Best revenge by Marcus Aurelius
“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injustice.”
The quote “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injustice” by Marcus Aurelius conveys
a Stoic philosophy about responding to wrongdoing. Instead of seeking retaliation or revenge in a harmful
or malicious manner, the quote suggests that the most effective way to respond to an injustice is to behave
in a manner contrary to the person who committed the wrong.
In other words, rather than stooping to the level of the person who harmed you or committed the injustice,
the idea is to rise above it and embody qualities such as kindness, integrity, and virtue.
Best revenge by Marcus Aurelius
Imagine a scenario where someone at work spreads false rumors about a colleague, attempting to damage their reputation.
Instead of responding with anger, the person who was wronged decides to take the advice of Marcus Aurelius:
“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injustice.” Here’s how this could play out in a real-time example:
Positive Actions: Rather than retaliating with rumors or negative behavior, the person focuses on their work, demonstrating
competence and professionalism. They continue to treat their colleagues with respect.
Maintaining Integrity: The individual refrains from engaging in gossip or backstabbing. They remain true to their values and
refuse to compromise their integrity despite the unjust treatment they’ve received.
Seeking Resolution: Instead of escalating the situation, the person takes the high road by seeking a resolution through appropriate
channels, such as discussing the issue with a supervisor or HR. They aim to address the problem constructively rather than perpetuating a cycle of negativity.
Professionalism: The individual remains composed and professional in their interactions with others. They don’t allow the injustice
to affect their work performance or relationships with colleagues.
Personal Growth: In response to the adversity, the person uses the experience as an opportunity for personal growth.
They might seek out ways to improve their skills, build a strong support network, or develop resilience in the face of challenges.
In this example, the real-time application of the quote involves choosing a path of constructive response, personal growth,
and maintaining one’s moral high ground. The goal is not to stoop to the level of the person who committed the injustice but to
rise above it with dignity and strength of character.
Let’s take another instance
Imagine two students, Alex and Taylor, competing for the same academic award. Taylor, feeling threatened,
decides to spread false rumors about Alex to tarnish their reputation.
Alex, inspired by Marcus Aurelius’ quote, decides not to retaliate in a negative way. Instead:
Positive Actions: Alex focuses on their studies and academic performance, putting extra effort into excelling in
Maintaining Integrity: Rather than responding with rumors or gossip, Alex refrains from engaging in any negative behavior.
They remain honest and true to their values.
Seeking Resolution: Alex may choose to address the issue by talking to a teacher or school counselor about the false rumors,
seeking a resolution through proper channels.
Professionalism: In class and social interactions, Alex remains composed and continues to treat Taylor with respect. They don’t
allow the false rumors to affect their behavior or relationships.
Personal Growth: Rather than letting the injustice bring them down, Alex uses the experience as motivation to develop resilience,
build a support system, and focus on their personal and academic growth.
In this simple example, the “revenge” that Alex takes, following Marcus Aurelius’ advice, is to rise above the injustice, maintain
a positive and constructive approach, and focus on personal and academic excellence rather than engaging in a cycle of negativity.