Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Revenge: Is It Worth It?


There are many things I focus on, some more than others of course. At times, I find myself focused on one thing much more than the other, to the point where it consumes me. Have you ever played a video game when you were younger (or even as an adult) -- and you found yourself sitting Indian style in front of the television set for many hours trying to get to the next level of the game? You couldn't even focus on anything else. When you slept, you even dreamt of playing the game! But what happens when things in your life aren't balanced? Other things in your life start to wilt like a plant -- they get neglected, and so, you lose all sense of priority. Everything else just dies out.

What are you focusing on?

What are you neglecting?

Yesterday afternoon, I had a discussion about forgiveness and letting go on live stream. Many people had some great ideas, and some people were adamantly charged with fuel for revenge. I asked the question of, if somebody hurt you or did something wrong, would you forgive and forget, forgive but always remember, would you seek our revenge or would you remain silent and move on with your life, regardless if you forgave them or not? The results were really fascinating and some people even opened up my own eyes about their higher level of forgiveness. I spoke about a friend whom I forgave, but I just didn't want to reconcile due to the toxicity. Someone said, "Well, it's been a year. Maybe that person has grown?" So why shouldn't we forgive, and yes, forget too?

Right before my father passed away from cancer, our entire family were incredibly tense -- emotionally charged full of raw feelings and sadness, and some of those emotions were tied to the past. I had a huge falling out with one of my sisters to whom I love with all my heart. We're incredibly close, and this was the first fight we have ever had since I was born! Many words were said, some that I thought I could never forget, but when you truly understand the reasons why someone is upset, and understand the underlining turmoil that all of us suffer from, then it's easier to forget the madness. I'm not saying that you need to just let someone walk all over you or treat you poorly, but in a case of a disagreement, it's important to know the reason for the madness -- the reasons why someone said what they did, especially words that were only meant to hurt, and not ones that were truly meant from the heart. Sometimes, people can say the cruelest things out of just being frustrated. After our feud, after we both reconciled, I literally had forgotten the words, the incidents...everything.  So did she. I remembered how "we" were and still are: true friends, family, sisters. That's all that's important. Respect. Love. Forgiveness. Nothing else matters. Of course, in our case, our love was stronger than our feud, which made it easier to connect again. But what if it's a feud with someone you don't love? That can get tricky.

Ah, good ol' Periscope. A community of travelers, entrepreneurs, inspirational speakers, Christian pastors, psychics, entertainers and of course, your bong smoking hippies. A nice mixed bag. Which scopes do you choose from?


So, on a personal note to a few of my live streaming friends, I will end my article with this statement. This is not to say I agree with what someone does or doesn't do. It's just my response for the many emails I have received to join in on "fighting for justice."

So hear me out...please.

There are people who are acquaintances and friends. Once betrayed, there is sometimes a need for revenge, or a "payback" to which most would call "karma." The focus can get so intense, so magnified, especially if one side has more people 'rooting' for the 'bad guy' -- it becomes a mob mentality.
Revenge is a form of primitive justice usually assumed to be enacted in the absence of the norms of formal law and jurisprudence. Often, revenge is defined as being a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is used to right a wrong by going outside of the law.
I've gotten to know many of my live streaming buddies, who either entertain, inspire or present really great discussions on Periscope. Each person I know is so different in their own way. But along the way, there's one person who many disagree with and upset over the seemingly unfairness of a certain situation. What the person is doing isn't illegal, however it can definitely be seen as unethical. This person receives tips for his piano playing and show tunes while live streaming. Many tip him for his heart to heart discussions as well. These people are willingly giving their money to him. He claims he makes his money off of live streaming. Who are we to judge how any of us make a living? The only thing I brought up to this broadcaster was the questionable tipping from a woman who happens to be intellectually challenged. She has even made this known to the public in one of her own live stream broadcasts. When I confronted the broadcaster privately, he publicly made everyone aware that I was concerned about this, along with some harsh words about me, and of course voiced his opinions regarding my personal life and relationship with my partner.

But we both moved on. In fact, it was a calm and peaceful reconciliation. We didn't go back to "BFFs" again, but we moved on. That's what's important.

Although I still disagree with accepting tips from certain individuals, it is none of my business. It's out of my control. It is in God's hands. This woman tips him freely, as she pleases, because she loves him. As unethical as it may seem, it's also not illegal. This broadcaster hasn't "scammed" anyone. He states probably 1,255,975,889 times within his broadcast to go to his PayPal account and to give him a tip if you enjoyed his entertainment or discussion -- that is solely up to the person chucking their hard earned pennies into his hat. Nobody is forced to pay. If you have paid and have regretted it, then learn from it. But stop the madness... Move on. Your entire focus is distorted.

Also, if you are going to give him something that you specialize in as a friend, and never bring up pricing and say it was a favor...then it's definitely a gift. If you do not have a contract signed by the person receiving your services, it is a gift. If you publicly let the world know you helped someone out with their website design, or any other types of services, then it's what?

A gift.

This same person who has stated that now he demands $2,000 for his website services is also making claims of sexual harassment from this same broadcaster months later. Sexual harassment claims are serious. If you do not provide the proof, or report it while it happened, then you can be sued for defamation of character. Just because you're angry about what somebody is doing does not give you the right to take back gifts or make false claims. In fact, this person has become so consumed with his attempt for revenge, that his entire character has changed. He used to be inspiring and he would help people who suffered with anxiety and depression like myself. He was wonderful, loving, funny...and now, he's turned so angry and negative. He's also very disappointed in someone he once trusted. But when we hold high expectations for people, we're bound to get disappointed eventually by some.

What's more important?

Taken from a SnapChat video. I look like a mannequin! 
I'm writing this because I found myself consumed by reading each claim. I couldn't believe what I was reading and seeing on Periscope. I was so taken aback by all of the claims, that it gave me an anxiety attack. Between my issues at home and tuning into the negativity on Periscope -- I found myself in the ER getting checked out due to my chest pain and palpitations. I had to see a cardiologist, which turned out to be OK thank God. My diagnosis: anxiety. I also witnessed another live streamer who was caught up in some type of drama, who was also taken to the hospital for chest pain and anxiety. These people live streaming are real people. It's not just some type of virtual reality -- there are real people with real feelings on this app. This entire situation is so incredibly toxic, that I'm sure some of you have experienced that same anxiety that I had, maybe in a different way, or maybe you're now joining in and experiencing the mob mentality.

The common denominator: we are all human.

I was told in an indirect way, that if I was a VIP member of Periscope and failed to comply with joining in on the witch hunt, that I was just as bad as the broadcaster, perhaps even worse. Let me just address that statement.

You're wrong. I'm concerned. I'm concerned for your mental health. I'm concerned about my own no less. You don't have to attend every argument you're invited to. And if I choose not to, then that's my right. I'm worried that this has gone way too far. It has trickled into so many lives, so many hearts, and it has given people so much anxiety -- who's to blame? It's not all from the broadcaster, but from the inability to let go. If you truly do not like someone, or feel she or he is doing something unethical, present your case, but if it doesn't 'fly' or doesn't do a world of good, then let it go. Move on. If not, this entire situation will consume you to the point of losing your mind. You may even damage your own personal relationships at home because of this. Remember, indifference is the opposite of love. If you really don't care for this person, let him go.

Forgive, (forget or don't forget) -- but most importantly, learn how to let go, and let God. Learn that some things are just out of our control. There's going to be many people in your personal life who are going to betray you --- no less someone on live streaming on the internet who took $5 bucks because you decided to tip him. If you tipped him $1,000.00 or more, then that's on you. Learn from it, but please, let it go. Focus on your loved ones, your careers, your friendships, everything that life has to offer you. Focus on your health and happiness. Life is way too short to let negativity consume you. Remember, bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I love that saying, because it's very true. Focus on YOU. Focus on your lives.

Please know that I am writing this in LOVE. I don't have anything against ANYONE on this app. I'm only concerned for everyone's wellbeing since I went through a helluva time recouping from this toxic mess.

Forgiving someone isn't approving how they wronged you, rather, it's no longer allowing their wrong to define you.

What defines you?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!