An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. It’s ancient wisdom, folks! Religion tells us to turn the other cheek, though it also absolutely forbids hurting another, for any reason it may be, especially for payback or getting even or for somehow punishing the universe for whatever wrongs you’ve had happen to you.
Do you blame me for still being taken aback when I see this happen? Or worse, when unbeknownst to me, I stumble into a situation of this sort? It gets truly painful when you’re a naive idealist like me, who can’t shake off the belief that surely we couldn’t have forgotten what “an eye for an eye” has brought us so far. Surely, we’re better than this by now.
Admit it, we’ve all been there at one point in our lives, that second you realise that you’re paying for someone else’s mistakes, some stranger’s wrong doings or the hurt that you have no idea is being inflicted upon someone in your life. And it’s the ones closest to you that are submitting you to this. Science sadly confirms it. And to boot, the same studies mention the ones behaving in this manner are more often than not unaware of the real motivation behind their words and deeds. So, should this be a case of simply forgiving them for not knowing what they’re doing? Or would it be wiser and kinder of us to make them realise the damage they are causing to others and ultimately to themselves by sabotaging those relationships?
“Sometimes I feel like you’ve got this anger inside of you all the time” is something a person I used to be very close to once told me. I denied it back then. I see it now in all its messy truthfulness. I’m guilty myself of giving in to the impulse to hit back, even if I wasn’t hitting back against the thing or person that had generated my feelings of anger, hurt and vulnerability.
Nobody’s immune to that instinct and I’m constantly checking in with myself to understand why I might have the tendency to act that way and what I can do to control it. Because the “why” is irrelevant in situations like this, nobody deserves to be punished for issues that have nothing to do with them. We can educate ourselves to identify those feelings and their triggers correctly. We can communicate and help each other understand what we might be going through without hurting each other, be that passively or actively. The vicious circle has to stop somewhere, somehow. Otherwise, we’ll end up a planet of lonely, blind individuals.