Revenge could steal a man’s life until there was nothing left but emptiness. Louis L’Amour
The one problem with anger is that the next immediate thought that comes to mind is revenge. The problem with such a thought is that we are so consumed by that thought that we forget to enjoy life. It is another matter that most times we are unable to execute revenge because it is a double edged sword and often we only go around feeling bitter, hurt and frustrated. Revenge is perhaps a very human quality for the animal kingdom has never displayed such emotions, although there are stories about how some animals do have a long memory and do extract their pound of flesh when the opportunity presents itself. Perhaps we need to take this lesson from the animal kingdom that revenge is by and large a fruitless exercise that is best avoided.
Often the provocation for revenge is the feeling of being insulted, humiliated or unfairly treated. Ironically the animal kingdom is devoid of such emotions and they accept the simple law of the jungle that it is the matter of the ‘survival of the fittest’. When viewed from this angle, there is a case for the emotion of revenge, because the human race believes in the rule of civil society that is governed by rules, laws and regulations. More importantly some of the most human feelings of ego, jealously and pride pave the way for the feeling of revenge to be a legitimate outlet to vent our negative emotions lest we human beings go crazy when stressed out during our normal interactions. Yet the reality is that revenge is a very stressful emotion that invariably leaves very few winners rather it only leads to a painful existence for all involved who survive the revenge.
Once we succumb to the revenge virus, there is no antidote and only a strong sense of responsibility and common sense can ever pull us back from the potential threat of self destruction. Revenge is like a hand grenade with its pin removed but one which we are unable to lob too far. The resultant devastation would possibly hurt and destroy others but there is a very good chance that we too would be facing collateral damage. Revenge often consumes much of our time in planning, plotting, generating negative emotions all of which are directed at our potential target but which like a cancer actually eats us up within. Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of revenge is that the process is long, passionate and emotionally charged but the post execution feeling is often a damn squib for there is nothing to drive us, occupy us or engage us thereafter. We are then left with a deep sense of emptiness that pervades our life and our existence.
Remember: “Revenge is a confession of pain” Latin Proverb
- There are many books of fiction and movies that revolve around the theme of revenge. In almost all cases it is the Good triumphing over evil by taking appropriate revenge and there is a sense of fairness and justice. However read the book or watch the movie the ‘Godfather’ to get a better perspective of revenge and the price one has to pay for it. Notice that when Michael extracts revenge for the killing of his brother Sonny he has to thereafter leave family and friends behind and go on a long cooling off period to another country. Also pay attention to the various acts of revenge that are interspersed in the book.
- Recollect the times that you had a strong need to extract revenge. If you attempted revenge introspect about the net effect of that act. On hindsight would you have executed your plans? Also ask yourself if the feeling of taking revenge is actually your way of acknowledging your emotional weakness and inability to cope with the pressures brought about on you be it in terms of tickling your ego or a feeling of being humiliated or insulted.
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