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Revenge


Galien

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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.

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I agree.  I don't think revenge accomplishes anything.  I admit to wishing revenge on some people, but almost never does my revenge involve making a person physically suffer or die.  I just think that is stupid.  Most of the time, I just let things go.  If I did ever seek revenge, the purpose would only be to "make them feel pain like I did"  emotionally or financially, of course. 

 

It's a disgusting mindset to think a person "deserves" pain, suffering, and/or death.  Unfortunately many people have it.  I don't think suffering should be brutal.  I think suffering should be loss of opportunity and freedom. 

 

That being said, I don't like the concept of jail either.  I wish there was a better system in place where the punished actually did something useful.  Instead of just eating up our tax resources.

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I also wish there was a better way than jail, all I can see it doing is costing the government unneccesary money and allowing younger criminals to be schooled by older ones.

 

I have always been a very forgiving persion, but there is one person I cannot forgive, a christian who made my life a fucking misery through his own cowardice. I often see him riding his bicycle along where I drive home in the afternoons. Wouldn't take much just to swerve slightly....

 

But really I don't want to hurt him like that, I don't want his family to lose him, I just want him to stop being a coward, to stop glorying in the position he holds in a christian organisation and learn a little humility.

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Although I do think punitive pain can be used as a detterent.  I don't think the pain should cause prolonged suffering or permanent damage. 

 

In America, there is (or was 15 or 20 years ago) a running joke among alot of black people (at least I think) that white people don't know how to handle their kids because they let their kids get away with the stupidest things (whining, crying in public over something stupid like not getting the cereal you want at the store, stealing).  Basically the joke is that these kids aren't punished enough.  It often comes down to, "that kid needs a good whooping". 

 

I was raised getting spanked and/or whipped (belt) when i was caught doing something bad.  Note that the punishment was more often than not dealt by my mom (who is white) so the whole black thing really isn't relevant.  Sure, it didn't help my relationship with my parents at all, but I definitely was a much better kid in public than most of the kids I saw/knew.  Pain isn't that cruel, it's just part of life. 

 

I don't think somebody going through a bit of physical pain is much of a big deal.  Especially when they brought it on themselves (punishment).  As long as it isn't too extreme, and it doesn't disable them, or traumatize them. 

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I haven't decided yet if I will punish my children with spanking.  I don't think that will be my first approach.  Hopefully a time out or some other restriction will work nicely.  But different kids will respond to different punishments so we'll see.

 

I know punishment is not exactly revenge.  But I think the two concepts can be related, it just depends on the intent.

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