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For years I have been metaphysically opposed to holding grudges. Anger passes and the reasons for arguments and differences of opinion over time usually become silly. Even the deepest of grudges can be released, because your own anger accomplishes nothing. My childhood best friend killed himself over emotional complications resulting from the fact that his father systematically sexually abused him and his siblings throughout their childhood. Do I hold a grudge against his father? No, I simply have no interest in having anything to do with him. Discarding him from the rolodex of my life means nothing. It is not a grudge, because a grudge feeds off continued anger and the anger has been released.

I have an uncle who has held a grudge against his brother for three decades. It all started with my uncle, who always spoke poetically in his youth about having children and a family. It was the most important thing to him, as well as to his wife, my aunt. After several years passed and he continued to talk about his desire to have children, there were suspicions that there was a problem with their capability to have children. His brother, a blunt man with a dry, perhaps even vicious, sense of humor would joke that my uncle was incapable of impregnating his wife and that he "wasn't really a man." The words deeply offended my uncle, who to this day has no children and has become an extremely sensitive and self-absorbed man.

It was somewhere in the vicinity of thirty years they had gone without talking. There was no communication at all, not even a Christmas card. It was several weeks before my uncle learned there would be no opportunity for reconciliation. Early in October he was notified by his brother's wife that his brother had been working in the World Trade Center on September 11th and was still listed amongst the missing*.

A grudge is protracted anger that feeds off of itself, and as such is really tuned into anger against those who are supposed to mean something to us. Holding a grudge against a stranger for stepping on your shoe at the train station means nothing. You probably won't see him again, and so the energy dies, which means the grudge dies. On the other hand, one must be careful with true grudges. You never know how they may haunt you in this world and beyond.

Go ahead.
Pick up the phone.
You know you really want to.
The words will come.

*He has since been listed as dead.

Grudge (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Grudger (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Grudging.] [OE. grutchen, gruchen, grochen, to murmur, grumble, OF. grochier, grouchier, grocier, groucier; cf. Icel. krytja to murmur, krutr a murmur, or E. grunt.]


To look upon with desire to possess or to appropriate; to envy (one) the possession of; to begrudge; to covet; to give with reluctance; to desire to get back again; -- followed by the direct object only, or by both the direct and indirect objects.

Tis not in thee To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train. Shak.

I have often heard the Presbyterians say, they did not grudge us our employments. Swift.

They have grudged us contribution. Shak.


To hold or harbor with malicioua disposition or purpose; to cherish enviously.


Perish they That grudge one thought against your majesty ! Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Grudge (?), v. i.


To be covetous or envious; to show discontent; to murmur; to complain; to repine; to be unwilling or reluctant.

Grudge not one against another. James v. 9.

He eats his meat without grudging. Shak.


To feel compunction or grief.


Bp. Fisher.


© Webster 1913.

Grudge, n.


Sullen malice or malevolence; cherished malice, enmity, or dislike; ill will; an old cause of hatred or quarrel.

Esau had conceived a mortal grudge and eumity against hie brother Jacob. South.

The feeling may not be envy; it may not be imbittered by a grudge. I. Taylor.


Slight symptom of disease.


Our shaken monarchy, that now lies . . . struggling againat the grudges of more dreaded calamities. Milton.

Syn. -- Pique; aversion; dislike; ill will; hatred; spite. See Pique.


© Webster 1913.

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