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The Concept of Revenge

The great Chinese philosopher Confucius told the world that if you are heading out for revenge then you had better dig two graves, i.e. one for the person you intend to harm and the other for yourself. This gives the implication that the revenge, while intended to hurt its victim, will also cause some degree of pain to the perpetrator.

Revenge has been described as the intense desire to get back at someone who has caused you perceived or real pain. It may take many forms such as defending of honor, retaliation, retribution, vengeance, vendetta, reprisal and even justice. People may use any of these words but they are simply synonyms and mean the same thing, which is you wish to cause the person pain similar or greater than the pain they caused you and so make them pay for what they did to you.

People seek payback for many reasons, some achievable and others can never be got, but nonetheless they search in hope that once they retaliate, they will get back what they have lost. Here are some reasons people will seek vengeance and what they hope to achieve at the end of the day.

  • They have experienced an attack and have therefore suffered loss that is unfair and unjust. This forces them to attempt to seek for justice for the wrongs that have been done to them, while others just want their attackers to feel the same amount of pain they felt so as to make the score even.
  • People do not take humiliation and perceived loss of power lightly, and if someone should feel so, they will try to regain back that power. This is usually where people claim to be defending their family’s honor and in worst case scenarios it turns into a vendetta. In this case, it can go on for ages with each side trying to out wit the other and eventually no one even remembers what caused the feud in the first place.
  • An attempt to never forget the person who was lost in case of murder, the search for justice becomes like a link to that person and even causes people to fail moving on. In this, it is the desire to teach someone else a lesson such that they should never repeat what they did. Modern laws and courts are based on this but since it is impersonal and not carried out by the actual person offended, it is considered as a true mode of justice.
  • Sometimes, reprisal is used as a means to get an apology out of the perpetrator and also to ensure that the person does not do this again. It is however good for anyone intending to do this to remember that you can not make someone feel sorry if they are not. It is not something you can forcefully create but rather has to come from the person themselves.

You may have heard of the proverb, ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’, this is implicative that for it to serve its destined purpose to full effect, you need to plan and wait till the perfect timing. When your victim has forgotten how they hurt you then you can launch your assault. While it may make you feel better, it will not change the past and if you were humiliated then you will still be humiliated even after your vengeance.

In my opinion, the best retaliation in case of any hurt is to be able to move past it and live a beautiful life. Those who hurt you will not be able to understand how you persevere so even in the face of their obvious obstacles set in your way. Succeed and you will get the perfect vengeance.

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