John Lithgow stars as Eric Qualen, a particularly mercenary and psychopathic character, in Cliffhanger. At a particularly tenuous moment in this flick, Qualen says, “You want to kill me, don’t you, Tucker? Well, get a number and get in line.” It captured a poignant moment where another less psychotic person might have felt concern for their own safety and wellbeing — Qualen clearly wasn’t bothered.
It appeared to me to be a quote that not only applies to psychopathic mercenaries but to normal everyday folk like you and I. Sometimes no matter how hard we try we end up with enemies who are vengeful for no apparent reason. At times, people respond like this only in the moment, and then they cool down later and even at times apologise. But others get bitter rather than better.
It is easy to be swayed by vindictive people. Malice and spite speak a particularly nasty and fearful language and it’s very understandable to count what we might lose when we’re the subject of threats, either spoken or implied. It’s one of the down sides to being perceptive or intuitive — into the bargain we get to feel others’ malevolence, sometimes it seems in double-strength.
How do we respond to people who wish to think badly and incorrectly of us, and convert that into spiteful behaviour?
1. Don’t give in to pressure and strong-arm tactics.
2. Be respectful always — disconnect the malicious action from the person; they lack love. Be the one to provide it.
3. As above, choose to love (and forgive) your enemies. It’s a choice and it’s not really a difficult one if you see that they are full of fear.
Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” (John 15:20) and he also said during the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God… Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (Matthew 5:9-11)
Whenever people in any circle of life try to do the right thing there is always resistance and it will also bring out the threatened souls who would try to be satisfied by flinging mud. If you’re on the side of truth, fairness, and justice and you feel persecuted, you will identify with Jesus’ words above. They’re inherent life truths.
We will meet with opposition and all kinds of resistance along the way toward good goals. Sometimes we catch people in good moods and sometimes not; sometimes it is we, ourselves, who cause problems and we need to be mindful of this too, making things good via apologies as appropriate.
In Cliffhanger, Qualen wasn’t really bothered knowing that people wanted to kill him. And to a certain extent we cannot be too worried about people’s malicious intent; concerned enough to do what we ought to do, yes, but not to worry and get anxious about it in the more general sense. That would do us and the problem no good at all.
Copyright © 2008, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 Source: imdb.com/title/tt0106582/quotes