Greetings All, Welcome to the podcast “Close to the Bone.” I’m Carl Vreeland.


This is episode #42, and it’s titled, “Resentment.”


So, what is a resentment? Well, Merriam Webster defines it as: a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury. And according to the Cambridge Dictionary, resentment means: a feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept something that you do not like.


Now, whether our displeasure is just or not, how does a resentment serve us? Well, anger is certainly an energy that can drive us to right a wrong, and to make what was unjust just. I think that’s relatively easy to see. Still, let’s break this down. Let’s ask ourselves some questions. What was the injustice? Was it personal? And how did affect us? What of anger, aggression, and the resentment itself? Is it healthy to live with a resentment? Is it necessary to have one in order to right a wrong? Is this the only way to fight an injustice, by way of anger and aggression, motivated by resentment? Well, I imagine many believe that to be so.


As for myself, resentment. . . well, I’ll let the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explain. “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.” Yes, for me that was the case. In fact, from personal experience, and from working with alcoholics, addicts, and angry, resentful folks who are dreadfully cynical and unhappy, I would say resentment is the worse sickness of the mind. I would also say that it’s the most destructive.


Behind every resentment, to one extent or another, lies fear, anger, aggression, jealously, bitterness, cynicism, hostility, and rage. Left unchecked and untreated a resentment can grow into hatred and often violence. A resentment can possess a person. Moreover, resentment only leads to more resentments. Just as anger only creates more anger. One can never be satisfied by righting a wrong, or destroying its object of resentment. Resentment is not a panacea, it’s a poison. And it only leads to ill-health, destruction, and death.


Back to the wrong or injustice. . . consider the call-out culture, cancel culture, and the so-called social justice warriors; what is their motivation? Is it to create better world? Is their approach restorative? It doesn’t seem so to me. On the contrary, their methods seem self-serving. They seem to be seeking attention, prestige, and revenge. Revenge, because life hasn’t gone their way. And they are afraid it never will. This is indicative of deep fear. And where there’s fear, there is anger.


And the other hand, let’s look at the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King. Indeed, Dr. King was a warrior, but a spiritual warrior. He was absent of anger, hatred, and bitterness. He didn’t seek revenge. He didn’t hope to destroy the country. No, he wished to reform it, make it better, and unite it. And he pursued this goal with compassion for all people;

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