Most of us have been angry enough to say something spiteful. But a man named Charles Froling got so angry that he built an entire house to express his spite.
In 1938, Charles inherited a patch of land from a relative in Alameda, California. He planned to build a home there, but the city refused to grant him permission. Instead, they appropriated most of his land, so they could build a new city road. Charles appealed to his neighbor for help, but his neighbor was afraid that the city would take his property, too, so he chose not to get involved.
Charles was so upset that he took revenge on both the city and his neighbor by building a unique two-story house on the tiny strip of land that he had left. The house is now an historic landmark in Alameda. It measures just 10-feet wide, is tall enough that no sunlight gets through to the neighbor’s house, and close enough that the neighbor can barely open his front door. The other side of the house comes within inches of the city road.
Charles Froling’s weirdly shaped house is just one example of how irrational we can get when someone wounds us, and we give in to spite. Not only does our means of retaliation usually not make any sense, but we end up hurting ourselves as much as we hurt anybody else.
There’s a better way. Forgive. You find peace, not by wounding somebody else, but by making your soul whole again.