Lesson 139: Addressing personal grudges
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 7/26 ('All Good Things…Part II')


In one possible future time-line, Worf and Riker have a failing apart due to their respective relationships with Troi.

Recognizing Riker's past relationship with Troi and the possibility that Riker and Troi may eventually get back together, Worf denied his own feelings for Troi and never pursued her.

Aware of Worf's feeling towards Troi, Riker takes umbrage, and when Troi dies, Riker and Worf grow further apart, holding grudges against each other over Troi.

When his close friends tell Riker that both he and Worf have both suffered greatly from the loss of Troi, and that Troi would never have wanted these two close friends to ever be split apart, especially over her, Riker takes the first step and approaches Worf in a reconciliatory gesture.


When incidences cause separation between people, especially friends, family and even work associates, it is critical to address the issues involved without delay.

With the transition of time, people left to their own thoughts on the issues, will surely pollute the situations to the point of truly believing that all blame for the disagreement rests squarely on others, but not themselves.

The ensuing silence from the other parties on the topic only serves to reinforce this false belief.

Only through direct communications can such differences be overcome, or at least avoid misunderstandings. Communications may not necessarily resolve all differences between the parties, but it will at least confirm everyone's position on the issues and allow each to make their decision on how to go forward, based on fact rather than just impressions and suppositions.

There was a story of a computer programmer who was working on a new project together with a salesman in a company. The salesman brought the client requirements directly to the programmer and the programmer would build the solution and give it back to the salesman to give to the client.

One Monday morning, the programmer found an internal memo in his inbox from the salesman, requesting that if the programmer had any further questions on the project, that the programmer should communicate with the salesman's manager.

Affronted by the audacity of the salesman's wish to no longer work with him directly, the programmer fired of an instant internal memo advising the salesman to communicate with the programmer's manager if the salesman had any questions for the programmer.

To the programmer's embarrassment, the respective managers informed the programmer that the salesman was going to be on the road for over 2 weeks, and that the salesman had not wanted the programmer to suffer any delays caused by his absence, so the salesman had updated the sales manager and asked the sales manager to be readily available for the programmer, should the programmer need any assistance at all.

Moral of the story - left to his own accord, the programmer had vilified the salesman in his own mind, based solely on his own misunderstanding.

Whether disagreements are due to misunderstandings or not, ending up by holding grudges and maintaining an air of animosity with other people benefits absolutely no one.

If by clearing the air of all misunderstandings results in the realization that incompatibility between the parties is unalterable, it is better to part ways than to continue forward together harboring ill feeling towards one another.

Life is way too short to spend on such negative pursuits.

Additionally, it is far too late and not at all praise worthy, to reproach one self or to anguish over past grudges with people who have passed on from this life. Better to show true feelings to people while they are still alive, than in retrospect after they are gone.

Extending the first reconciliatory gesture by Riker is worthy of emulating by all who suffer from chronic grudges.

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