The Cost of Bitterness 

I recently watched two videos of two separate but perhaps equally disgruntled individuals voicing their discontent about different issues. These types of videos come a dime a dozen, however, these particular individuals moved me in such a powerful way that I felt the need to write about it. One is a talented actress, and the other was once an illustrious broadcast journalist. I found their issues similar in that they both carried the exhaustive loads of hurt and pain for over a decade, having been or felt wronged by an individual or a group and as a result were stuck – unable to move forward.

The actress has not been seen in any major films or TV shows since leaving a popular TV show in the 1990s even though she is, arguably, a brilliant actress. She spoke passionately about one issue, but it soon became clear that that was not the main issue she wanted to address. Her anger was palpable throughout the video and she even descended into name-calling and using profanities. I felt some empathy and sympathy for her, knowing very well what it is to carry a heavy load and feeling justified in my carrying that burden.

The former journalist, being interviewed by a reporter on the street where he had taken up residence at the time, made no bones about why he was disgruntled from the outset. That video was especially hard for me to watch having grown up watching him on TV, listening to his football and cricket commentary, and even though I couldn’t call myself a football or cricket fan by any great measure, I enjoyed listening to him. He made it all sound so interesting. I had heard the rumours about why he was no longer on the air and his descent into drug use but that had been many years ago. He, too, was very angry and spoke about hating those who don’t treat him fairly.

I don’t have inside knowledge as to the specificities of either individual’s contentions. There may be some things about their situations that I may never understand as well as they do. However, I do know that whatever we participate in or give our time to – whether in action, conversation or thought – comes at a cost of other things. Time spent lamenting a bad decision, a past hurt or wrong is time not spent exploring new opportunities and possibilities. Certainly, it may very well be righteous indignation or justified anger, but of what use is it if it stunts your growth and denies you of possible opportunities you missed while refusing to let go?

Hurt, pain and anger are all natural responses but they are only as effective as how they are utilised. Used to hold a grudge, they can leave one bitter, whereas, used as a lesson, they can help to channel one’s energies positively and propel one to even greater heights than had been reached before. Furthermore, there’s a feeling of exhilaration that is experienced when you let go and move on, a feeling that you will very likely not experience while holding on.

Copyright © Larisa McBean


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