Why revenge is not always the best course of action
The rule of an “an eye for an eye, ” which on surface, appears to encourage revenge, was imposed by a king on his people, ironically, to curb and limit man’s lust for revenge .
The king was worried that in his kingdom, the vow to take revenge had gone out of control. The neighborhoods were strewn with the blood of revenge. Let’s say, Ivan the Terrible insults his neighbor, John the Barbarian, or perhaps his wife “Barbara.” Jolin the Barbarian publicly vows for revenge and cannot rest until he kills Ivan, his wife, or both. Then Ivan’s family vows for revenge. Thus, the revenges and retaliations would follow generation after generation.
The rule of “tooth for tooth” and “an eye for an eye” was to limit indiscriminate acts of revenge: The rule dictates that if a man shoots you in the eye and puts your eye out of business, you may put out his eye but you shouldn’t go after his life or the life of his family. I imagine the king must have slept soundly the day he decreed this law.
Revenge begets revenge. That is the problem. Gandhi of India once said that if everyone followed the rule of an eye for an eye, we all would be walking blind.
Fortunately, we have people in this world who do not act on the impulse of taking revenge, or shall we say, who forego the pleasure of “sweet revenge. ” What an intriguing choice of words, `sweet revenge,” a fruit that grows out of pure bitterness!