Living well is the best revenge.

A fine credo to live by. Noble, even. And win-win. You get your fine life, and you don’t debase yourself with some sort of tawdry act of revenge. And the other guy doesn’t have vengeance rain down on him.

I am not by nature a vengeful person. Which is not to say that I don’t hold grudges and fantasize about vengeance. But I don’t do anything about it. Instead, I say, “Living well is the best revenge,” and stay honest. And smug. I’m taking the high road.  I’m keepin’ it healthy.

But “living well is the best revenge” is like fruit for dessert. It’s tasty and it’s good for you, but it’s not chocolate. Chocolate is desert. Fruit is a mere stand-in. Unless it has chocolate on it. Then, it’s sweet revenge.

Living well is good, but not nearly as delicious as letting the air out of the other guy’s tire. And sometimes that kind of thing is oh-so tempting. But we know that revenge requires energy  we’re better off directing elsewhere. And so we tell ourselves that “living well is the best revenge” and get on with our lives.

I’m not sure living well is actually the best revenge. It’s mostly a good distraction. (Click to tweet.) And eventually, you forget about what so affronted you because who cares anymore?

I’ve also heard that “revenge is a dish best served cold,” but I’m not even sure what that means. It could just be a way to trick yourself into waiting until the heat of anger passes and a cooler head takes over. Or maybe it means that the best revenge requires a cold heart. And nerves of steel. I don’t think I have that in me.

I stick with living well as the “best” revenge. It does the trick. It helps me move on. It’s adequately satisfying.

But if the other guy is just a little bit green with envy over my well-lived life, that’s the chocolate on top.

Photograph of strawberry and chocolate is available at Shutterstock.