By Paula Bianchi –
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. But what exactly does that mean? Well, it’s a widely used sentiment that if you wait to execute your revenge until after the heat of anger has subsided, it will be more satisfying than when it’s taken as an immediate act of rage.
While searching this phrase, I was led to another well-known phrase, an eye for an eye. We’ve all heard of this before. The origin of it comes from the Babylonian times. An eye for an eye means to enact a revengeful retaliation against someone who committed a crime against you. It also means; the law of retaliation.
This law was started, way back when, because our growing civilizations had a less well-established system of retribution causing feuds and vendettas which threatened our social fabric. This law served a critical purpose in the development of our social systems.
The law of retaliation states that if a person was hurt, then the injured person (or their relative) can take revengeful retribution on the person who caused the injury, but people were enacting greater punishments than the crimes committed against them, so they refined the law making it a rule that the punishment must be exactly equal to the crime. An eye for an eye.
In America, there’s one particular feud, between the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s, that we still talk about today even though it happened in 1863-1891. This feud quickly turned into a vendetta as these two families tried to even the score with one another. Some journalists, of the time, thought this feud was more akin to a war. This feud resulted in; more than a dozen killed from both sides, nine Hatfield’s were imprisoned, seven of them for life, and one was executed. Such a hefty price all stemming from the first real violence in the death of Asa Harmon McCoy.
As you can see, the rules for revenge has been set for many centuries. We have always lived by the code of: an eye for an eye. We first see it play out in our school yards or possibly in our families.
Most of the time, when we see acts of revenge, we choose sides. We become our own judge and jury without all of the evidence. Why? Because, we care about one of the people involved. Sometimes we care and support them even when we know they’re guilty. This scenario happens every day sending out the negative energy of these confrontations into our surroundings, and we’re drawn to this energy like moths to a flame.
We watch as this person disparages that one, then, we see it play out as the wronged person tries to get their revenge. This is where character kicks in because we can’t control what others do, but we can control how we’re going to react to being wronged.
The more I read about revenge; the more I understood the truth in what my childhood friend said, “The secret to life is how we treat others.” In the bible, Jesus says, “You have heard it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” – Jesus Christ, English Standard Version (Matthew 5:38-39)
Of course, both sides of this issue have their own interpretation of what Jesus meant when he said that. Some people interpret it to mean they’re being admonished to not seek out any legal actions or any compensation which corresponds in time and degree to the injury. Others believe Jesus was teaching his followers not to take personal vengeance when you’re wronged.
To walk away from seeking revenge doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means you understand the wisdom of the wiser choice of not fueling the perceived vendetta. This is especially true when someone is just trying to goad a negative reaction out of you. Don’t let someone play you like that. Always take the time to get all the facts before you jump to any conclusions. We should slow down and take the time to understand other people’s motives.
Revenge is one of the largest pebbles we can throw into the pond. Are you ready for the ripples it’ll cause? If we’re not careful, we can turn those ripples into waves as we add more pebbles of revenge. Think twice before you allow yourself to get caught up in the storm. It’s okay to step back and let karma run its course.
This is really hard for people who’ve lost someone by an accident or murder. They can find their time being monopolized through the courts as they seek out their revenge. The time they invested in their revenge may come to not, leaving them feeling betrayed by the courts. I know it’s hard, but in this situation, we may need to just let it go and move on, so we can take control of our mind game.
Dwelling on something that was out of our control, only continues to control us. If we take the time, we can control our own mind games. We need to guide ourselves forward to avoid getting stuck in the past. It is what it is.
In my next metaphysical article, I’m going to write about one of my favorite subjects; ghost hunting. Thanks for the visit. Bye for now.