I was watching Revenge last night, a story about a girl who comes back to get even with the people who wronged her father. As I was watching it, I realised I don’t really understand the need for revenge or to get even. Often it is called justice, but I don’t see any justice in it.
Where I grew up, if someone wronged you, you wronged them back, then they got you back, then you got them back, and on, an on. It never made any sense to me. I could not understand why anyone didn’t say hey, this shit is stupid, lets stop. I hated living amongst such people, for whom revenge was a way of life.
I see people outside courtrooms baying for blood, hoping for the maximum possible time in jail, as though that will bring the person back. Maybe in some way it alleviates the pain of the loss, but it would not for me. Is it about wanting the other person to feel pain because you feel pain?
In discussing this with a friend, he thinks it is about life being fair, and us pursuing the pain and punishment of the other so that everyone feels pain. He thinks it is about how self aware a person is, and how much they care about their own behaviour if they are self aware. Life isn’t fair, it never has been and it never will be. I have many, many things that other people in the world don’t have. I get to eat while some poor kid shits out his insides and dies in a desert somewhere.
I have always thought that if someone abuses me, that to abuse them back is a victory for them. It makes me the same as them, someone who wants to perpetrate hurt on another, just because I can. If I do that, it lessens me as a person and it adds to the shittiness in the world, just another excuse for pettiness and nastiness. If I chose to do that, I would feel ashamed of my behaviour.