My love affair with revenge
“I was blind, but now I see!” — John 9:1
Revenge has kept me focus during these past months. It is such an exquisite emotion, just raw, pure and full of focused energy. Now I understand why people can get lost on it, let it consume one’s life, because it provides a sense of relief, of not needing to think, just work towards a goal. A mean goal, but still, a goal. It’s like a drug, the more you let it in, the more it asks and feeds from you. One day you’ll find yourself in a position of strength and they ask you how you’ve manage to come this far. Then, I knew, I turned and changed my mind. Because if revenge is my driver, them, however work one builds and accomplishes, the vengeance story would overshadow it. Would that be worth it? The simple answer is no.
So I went online, and did my research on revenge. I started with simple quotes about revenge that I could relate with. Some are these:
“Revenge is a confession of pain” — Latin proverb
“An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” — Mahatma Gandhi
“While seeking revenge, dig two graves — one for yourself” — Douglas Hortonm?
“So revenge is obviously a deeply messed up expression of vindictiveness. It is hard to even call it evil. It is just plain insanity. A result of deeply messed up thinking.” — Venktesh G. Rao?
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die” — Anne lamott
I really like the last one. And also Frank Underwood’s opening statement in House of cards: “There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong or useless pain. The sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.” Yes, sir, I don’t have time for useless things either. I think the lesson again here is asking oneself, who are when things turn sideways?
Well, one moves on, a day at a time. It is still somewhat raining on my parade, and it may never stop, but I doesn’t bother me any longer. Let it rain, because I will find a way eventually of pull myself out of this. I will re-direct all this energy and make something of it. People are going to vanish, words are going to vanish, and however we felt once, that, like everything else, will vanish too. So, why rage? There isn’t any point. The sooner we realize we are all terminal, that death is around the corner, the sooner we can get on with our lives. I can’t change what happened in the past, and that sucks. Well, then, I may as well try to find peace, reach a compromise with my own mind. The way I like to do it, is by “doing research” and understanding why what I am thinking (revenge) is a bad idea.
The word revenge means to “hurt or harm someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands”. This is not strange to many, and for many it may be a lasting resentment. According to historians, the word originated in 1540s from Middle French revenge, a back-formation from “revengier”. Some argue, that revengier was possibly subjective from “revenir” in French, which means, “to come back”. And in a way, I guess for many people, the process of revenge is to take someone back to the time when the uncomfortable incident or series of events happened. In a way, to keep those memories alive.
Social psychologist, Kevin Carlsmith, explained the rationale behind why not being vengeful is better than retaliating against somebody. That’s because, “When we don’t get revenge, we’re able to trivialize the event. We tell ourselves that because we didn’t act on our vengeful feelings, it wasn’t a big deal, so it’s easier to forget it and move on. But when we do get revenge, we can no longer trivialize the situation. Instead, we think about it. A lot. Rather than providing closure, it does the opposite: It keeps the wound open and fresh”
I’ve come to believe now, after 23 years of existence, that every human being is messed up in their minds in some short of way. And that, we will carry it for the rest of our lives, and sometimes we won’t find a solution on how to deal with it. But I find myself that the more honest I am with myself and others, the more I am creating opportunities to connect with people, and allowing myself to be accepted by others. Many times, I don’t think we want revenge per se, we just want to be heard, to be taken into consideration and to know that our feelings won’t be forsaken nor exploited.
A friend of mine, once said, “Humans live on average 67 years. Some may live longer and some might live less, but the average is 67. And 67 compare to the existence of human kind…67 is nothing. But it is the time you have.” So going back to the initial question, is it worthwhile to take revenge? I’ll let you answer.