Day 82 Question 82:
Is revenge sometimes justified? Do you believe in an eye for an eye?
As strange as it sounds, this is a subject I have thought about a lot lately. I guess that would be due to everything I have been reading and watching…plus a certain work circumstance. Honestly, I do not believe in an eye for an eye. I find it to be just a simple solution to try to brush whatever the problem is under the rug. I have been reading a book called Half the Sky (amazing book-I recommend everyone read it) and it deals with the issue of human trafficking/sex trade. The stories in the book paint images of horrific acts being performed on women…gang rape, mutilation, beatings. It is heartbreaking to think that some females are born in certain countries and their destiny is to live a life of torture. With this being said, I do not believe the answer is to brutally beat or murder the person/people responsible. I just cannot see (and this is strictly my opinion) what that solves. If anything it opens the door for bigger problems. In the book a woman was gang raped and beaten and in her country the normal next occurrence is for the woman to commit suicide. In this case she did not but instead she fought back and she went to the authorities and she demanded recognition of the problem by government authorities. The man responsible for her rapings and beatings sat in a court room filled with dozens of other women he had also raped and victimized. The women grew angrier and angrier and formed a circle around the man and stabbed him thousands of times and cut off his penis. By the end of it all he was just a pile of blood and guts strewn all over the floor. I completely understand the anger and pain these women are experiencing but their actions of an “eye for an eye” have now caused all of them to live a life in hiding. This man that they killed had an “army” behind them and they were out to seek revenge. These women now may never live a life of any kind of freedom. Trust me, I am not condoning any actions of this horrible man that did these things to these innocent women, I just believe there are other ways than violence to solve the problem.
For a very long time I supported the death penalty. I supported it because my father does and I guess I just felt like it was the right way of thinking. The more I studied and became educated and found my beliefs, the more I realized that I really don’t support the death penalty. It seems to me like the government/police officials are performing the same sort of act that got the perpetrator thrown in jail. I just don’t believe two wrongs make a right. Killing is killing no matter what the circumstance may be. I think our legal system in this country needs a big change and honestly a part of me thinks we are so deep in the hole that most people have given up trying to change. Our country (and so many other countries) have become far too violent and I just can’t condone this type of violence on any level. As cliché as it may sound, violence is never the answer. I know I may have that peace, love and happiness hippie mentality but I just don’t understand why violence has become the answer for so many? I cannot be convinced that it is ever really the best strategic move for someone to make. In my opinion violence and believing that an “eye for an eye” is the right way of thinking just makes more and more people ignorant. Unfortunately, these sort of ways of thinking are teaching people ignorance without even realizing it.
I have said before that if someone were to harm my family that I would undoubtedly take them out but truth be told that would not be what I would do. I know a lot of rage would build up inside of me and the thoughts would be there but I would rather someone rot in a 4-walled bare room by their lonesome and die from their own craziness than to kill them myself or have them killed (even if it was an execution). The latter just seems like too easy of a way out and in my opinion it gives complete control and power to the perpetrator. He may be losing his life but he is going out knowing that the government and the people stooped to the same level he did in the end.
What I am about to talk about it completely off the beaten path or murders and death. An eye for an eye does not always have to be on such horrific scales. I work at a restaurant part-time and I love it but there are a few people there that are just straight up slackers. There are two in particular that just do the bare minimum to get by. They both portray senses of entitlement and in my opinion they just act selfish and it is just a job to them (meanwhile one is in his mid 30’s and the other is in her 40’s and they are destined to be servers the rest of their lives). The job requires a good amount of prep work by the staff in order for each day/night to run smoothly. I came to work on Wednesday night after working my day job and nothing was prepped. I was working with the female I just spoke of. I asked her why nothing was prepped and she told me that the male I spoke of left her high and dry and she wasn’t going to prep anything and that he needed to learn his lesson. Neither one of them saw the big picture and realized that they were fucking over the ENTIRE restaurant. They were playing this silly game of getting back at each other and never realized that the owner and all of the staff are the ones that suffer when nothing is done. I start prepping for the next day so it would be ready because we are coming into the summer and it can become a madhouse there. If you aren’t prepared you are just asking for chaos. While I was prepping she just kept telling me how I just needed to leave it for him and blah blah blah. I told her that was not how I worked. The best interest is for the restaurant and for the owner to have a successful business. The picture is so much larger than either of them were choosing to see. When items are not prepped people have to wait longer for their food which in turn could mean the loss of future business and we all know how word of mouth can spread like wildfire. It can be a quick spiral down…even if it starts with something as small as prepping items for salads.
By no means am I perfect. I have moments of anger and flying off the handle too quickly but since I have starting meditating and chosen to take a whole different outlook on life I have come to realize that holding grudges and holding onto anger is far too toxic. An eye for an eye solves nothing…even in the most horrific of cases. We all are supposed to hold our power and when we stoop to the level of the accused then all we are doing is handing all of our power over to them.
If you have never seen it, I definitely recommend checking out the movie Gandhi. I have inserted the entire youtube video below. Again, I know to many I may sound like I am full of fluff and my ideals are not realistic but if we do not have some people to spread the peace and love can you imagine what this world would be like…it is already headed in that direction. I have been part of the problem for too long and I am over with that. I want to be part of the solution.
Good topic I must say. I am replying from my phone so I apologize in advance for all thr errors. Anyways. I guess this topic can be compared to abortion ( your next topic to be discussed here if I.may. Say so. Anyways back to.my reply. I am a brother to a younger sister. A boyfriend soon to be a hisband soon to be a dad. I alse have a lovelly mother and a sweet soon to.be mother.in law ( seriously she is sweet ). I too am a lover and not.a.fighter. I listen more.then.i talk. I enjoy peacefull hiking with my dog. And a long ride on my bike (cycling) but even thou I enjoy all those things and I am a peacefull person, the slightest thought of any of.those horific.things happening to the.lovely.ladies in my.life and ill kill the fuckers that did it. I will die in prison. but ill die happy.knowing that my.purpose on earth as a male was acomplished. And that.is.protect my offfspring and family.
I would want to kill someone for hurting my family, but I wouldn’t. I believe that in the end, the evil in this world will meet their maker. Not for me to take into my own hands.
eye for an eye does not teach the other person that they were wrong. it only makes them think, “hmmm. my turn. how can i get them back for that?” i precribe to “kill them with kindness.” if someone does something wrong to me, and i know it’s intentional, i’ll ask, politely, “hi. i noticed that you did _________. i was wondering why you did that? if you let me know what i did that you didn’t like, then i’ll see what i can do to make it right. can we try that?” at that point, what could they possibly do? if i turn the volume up, they’re going to do the same thing, and then what? we’re all deaf from the noise.
Actually, the biblical sense of “eye for an eye,” is God’s telling the Israelites to avoid giving a bigger punishment than the crime warranted (Exodus 21:22-25). The Message translation of Jesus words in Matthew 5:38 gives the idea: “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” So, your thoughts are in line with what Jesus taught. Nicely done.
Actually, our system of laws and punishment are originally based on “an eye for an eye”. Fortunately our punishments have evolved into a system of incarceration and rehabilation because we believe that it is more “civilized”. However, the more civilized our punishments become, the less effective they are. Few people are actually rehabilated, and many don’t see it as much of a punishment but rather a lifestyle. We may joke about how it gives them “a bed to sleep in, three meals a day and …” (I won’t go there), but many of the repeat criminals find that they can’t function in a normal society because they have been locked up for so long and immediately commit another crime that will put them right back at ‘home’ and our prisons become full.
Severe punishment needs to be part of our judicial system if it is ever going to work. There needs to be a fear of the consequences or crime will continue to prosper.
A Gun Enthusiast Speaks
this is a great topic an eye for an eye, there are so many things happen around us that leads to people to put law on there hands to find justice, in most cases I understand why some wants to do it on there way due to justice delayed specially here in my country, with this kind of situation I am hoping and wishing my government will improve the quality of our way here to avoid this kind of system, personally I don’t also agree for an eye for an eye because it will worsen more the problem.
A very provocative piece that makes me truely ask myself some deep questions. I would like to think that I would not react in the way the the women who were gang-raped reacted. However, I have never been in their horrible situation, so I don’t feel I have a right to judge. I do believe that the men that raped those women will receive their justice. Their souls will have to pay for their crimes against humanity. I believe that stopping violence against women, children, and mankind should be all of our concern. I really appreciate your post on this subject. I am glad you thought to bring it into the light. Peace…:)
Wow! Thank you for finding me. I look forward to reading more.
I do not like revenge. However, I think punishment should fit the crime. If someone kills a member of the family then they should be made to support (financially) that family for the rest of their lives. They should be made to fill in the gap by giving back part of what they took – though they could never replace that person. That’s just me…but think about it..how many would simply not commit the crime if they KNEW they would be strapping themselves for the rest of their lives? No time off for good behaviour, no parole – sorry, that person is gone now they have to pay….period.
I totally agree, almost 100%. I think there are times when I would want that kind of justice, but I do have to question my motives, which leads me back to- yes, you are right. It is really not for us to decide who lives and dies. That is what I truly believe. And revenge just perpetrates more hate and anger. Great post!
An age old question of an Eye 4 an Eye. Even in today’s society, this maxim still holds powerful sway. When cultures and entire profiles of people are boxed in and have little or no means of defence against tyranny and suppression of the Human Spirit, the only alternatives people are faced with are to use whatever is at hand to defend whatever they have left of their diginities. Sadly too often now, what we are witnessing as a human species is using children to accomplish goals of revenge. The Middle East is rife with examples of putting weapons into the hands of young children, instilling them with the desire to kill the “enemy” by any and all means possible without regard for respect towards life. Even great nations are resorting to the use of “Video Game Scenarios” of using young kids skills and talents of wagging war from a distance with drones. We are erasing the horror of looking the enemy in the eye while decimating them in the blink of an eye while avoiding so called co-lattteral damage of “innocent” by-standers. I’m afraid that all we are leaving in the wake of surgical or mass destruction are witnesses to unspeakable desires of revenge. It is hard to imagine what people are faced with when all we do is sit in front of electronic devices ourselves in the comfort of chairs sipping coffee and tea, chillin out comtemplating and being philosophical about an Eye 4 an Eye mentalities. Writing is good, doing is better. Get involved physically and start kicking butt to change the future. Othewise we run the risk of not having any for our own children and planet.
You’ve given me a lot to think about.
I have to agree with you. Our society is one of revenge and of holding grudges. Look at everything in the media that shows such things.
Most children are taught that if another child hits them, they are to tell a grown-up instead of hitting them back. We lose that somewhere along the way. We think that if someone hurts us, they deserve to be hurt just as much if not worse. We are not a society of forgiveness. We take things personally and think that if someone hurts us or someone close to us, it’s an attack on us when really most of the time (unless it’s a case of retaliation), the offender was probably thinking more of themselves than the person they were hurting.
I agree that hurting another person in return for their hurting you is often pointless. All too often they retaliate back because they then feel justified. Where does the cycle stop? If your coworkers continue to not do the prep work, neither of them will really learning anything because it will continue to happen and resentments will continue to build. I’ve been in similar situations at work and most of the time I have usually been the person to just suck it up and pick up the slack (sometimes I was not in the mood for doing extra, and I retaliated by not doing the extra work but who said I was perfect?). I made sure the supervisor was aware of my slacking coworker as well. It’s one thing to do your job and pick up the slack, it’s another thing to let a coworker walk all over you.
I admit my natural instinct is to want to get back at someone who has intentionally wronged/harmed me, but once my temper settles I never act on those impulses. It does no good, never makes things better and I realize the satisfactory feelings of revenge would never materialize.
just stumbled on your blog and read this post. I do agree that sex trafficking is such a horrible thing, and it is something that should be stopped. there are a bunch of us here (London, england) who are backing the cause of the fight against human trafficking in various ways.
in terms of “getting back at people”, your example of the guy who got stabbed by the women was quite profund I thought. His actions were deplorable, but yea, using hate to fight hate is not the way forward, it just build more hate and then we get to the point where we only remember the emotions and not what it is we are fighting for. it’s a hard thing, especially when retaliation can be understandable.
criminals and killers should get what they give. people who harm, should get what they deserve. but I don’t necessarily believe in inflicting the retribution myself. karma (we hope) will do the job. When I get irate about this subject is when people actually dislike me for even saying that people who do screwed up things deserve punishment. I never say WHAT they should get, or that I desire to harm them myself, but somehow there are those who cannot grasp the concept of consequences being deserved. great question!
I, and my own blog, are ALL ABOUT spreading the peace and love. Do you know about the I Declare World Peace movement on Twitter? #IDWP–check it out. I SO do not believe in an eye for an eye–no way!
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