to the level that someone else wants them to get on. Think about this scenario, one day you go to the mall to buy yourself a nice book from a book store. Now, on your way, you see a mad person, (I mean this person is literally insane!) attempting to rape a young girl. You have two options either you go ahead and help her out or just walk by like you haven’t seen anything. If you intervene, you will be praised as a hero but if you just let it go, society would look at you as a cruel and selfish Human Being. It’s the same scenario when someone wrongs you. If you just go ahead and attack them or seek revenge, you are playing their game and falling right into their trap. Your self-respect, just like the little girl, will have no one to defend it. So, it’s not a battle of whose ego is the biggest, it’s a battle of whose character will prevail. Once you protect your character, you will be your own hero and ultimately you will praise yourself for showing restraint. If you take revenge, however, you would acknowledge that you are already beaten.

It’s not worth the drama

I hate to say this but Human Beings are the most dramatic creatures that the known-universe has ever seen. Even from ancient times, you find countless incidents of unwarranted drama that could have been resolved but simply not doing anything. Let’s take the story of Alexander the Great as an example. For you who may not know him, Alexander the Great, (I know, it’s a terrible name) was a Greek conqueror who had conquered the known world in his time. It was actually recorded that after he was done with his conquests, he wept and cried saying, ’There are no more worlds to conquer’ and shortly died a while after that. Alexander had a friend who he was close to. But after drinking too much and following an argument with his buddy, he ordered his execution. The following day he asked how his best friend came to die and the guards answered him, ‘You ordered his execution yesterday, my lord.’  Poor Alexander mourned for his friend and his actions were said to have haunted him until his death. The moral of the story here is that this kind of drama could have been avoided by simply not doing anything. Remember that your emotions will not always be with you. Today is simply a remnant of yesterday and a shell of what tomorrow will bring. It is wise to keep all drama out of your life. Trust me, it’s poison.

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