There are times when people will treat us badly or try to take advantage of us. This can start at an early age…maybe a kid or sibling knocks over your sand castle just for spite or you get teased in school. (The impact of bullying and how to prevent or stop it has become a very popular topic.) Maybe your teenager picks a fight, someone you’re dating may lie or cheat, someone who works for you might embezzle, someone may offer a freelancer a rate he/she knows is too low, a contractor you hire might try to rip you off, someone takes the parking space you’ve been waiting for…the list goes on and on.
People who do cruel or horrible things or commit crimes take the low road. Why? Maybe they have a personality disorder such as narcissism with a sense of entitlement; maybe they think they’ll feel better about themselves if they can make others feel bad. In reality, they’re just making themselves look bad or even pathetic.
Then there’s the Golden Rule…treat others the way you’d like them to treat you. Does a Low Roader who, say, throws worms in a kid’s hair really want worms smashed in his hair? How can Low Roaders look themselves in the mirror or sleep at night? How can they maintain self-respect?
The temptation to respond in kind, to follow the misbehavior low road by retaliating, can be strong. An eye for an eye, and all that. Or is it better to turn the other cheek?
Taking the high road can be difficult. You can have personal integrity, or sink to the Low Roader’s level. You can react in the moment out of frustration/anger/hurt, etc., or believe that karma exists and will catch up with the Low Roader in the near future. Or you can hope some Low Roaders will eventually realize the error of their ways, seek help if they need it and join those who travel the high road.