When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department usually sticks to water.

That’s right hot heads, cool your jets.

Ok so, you know when you’re in the midst of dealing with a nagging problem that just refuses to go away?

At some point, perhaps at the climax of the drama, a strange calm sweeps over you. You pause, sigh deeply and lower your head ominously between your hands.

When you look up again, with a glimmer in your eye and a morally questionable plan in your head, you proclaim (to nobody in particular) that it’s “time to fight fire… with fire.”

And then, as if it’s some great declaration of fire-extinguishing know-how, you get that mischievous, self-satisfied look on your face like when the Grinch decided to steal Christmas.

That fire on fire plan always seems like a good idea in the moment.

But answer me this- when was the last time anyone ever had an actual fire break out in their house and yelled to someone nearby to “bring more fire! We have to fight this fire with fire!”

Answer- never.

If you want to put out a fire (real or metaphoric), you need water (real or metaphoric, respectively). The only thing you’ll ever accomplish by fighting fire with fire is a larger, more destructive fire. That’s just science.

So, if you’re having a problem with someone at work, school, or in your own family who you don’t feel is playing fair, don’t stoop to their level. Once you compromise your integrity, the other person has already won.

Extinguish the problem by rising above it.

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