An Eye for an Eye Makes Us All Blind

Dec 7 , 2019
By Eden Sahle

Four years back I worked with a senior local man who owns a successful business. I was working on another project when he approached me to work with him in his one international project. We met while I was on duty for another company where he used to frequent the office for work reasons.

For several months he came daily to my office to convince me to come on board to work on his project. When I finished my project with the other company, I signed up to work on his project, agreeing to be paid upon completing the work by the end of four months.

Beyond our contractual deal, the man put me in charge of several tasks in the project including representing him on his formal international virtual communications as he has English language limitations. It was a project that drained me both physically and emotionally, as everything was disorganised, and I was working 16 hour days to correct it. With the support of his great team, we successfully completed the project on time. But at the end of the project neither myself nor the other team members who worked so hard on the project received any payment.

It was terrifying to learn that the senior man who received triple the income he was expecting through our work decided not to pay anyone who made the project a success. Taking his age and experience into account, I did not expect him to go as low as he did. I was upset for myself and the team who worked day and night on the project.

Not long after, this man got arrested on corruption charges, though the case got dismissed in a mysterious way. He is a man who could get away with anything.

My family were furious and wanted to take him to court for my sake, but I thought it was a waste of time to argue with such a bad person and left peacefully, leaving everything for his conscience. As he is a well-known businessman with many interests, it was inevitable that we will cross paths again in the professional field. Meet we did. Recently, the project he was seeking to win from the foreigners I represent required my approval.

When he found out I was involved in the project he came to my office to apologise for failing to pay me last time as per our contract. He said he deserves losing this project proposal, convinced that I will punish him for past transgression. I was able to tell him that I will never go down to his level and hurt him. He was qualified to take the project, so I approved it despite my sadness about what he previously did.

When we consistently make the right choices even when things are going wrong in any situation, we are the ones who eventually come out winners. It is a fact of life to pay sacrifices. Nobody makes it through life without collecting a few wounds here and there. Although the magnitude differs, all of us are victimized in one way or another.

But as much as we suffer, hurting those who hurt us ultimately changes nothing. Indisputably, being taken advantage of is annoying. But the more we hold on to the anger, the more it upsets us.

This does not mean we grant people who do us wrong the ability to continue hurting us. But it means we should not devalue our values and integrity to make them pay for what they did.

No matter what, we should not let other people rule our attitude. Respecting ourselves enough not to go down to bad people’s levels is a discipline we should develop.

Personal growth is an endlessly intricate process to which both those who support and hurt us contribute. In any situation we determine our reaction to allow it to negatively affect us or learn from it. Sometimes people come into our lives to show us whom we should never become. Accepting the inevitable hurt that we come across in life is necessary for any growth to take place within us. As much as we look back in horror to some of the things that have taken place in our lives, it developed us in the deepest ways.

In life we are always in the process of handling the good and the bad. And we choose the best if we train ourselves to remain humble in our judgments, understanding the problem in others. Surprisingly, our character develops in the face of the greatest adversity. Our agony often makes us tougher and more compassionate.

William James once wrote that there is a law in psychology that if we form an image in our mind of what we would like to be, and we keep and hold that depiction there long enough, we will soon become exactly what we have been thinking. This is why we should always be cautious of what we hold in our mind, because holding those who hurt us in our mind might mean imitating and becoming them.

After all, the most important thing to always remember is that no matter how massive the problems we face, no matter what problems we feel are holding us back, many others have had far greater difficulties to overcome than we could possibly imagine, and they have gone on to become good people nonetheless. And what others have done, we can do as well.

PUBLISHED ON Dec 07,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1023]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Put your comments here

N.B: A submit button will appear once you fill out all the required fields.

Editors' Pick


Fortune news