Can grudges be of any use? Let us unpack them a little to find out.
Why do people do something with a grudge? In some cases, a grudge could be that person’s reaction to underlying injustice. Such as the poor boy who has to clean tables in a restaurant while most kids around him are going to school. Or lovers whose marriage is forbidden by society for caste or racial reasons.
In others, expectations plant the seed for a grudge. When reality gets in the way of those expectations, people harbour grudges. We all expect to have tolerable neighbours and good bosses. When we end up with an obnoxious neighbour who plays loud music late at night, or a boss whose temperament is fickle, a grudge could be the end result.
All grudges happen due to a feeling of indignation and our helplessness to deal with it. It denotes a lack of freedom that is either denied or not exercised. In case of the boy who is forced to work at an early age, it is freedom denied. With obnoxious neighbours or bosses, to some extent, it is freedom not exercised. In such situations we have several alternatives rather than to grit and bear the situation – to confront our neighbours or change our bosses. Our expectations are creatures of our own making, and we have the freedom to honour them or change them. A grudge here is an indication of our abdication of this freedom.
A grudge serves to inform us of either underlying injustice or sub-par expectation management. Either way, it is a reminder to change the status-quo, which we are often bound by.