WRITTEN BY CHRISTIAN FISHER
It seems that revenge is an inherent part of the human condition. In many ancient civilizations, such as Rome, Greece and Babylon, people believed in “an eye for an eye.” Let’s explore the Cycle of Revenge and the role it plays in everyday life.
The Cycle of Revenge has six phases. The first phase is atrocity. A person has wronged you in a way that is unforgiveable. The second phase is fear. You are now frightened of the person that wronged you. The third phase is sadness. You begin to fall into despair and wonder why the person would do this to you.
The fourth phase is anger. Day by day you become increasingly upset, wishing you could release all of the pent-up rage in your heart. The fifth phase is hatred. You can’t take it anymore. You absolutely hate the person that wronged you. The final phase is revenge. You finally get even with the person, causing them as much pain as they caused you.
This cycle has appeared in literature, comic books, TV shows, cartoons and movies. No matter what form of media it appears in, the moral is always the same.
Revenge consumes and is very unhealthy for people.
The more and more you dwell on how someone wronged you in the past, the less of a future you have because you can’t focus on the present.
Worst of all, once you exact revenge, you become a target. More often than not, a friend of the person that wronged you will want to get even with you for hurting their friend.
An example of the Cycle of Revenge on a grander scale would be racism. Take for example the racism between Whites and Blacks in America today. To be clear, it is not one-sided (simply Whites being prejudiced towards Blacks) but rather mutual (as there are some Blacks that are prejudiced towards Whites).
Whites that join hate groups such as the KKK and the Neo-Nazis want revenge on Blacks for two reasons. The first is that they feel like Blacks are starting to take over, due to the growing popularity of Black culture. The second is that a good number of them have been bullied by Blacks in the past for being White.
Blacks that join hate groups such as The Nation of Islam and The Black Panthers want revenge on White people for two reasons. They want revenge for slavery. They also want revenge for segregation.
Neither side is completely innocent. Neither side is completely guilty.
Revenge will not bring any sort of happiness. Revenge will not change the past, it will ruin the future by leaving behind a legacy of hatred. “An eye for an eye” is a concept that seems to be engraved in our minds. However if one thinks about it logically, that sort of thinking is based on our animal instincts. There should be no need for revenge in a civilized world.
Instead of seeking revenge, one should seek justice.