Tuesday, January 10. 2012
Remember to keep things civil, children.
Here we go...
I don’t approve [of] revenge, but I understand it.
Victor Vazquez, Class of 2009
Her son’s body drifts below her, mangled, torn in two.
The little blood he has left streams silently into the water surrounding them both, floating around her like a flower opening before sunlight.
She watches him slip away from her, slowly losing hope, powerless to repair the brutal damage inflicted upon him, powerless to keep alive the one she once gave life.
Agonized, fleeing the fresh corpse and the flowers of blood, she crawls onto the bank. She screams, an impossible sound to imitate – grief and guilt and rage grinding against each other like broken gears within her throat. Nobody hears her.
She struggles to her feet to see a trail of blood, her son’s blood – her blood – lining the trail back to Heorot.
Grief-wracked and ravenous, desperate for revenge,
thirsty for pain, hungry for slaughter,
she follows the trail.
The smell of her son’s blood mingling with the snow and soil rises from the ground, fills her mind, increasing her anguish with every step. But she forces herself to walk that gore-streaked path.
She has no choice.
She reaches the hall of men, sleeping men – men who will open their eyes in the morning.
– The light fading from his wounded eyes, eyes like mine –
Her son will never open his eyes.
She launches herself through the doorway, frenzied and furious.
Bodies bolt upright, screams erupting from places unseen. So many bodies! So many people! So many more than she had pictured –
– The humans rush for their weapons, panicking, thinking only of blood –
– My son’s blood lining that trail, lining it for foot after foot –
She grabs the nearest human, crushing him within her grasp, spinning away as blades clatter to the floor behind her, fleeing for the door.
She freezes – only for an instant – at the sight of her son’s mangled, shredded arm mounted proudly above the doorway.
Grabbing the gruesome trophy, she bolts through the door, carrying her victim in one hand and a piece of her son in the other.
The screams and wails from those in the ravaged homestead distort and fade into whimpers as she races away, ferrying her bloody cargo home, following her trail of her son’s blood for a final time.
She reaches the haunted mere – her only home – her son’s graveyard – looks into her captive’s frightened eyes,
and rips him apart.
His body lies below her, mangled, torn in two.
The little blood he has left streams silently onto the ground surrounding them both, forming bloody petals on the frost-bitten soil.
A suffering mother. Another dead son.
Grendel’s mother is a villain.
Or is she?
Someone is hurting your mother.
Someone is hurting your brother.
Someone is hurting your best friend.
Someone is hurting you.
Someone is getting away with it.
Someone is doing it with a smile.
What would you do?
What would you want to do?
Are they the same thing?
Someone is hurting your child.
What would you want to do?
Don’t think about what you would do. Think the thought that occurs in the split-second after you imagined the scenario I listed above. Think that visceral thought, the one everyone expects you to think.
Are you proud of that thought?
Mohandas Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the whole world blind and toothless.”
Those words remain wise decades after he first said them, and will remain wise long after we have grown too old to remember them. Not only are they concise, meaningful, and memorable, but there’s a certain poetry in the image Gandhi evokes – a self-mutilated world, too bent on correcting wrongs by any means necessary to notice the damage the pursuit of “justice” has wrought.
But what separates justice from revenge?
What is justice about, anyway? Why put people in prison? What’s the point?
A preemptive strike?
One could argue our justice system accomplishes – or strives to accomplish – any number of the choices I listed above.
However, the symbol of our justice system isn’t described above. As we all know, the symbol for justice is a blindfolded woman with a scale in her hands.
Justice, at its core, was conceived as a means of balancing scales in the pursuit of an amorphous goal – fairness. The punishment must (or is supposed to) fit the crime. Our legal thinking holds that if said punishment fits said crime, the scale will be balanced.
Everything will be normal again.
My son’s blood lining that trail –
My son’s blood –
My son –
You’re an adult. You have a child.
Someone hurts you. Someone kills you.
Someone leaves your child, your little boy, your little girl, motherless, fatherless, parentless.
Would you want that child to kill for you if given the chance?
Would you want them to dedicate themselves to avenging your wrongful death?
Would you want them to move on?
In my experience, very young children tend to have extremely rigid conceptions of good and evil, right and wrong, fair and unfair. Their cognitive development hasn’t yet reached the point where they can easily grasp life’s near-infinite complexities. Life is easier, in some ways. Your choices and judgments happen in a predefined box: if you fit, you’re good, and if you’re outside the box, then heaven help you.
Life’s more difficult outside that original box.
But you have to start there. Those formative years are formative for a reason. We don’t pop out of the womb with a fully-developed ethical code. We turn to people we’re taught to trust for guidance: parents, teachers, religious leaders, coaches, friends. We experience things for the first time, then internalize those experiences and process reactions in individual, sometimes unpredictable ways. Contradictions arise. Conflicts break out. We struggle with issues that pull us outside of that box because, truthfully, most of us really have no interest in leaving it at first.
But we all have to leave it at some point, or at least should try to leave it. I don’t think it’s possible to live a truly rich life in a child-sized box.
The question that faces everyone, however, comes after you leave that first structure:
What do you want your new box to be like?
The process by which we build that new box – the ways we consciously or unconsciously shape the morals that we’ll use to navigate the world as adults – is usually so slapdash and messy (a bad experience here, a horror story there, a wild success elsewhere) that I’ve found it kind of uncomfortable to look at why I believe what I believe. Some of my morals spring from places that don’t particularly make me proud, or from memories I’d rather forget most of the time. But that’s why things like the Establishing a Philosophical Baseline assignments are so important, and why I try my hardest to force you to use real examples when you’re justifying your arguments: at the end of the day, I’d rather build the best box I can than the most comfortable one. If there’s a truth out there that’s just going to upset me, I’d like to think I’d still have the strength of character to listen to someone say it first. I’d like to think, in other words, that I took the time to think things over before I start building my moral code.
I’ve shed some morals, beliefs, and preconceptions that I held as a child – or even as a young man – that I’d honestly like to get back.
I’ve also struggled frequently with the nagging suspicion/fear that I was a better person when I was younger, and I’m honestly not sure if that’s something I’ll ever shake.
Regardless, I’ve tried to build a sturdy moral box for myself as I’ve gotten older, and it’s come in handy frequently over the years. But when I see what happens with Grendma, I just don’t know how to react to it.
Look, Aeschere doesn’t deserve to die. I’ve been able to turn the other cheek in a lot of different situations during my short time on this planet. I refuse to defend Grendma for taking an innocent man’s life.
But my first question didn’t concern her actions’ defensibility. I asked whether she was a villain.
I don’t know how you define the word (and I don’t care how Webster’s defines it), but I always thought a willingness to be motivated by malevolence – by evil – was a precondition of villainy.
And I feel really, really dishonest if I try to make myself believe that Grendma’s more motivated by evil than by love.
I feel really dishonest if I try to make myself believe that Beowulf’s motivated more by some sense of nobility than by a need to notch another monster-kill on his record.
I look at what Grendma does, and I think to myself, Monster.
I look at what Grendma does, and I think to myself, Mother.
It’s amazing how similar those words look in the pale moonlight.
And when Beowulf cuts off Grendma’s head, it’s amazing how hard I find it to cheer that murderer’s death.
I argue that we may take nothing for granted more easily – not even our loved ones – than our concepts of justice and fairness. We can’t afford to do so – those concepts fuel and shape everything from our society to our interactions with one another – but we do anyway.
Part of justice’s function, the ritual and tradition of it all, is to take emotion out of what’s a fundamentally emotional process. It’s tough – incredibly tough – for people to look clinically or dispassionately at something so emotionally visceral.
But we have to strive for logic, for intelligence, for rationality. You’re blessed if you have the ability to look at events that other people misunderstand due to intellectual laziness or wild passion, and it’s why we’re spending so much time on matters of belief and philosophy this semester.
If you force yourself to fight past your initial feelings when you look at a baseline statement, you may discover something new on the other side.
I find that it’s much the same with life.
You’re an adult. You have no children.
Someone hurts you. Someone kills you.
Would you burden your loved ones with the weight of vengeance?
Would you feel unloved if they didn’t take that burden on themselves?
In our heart of hearts, we know that revenge, at its core, is about satisfaction – not justice, not even balance, but personal satisfaction.
We cannot rest until we know a victim has been avenged. Once the victim has been avenged, we can be satisfied that justice has been served, and that things will be reset to normalcy (as best they can).
How do we avenge our victims? Do we go back and prevent them from being hurt? Well, no – we can’t do that yet. (That’s a little too Minority Report for now…)
But if we can’t prevent harm from befalling that victim, why punish the criminal? It’s not as though punishing him or her will stop them from hurting that person – they can’t be stopped, because the wrong has already been committed.
Well, we punish the criminal because we can’t travel back in time. Our justice system is our way of moving forward through time, preventing another wrong from being committed in advance. In the process, we can exact some sort of penance for the crime they have committed.
When we put someone behind bars, we’re supposed to feel like we’ve done our jobs. It’s supposed to be cathartic.
By that logic, a murderer’s death should be the ultimate catharsis. We can rest assured knowing he or she will never end another life. The killer has been killed; if one takes all economic (and a load of philosophical) concerns out of the equation, we can feel that balance has finally been restored.
So why do victims’ families still look haunted after justice has run its course?
Should we rethink our ideas about justice? How should we grapple with the difficult challenges of our ever-changing world? (Remember that I asked you this question as you read the scene with the dragon-fight!)
Can you think of a scenario – a real scenario – where justice can be served through revenge? Beowulf and the Danes seem to think that the scales have been balanced once Grendel and Grendma have been beheaded. (Have we totally left the days of the Danes and the Geats behind?)
Have the scales been reset? Or are the scales forever out of balance once someone upsets them?
After all, is there any way to stop a conflict between two parties who constantly react to the most recent wrong the other party has committed?
Once the scales have been tipped...does an object in motion stay in motion?
In our heart of hearts, we know that revenge, at its core, solves nothing. It’s a zero-sum game, a response to something that cannot be undone.
However...is revenge "bad"? Is revenge "good"? How can you tell?
Why do we think thoughts we’re ashamed to express when someone tries to hurt us, or tries to hurt someone close to us? This is a different kind of "why." Responses like "We want to hurt them because they hurt us" or "It's natural to want revenge" are shallow, and don't answer - perhaps intentionally avoid - the real, harder, darker question: Why do humans respond to pain by causing more? Why possess such an illogical, needlessly destructive instinct?
Why, when faced with the idea that someone is hurting a person who we care about – but not us ourselves – do we essentially revert into Grendel’s mother, our most primal and bestial form? And why do we curse her for acting on the urges we would share in her place – and probably wouldn't control any better?
Why is revenge so seductive, and why can’t we seem to leave this urge behind, no matter how many times we’re told it’s wrong by people we respect, or no matter how rapidly and completely society evolves? Is it simply a matter of physics, of causality - actions and reactions that are out of our control, that leave us as helpless players in some universal game? Or is it something else entirely?
Can injustice ever be alleviated by punishment? If so...why haven't dark acts been eliminated from our world? If not, why are we drawn to do the opposite?
Think hard about what justice, honor, and revenge mean to you.
Think hard about the place of each in today's society, about their roles in our lives, about their effect on our national philosophies and psychology.
Think especially hard about how the three have been fused within your mind - whether as a result of our national discourse, the latest action movie, or your life experiences.
Do you trust your views?
Do you trust your heart?
Do you trust your judgment?
If so…if you're in Grendel’s mother’s place, if someone tears your child apart – even if he brings it on himself – how will you feel?
And how will you react?
No questions at the end today; the whole body is basically made up of questions anyway. Take your pick, and write about whatever you can with profundity and grace.
This post is due at 11:59pm on Thursday, January 12th.
You know the drill by now: your response should be at least three (3) seven-sentence paragraphs long, with the usual standards in place.
For this post, written feedback for two of your peers is required! Congratulate them, praise them, ask them questions...reach out! There’s no comment limit for this thread, so if you feel like talking to your peers, follow your instincts! (You can even do this for anonymous posters; they’ll be reading the thread to see how you respond.) Check your work to see if someone left feedback for you, and start conversations with your readers – and classmates!
Finally, please remember to nominate two of your peers.
Write well, think well, good luck…
…and watch out for monsters, both inside and out.
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I see my friends cheating on tests, exams, SATs, AP Exams, their partners; and yet they are my friends. I befriend them because I like them, I know they aren’t doing the right thing but I don’t say a word. I trust my heart, but I don’t trust my views or judgment.
I applied to only six colleges, all of which are under the system of University of California. UCLA has been my dream school, but will I fit well into the school? Or do I actually want to go to UC Irvine to be closer to someone that I love? Do I even know both of the schools…I will follow where my heart leads me to, but I don’t trust my views or judgment.
But what if everyone trusts and follows his or her heart and not their views and judgment? What if everyone functions by following whatever their hearts tell them to do? Events that were mentioned previously are not that serious. What if their hearts whisper to them, “Go kill, go rape, go steal.”? The world would be chaotic. The world cannot function with people just blindly following their heart and ignoring what their views and judgment tell them.
Then again, people follow their heart because of some previous events that caused them to conclude to do something. Every action has a cause and a result which then turns into another cause. Therefore it is hard to establish justice; events in life are too complicated and intertwined with many other problems to be solved in an absolutely correct way.
Recently, a mother killed an intruder to protect her little child; that makes her a murderer. She isn’t wrong; she was only trying to protect her home and her precious little one. And yet the intruder may have come to her house for good intentions but was misunderstood. It will now remain a mystery since the intruder is dead. This is similar to Grendel's death and his mother's revenge. Tragic events like this happen every day, in every corner of the globe; and it is hard for us to point our fingers to one party and say, “You’re the one to blame.”
It is hard to bring absolute justice to every case, different scenarios and reasons for bad actions appear every time. Our world is not just black and white. Written laws cannot predict how everyone is going to act, and what are their intentions and reasons behind it. It is just a word that we use to establish a system to keep the society in order, for everyone to act the way the lawmakers want them to.
The world isn’t THAT corrupted, it is just too complicated for a set of laws to bring justice.
"Written laws cannot predict how everyone is going to act, and what are their intentions and reasons behind it. It is just a word that we use to establish a system to keep the society in order, for everyone to act the way the lawmakers want them to." I can't agree more to this! That's why there are lawyers anyway.
"The world isn’t THAT corrupted, it is just too complicated for a set of laws to bring justice." I also agree with this. I especially want to point out that in Greece, pedophilia is considered a disease, which may receive medical benefits. Some laws are definitely not supposed to be laws...
Good job being the first... for once (:
"The world isn’t THAT corrupted, it is just too complicated for a set of laws to bring justice."
I agree with Shawn, I really like what you wrote and your last sentence is true. I like how your post can be easily related to. Good job!
I love your last line! Very powerful and makes a lot of sense! Thanks for posting!
I like the example you used in the beginning, because I always experience the same. Good job being the first one! haha/
At first I was like: "what? The first paragraphs have no connection to the issue! But then I was like :" nice tying back! I see what you did there!"
I still would have loved to read your belief about justice. How do you see it? How many kinds of it do we have?
I like your first example although I usually would feel the opposite. Also liked and agree with your last 3 sentences.
Losing a loved one is kind of like being burned in a big fire. There’s a constant sensation of pain even after the burning, and after the physical wounds seal up, the memories and scars remain. To feel like this is to be hurt in the cruelest way, because you can’t do anything to change the fate of your loved one. You can only try to back away into a corner, licking your own wounds, as you try to forget the happiness said person once gave you. In the future, when I have children, I too will gain the natural fear that parents have: my children hurt in any way, no matter how small. If my child were hurt simply for amusement, I admit, I would consider revenge. I would want to do to the torturer exactly what had been done to my child, and make him feel guilty. However, I wouldn’t kill them. Rather, I would want to make them realize the extreme evil that they have done to me, by threatening to hurt their children, if they have any. By allowing them to survive and realize the depth of their crime, they will hopefully live with a lifetime of guilt.
Of course, I would never want my child to avenge my death. To sacrifice myself for them is to keep them out of harm’s way, and if they avenge me, then my sacrifice is in vain. All I want is for them to be happy and safe, and live their lives to the fullest. I would want them to let go of their anger, and instead be satisfied with the time we spent together. This is hypocritical of me, but I wouldn’t want them anywhere close to harm’s way. If it were a child, I would tell them to be closer to their mom, and if it were my wife, then I would want her to be happy with someone else, even though that is painful for me. After reading Beowulf and learning more about this kind of pain, I have a new vision of the ideal box of ethics I want to build. I want to make a large, solid box with two sections: one small section, for holding sadness, and one large section for joy, with a small opening on top for new experiences to fall through. I want to take each experience, including sadness, and use it at the appropriate times, but when I feel that I have been sad for too long, I will seal it in the other section of the box. I want my current life to be full of happiness, and my past to be there, in memories. However, I don’t want to let it overwhelm my future opportunities.
When I’m overly emotional or too sad, I don’t trust my judgment because I act on my emotions. I always try and control myself, but I mainly act on my anger. I always have to sit down a bit and calm down before I try to figure out what to do. If my child were killed I’d be really mad and I try to kill them as well. What Grendel’s mother did, in my eyes, was somewhat justified. Grendel got what was coming to him, but his mother didn’t deserve the pain that she felt after he died. Since Grendel and his mother both ended up dying, they won’t hurt any more people and they will also be together, without fear of pain or sickness. The ending is ideal, as human and beast are both satisfied.
Yes, I completely agree with you in regards to how you compared love with a burning flame. The memories will remain even after you "moved on".
Hey Eric, this is a great post! I also really like how you compare physical wounds to emotional ones! The view about revenge is quite difficult to answer, but you really stated your point right there, great job!
Don't you consider that your children would also want to see you happy and in peace, and taking revenge for them is ironically hurting theme TWICE?
Agree on "You can do anything to change the fate of your loved ones."
It’s easy to imagine how I’d feel if someone stole my wallet, ripped my favorite shirt, or played a joke on me that went way too far - I’d be pissed off. If someone hurt my friends or family, the only way I’d be able to describe how I’d feel, metaphorically, would be a really obnoxious and deep red. My first instinct is always to seek revenge because my pride is hurt.
I’d like to think I can hold up an impenetrable façade around others. Though I haven’t been faced with this situation, and hopefully I’ll never have to, I’d like to believe when the time comes when I have to save a family member from a gunman, I’ll be able to do it bravely. The only things that get to me are the things I hold closest to my heart and someone toying with me or testing me through these things, like family or friends, get the worst revenge imaginable… in my head.
It’s hard for me to bring myself to really do what I imagine. When asked to imagine my child being hurt, I pictured a horrifying image of a gun being held to my infant son’s head while he shrieked “Daddy! Daddy!” to the point I couldn’t hear myself think. I got chills. That’s a scary feeling isn’t it? Not being able to protect the things or people you love most, the people whom count on you for protection. My fists subconsciously clenched and my body shook vigorously. I felt the adrenaline rushing through my veins while I vividly imagined what I’d do to the person who ever threatened my son like that. To put it in short, I’d murder him.
It’s kind of funny how we get so worked up when someone pokes at our soft spots, especially me. I instinctively plot revenge in hopes of letting the other know exactly how I felt at that moment, being kicked while I was at my weakest. In the moment, all rationality deserts me, but deep down, somewhere below all that anger and frustration, I know that the person I want to inflict all this pain to also knows the feeling. I think deep down, we all know that feeling – we just plot revenge so that we don’t have to feel it alone.
In that light, we are all ugly. Though it’s the hardest thing to understand in the heat of the moment, “revenge doesn’t solve anything” is bitterly true. When you’re angr- …no, wrong word choice… When you’re infuriated, past the limit that furthers the limit that tells you that you need to calm down, your views, judgment, and your heart all say the same thing. That initial voice is something we’re never going to get rid of and I see that as a good thing. You see, revenge is beautiful. It’s what makes us ultimately human. All that anger isn’t meant to be harbored in your heart – that could lead you to do even worse things that you initially imagined. For me, having that revenge, in a way, cathartically releases a bit of that burden that I’m going to have to carry.
My shoulders aren’t that big.
I have to take whatever weight off I can before I get ready to lift the remaining weight for the long haul that is healing. I can see where Grendma is coming from. I can’t see myself doing anything different except perhaps killing a few more men in the hall. I agree on the point that it’s hard to cheer for her defeat and it’s because though she may be physically different from us, we share a common emotion: pain. There is no adequate justice for the pain of loss. We only punish the criminals because that’s as far as “justice” can physically go on the scale but the emotional toll people have to pay can never be reimbursed.
My new box? It’s going to be lined with steel that symbolizes the strength of my mind. Encased will be incorruptible morals, shaped solely by the people I’ve respected and respect and my experiences, and there will be a lot of breathing room because this box is where I’m going to spend the rest of my life. Nothing can change me for the worse.
I don't believe I'll be poking your soft spots any time soon.
I was done with the third paragraph when I read your comment Tiffany, now I'm scared to finish ...
Box lined with steel? Haha interesting post! I liked to read what you said about justice, I'll talk with you about it in person!
Anger clouds the judgement. However doesn't thought and judgement make a human being a human being? I am more of the thought that no amount of revenge and hurting others can change the actions in the past.
I loved reading your blogs because I can imagine you saying it to me with your oh so serious face and your intense but calm tone. hahaha (:
I can’t write any of this without offending someone, but, I have no intentions to dilute my overt message due to a very painful headache at the moment.
For some absurd reason, people have this unhealthy obsession with togetherness. People tend to care way too much about each other and that, my peers, is the foundation of revenge. Yes, one of the most treasured qualities in life, the ability to love one another, can be the cornerstone of a backstabbing tragedy. With this tiresome strain to love someone, to remain loyal to someone can be alleviated: get over that someone. Just let go. Forgive if they have committed a personal wrongdoing and move the heck on.
I possess a very listless ability to love someone. In fact, I cannot even hug one of my family members without cringing to the thought that this menial gesture is futile. An outsider may see this lifestyle as heinous, haughty even, but I see it as an ideal way to avoid social dilemmas. As of now, I have been void of nugatory social distractions: the thought of potentially untrustworthy companions prying my eyelids asunder at sundown, men accusing me of infidelity, or friends nurturing the very thing I despise: a grudge. The reparations I am due to pay for such an aloof lifestyle are worth it.
Many believe that my lifestyle renders me weak, unable to blazon the gallant qualities of which humans are innately capable of.
It is not weakness; it is disappointment that disillusioned me. I have been through many disputes with friends, at times resorting to the unsophisticated tactics of rumors or online bullying. I have experienced the formidable triggers that revenge has tempted me to pull. In one act of revenge, I was even sent to face administrative authorities to be reprimanded of my inexcusable attacks (nonphysical). The problem was not that I wasn’t fighting hard enough against someone I formerly called friend; it was my inability to forgive, because to me, forgiving someone meant that my love wasn’t strong enough. Fighting meant that I had loved that person, that I cared enough to feverishly go out of my way to show some ironic display of love. I lost a lot of people dear to me because of my inability to comprehend the sisterly and destructive forces of love, revenge, and forgiveness.
I suppose it’s better to have never loved at all than to have loved and lost.
I think Mr. Feraco knows what my favorite part of this blog post was .
A brilliant use of the enter key and shock.
I loved this Tiffany! Your words were definitely like a knife that jabbed into my heart, but it was good one. You were straightforward and direct, it couldn’t have been any better.
Hey Tiffany! I really enjoyed reading your post because it was straight forward and to the point. I like how you said to just let it go, to forgive and move on. I agree with you on that. Great job!
I. LOVE. IT.
Tiffany, remind me when I need a new therapist, to go to YOU.
When I was in middle school, my sister and I used to watch a show called Degrassi. The show followed the lives of a diverse group of fictional high school students and the pressures associated with each of their individual teenage lives. The series covered numerous real life issues, including drug use, cutting, eating disorders, sex, stealing, gay & lesbian bullying, and familial conflicts. For some reason, my thirteen year old self was lured in by the drama—scared, yet fascinated by the intensity of the teenage world. My mother, of course, forbade my sister and I from watching. Lucky for us, she works the night shift as a nurse at Methodist Hospital; the T.V. was all ours once she left for work.
While new episodes of Degrassi continue to air on Friday nights, my viewing days are long over. The last episode I ever watched made me doubt my morals and beliefs. It made me feel insane—confused about who I really am and what I value. From that moment forward, I vowed to never watch an episode ever again. That vow has stayed true for more than five years.
The episode was a two hour special detailing the events of a high school shooting. My sister and I sat in the middle of our family room staring at the T.V. screen, barely blinking. We were horrified, intrigued, sad, and angry all at the same time. The shooter was an outcast—the subject of constant ridicule from his classmates. He brought his father’s gun to school in desperation and rage, seeking revenge on all of his peers that had bullied him throughout his entire life. It was the most horrific thing I had ever seen.
When the episode ended, my sister and I were both left in tears. However, her tears fell for the allegedly innocent victims; mine, for the shooter. We sat there together, huddled close on the carpet, shaking with silent anguish for the lives lost—for the characters we had spent months developing personal relationships with. She cursed the shooters name while I kept silent, my tears still flowing uncontrollably. After a few minutes, I managed to iterate my sympathy for the misunderstood boy. My sister abruptly halted her sobs, questioning angrily if I was crazy. All I could do was cry.
Was I crazy? God only knows what I was…what I am. All I know is that I have never cried so hard in my life.
The only thing more unnerving than understanding murder, is weeping for the murderer and not the murdered.
My tears fall for Grendma.
My adolescent and teenage “box” has been comprised with consideration towards two forces: my parents’ morals and beliefs, and my own fears. As I previously went into detail in one of my very first blog posts of the semester, I feel extremely safe inside this box that I have built around myself. I know that my choices are commended by my parents, and that the walls I have so carefully constructed are strong and sturdy, protecting me from all of the things that I fear.
I choose to not drink alcohol because my parents will not tolerate it and I am terrified of losing control of myself.
I choose to not wear revealing clothing because my parents think it looks trashy and I am insecure about my physical appearance.
I refuse to cheat in school because I know that my parents will lose all respect for me and that there is a chance that I may jeopardize my chances for college acceptances.
I strive for a 4.0 to make my parents proud and to not lose my grip on the one thing I believe defines me—my identity, so to speak.
These are all fine morals/beliefs to have, and I intend to keep them for the rest of my life, but the reasons behind them, the glue that keeps the walls of my box intact, do not stem from a healthy place. Morals and beliefs shouldn’t stem from fear or from wanting to be accepted. Frankly, there’s no difference between personal morals/beliefs and societal rules if you’re only acting to “fit in”.
And so, I look forward to constructing a new “box”—a young adult box—that is comprised of morals and beliefs that stem from my gut, and not my overly-sensitive, self-doubting brain. I want my box to be something I am proud to stand by, not four walls that I hide behind. I want my reasons behind the beliefs I stand for to no longer begin with “I believe this because I’m afraid of…”, but with “I believe this because at the end of the day, I can look back on my actions/decisions and feel proud.”
“Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
I love Katherine Mansfield and her story, "The Garden Party"!
I see a lot of your morals codepend on your parents as well...how is it like to have such a reverence for them? I've become modest of mine.
I haven't read "The Garden Party"! I'll definitely look into it. My mom sends both my sisters and I an email every day with a daily quote. This quote was from a few months ago. I have yet to look into anything else Katherine Mansfield has written. Good to know!
And honestly, I don't know if I would call my feeling towards my parents as "reverence". While I do respect them, my attitude towards my parents is once again something that I was... taught to have. Disrespect and failure to mind their rules and expectations of me wasn't tolerated when I was younger. Misbehavior had its consequences. I guess I still live that way? I'm not so much afraid of what the consequences of displeasing them are anymore, it's more that I strive to please them because I feel like 1) it's expected and 2) I want them to be proud of me. So I guess it's fair to say that a lot of my morals feel like obligations to my parents. Does that make sense? It's definitely not the most optimal way to live, no disagreements about that.
Great job again Megan! I really enjoyed reading your post and as I read it I felt the suspense. The show still continues to run with a new cast but continues to bring the same drama among teenagers. "the glue that keeps the walls of my box intact" I really like how you used that to convey what you believe in.
Man you write like Feraco, the style, the spacing, even the lines to separate your ideas. Either way, great post!
I really liked the story about degrassi and i love how much more personal you get with these blogs, it really makes them interesting.
Oh my gosh Megan! I was just looking through the threads and read the middle part of your blog then I just got sucked in and read the whole thing! i loved it SUPER job. (;
I like how you talked not only about your morals, but why they are in fact YOUR morals. Great post!
First, I want to say that I'm impressed.
I've read your posts throughout the semester, and I must say, with each new post, your work shines even more. Sentence fluency and details have definately improved, as did your post structure.
This post caught my attention for multiple reasons: the fact that you mentioned Degrassi (LOVE IT), and your take on "The Box." Your take is not one that I would have expected, being composed of multiple sources- you and your parents.
I love stories with new twists, and yours hit paydirt in my book.
I loved the way you word your blogs. I love how you contrasted you and your sister...how she cried for the victims but you couldnt help but to cry for the shooter.
The shooter...had a choice. but at the same time he didn't. those kids, so called "innocent kids" bullied him. drove him crazy.
Great post Megan! As usual you wrote amazingly and used an example nobody else could think of. Really good job, seriously.
oh yeah. Degrassi really is such an intense show... haha
You really succeeded in bringing out the intended emotions throughout your post, especially the first part where you describe the high school shootings. It was dark and saddening yet it had a undertone of forgiving and understanding. Overall, a great post.
Is Grendma really a villain? Actually, to me, she is not. First of all, she goes into Hereot and avenges her son because she loves him so much. She cannot accept the sudden truth that her son is dead, or is dying. She suffers every time when she recalls the scene of her son lying on the ground, motionless. In many parents’ minds, children are invaluable. They have no substitutes. Most of the parents actually care for their children. A Chinese proverb says, “our flesh and blood are given to us by our parents”. There is a deep meaning behind this proverb actually. It means that children and parents are connected. If a child is injured, his or her parent is hurt mentally as well. This is the case that Grendma is in. She is hurt as well, mentally. Seeing your beloved slip away is like cutting open one’s heart. It is impossible to stand it. One easily loses all intelligence and rationality at that moment; this is especially true for Grendma, who is a monster. She is wild, and never learns what civilization is. She never learns how to become calm or control her emotions. She is isolated and discriminated against because she is a monster. Does she choose to be a monster? No, she doesn’t. She deforms as a monster because what her ancestor, Cain, did. She doesn’t deserve to be a monster actually. However, Cain’s crime negatively just affected every family member. If Cain had not commited the crime, Grendma would have been able to live in a civilized society. But this doesn’t happen. She is a monster. She only understands that when someone steals her belongings, she must steal from them. To achieve the balance that Mr. Feraco mentioned in the blog, she simply wants to tip the scales and make them balance. So, she goes back to Hereot and grabs Aeschere - the unfortunate buddy. Well, why does she only grab one man? Isn’t she a monster? Can’t she grab two men at the same time? This is because she knows that one life pays for one life. She even does what the warriors do. She places Aeschere’s head on the ground (which is high, considering that she lives in the mere) as the warriors hang Grendel’s arm high on the wall of Hereot as proof their victory. Finally, because the poem only mentions Grendel and Grendma these two monsters, I assume Grendel does not have father or siblings, because they either left or have died. I think that it is reasonable that Grendma is so savage. Grendel is the only one left and the one that is close to her. Losing the last one who she loves just drives her mad. So, why is Grendma a villain?
If someone were to hurt my family or friends, I would do the same thing what Grendma does. Even if he were to get away with the crime, I would find a way to avenge by myself. I remember when I was young, I always fought with my brother. If he hit me once, I had to hit him back one time. If he punched me once, I had to punch him back one time. I am like Grendma; I have to make the scales balance. I will make him – or that someone – to pay back for his crimes. He can’t get away with it. He has to pay for it. He is responsible for his actions. Another reason I would choose to take revenge is because I love my friends and family. My family brings me up. They feed me. They provide me the best environment. They buy whatever I want. On the other hand, my friends always bring happiness to me when I am depressed. They gave me the best birthday party ever in my life. It is like we – my family and I, or my friends and I – have a very close relationship. I don’t want anyone come in, break this bond, and take anyone away from me. It is just hard for me to forgive someone who hurts my family or friends. It is just hard for me to let them go.
If someone were to hurt me or kill me and leave me children parentless, I would let my children to choose whether or not to avenge for me. If they choose to take revenge and bring the criminal to justice, I would be glad. If they were to choose not to take on this burden, I would not feel unloved. It is their choice. I can’t burden my loved ones with the weight of vengeance. It is like what we discussed yesterday. People should have free will. They choose their own paths. If we were to make people live the way we want them to, what would be the point of living? Would they be happy? Would they be satisfied with their lives? I remember when I was doing my Macbeth’s baseline, there was one statement says something like this, “My family is counting on me to succeed; their hopes and dreams lie with me”. Here, I see a connection. My father wants me to become a pharmacist when I grow up. However, this is not what I want. I want to become a chef who can cook Japanese cuisine really well. That is my dream. I want to have choices so that I can choose. Fate is not set in stone. Fate is not controlled by our parents. It is actually in each of our hands. We choose our routes. We choose who we want to be and what we want to do. We make our own ultimate decisions. We make our lives.
Ka Kei, I agree with many parts of your writing although i disagree with others. Great job stating your opinion with conviction! Thanks!
hey!!! I agree with your blog about Grendma. It's very much a maternal instinct and everything she does is out of love and not because she is at all evil.
“Lying, cheating, stealing, and being rude are bad.”
“Sharing your toys, being nice to adults and saying please and thank you are good.”
It is not that our parent’s never warned us about various circumstances. It is not that they failed to tell us breaking into a smile geared at an adult who is stealing your money or say “thank you” to a fake compliment is always the option. They never taught us because we were not ready; we had not yet reached a stage where we could step out of the “taking everything literally” box into abstract concepts. In this huge box called life every older human realizes the complexity of problems and holds an ability to look ahead in life. Now, I am able to see consequences and possibilities rather than the plain “bad” and “good.”
Looking back on the phrases my parents planted in me makes everything clearer. It all makes sense now. As a child, I saw every part of my life one -sided. There was never abstraction; I was not able to understand abstract concepts such as possibilities and consequences. Everything was very black and white. If I did good deeds, I was rewarded; performed bad deeds, I was punished. It was not until I reached a stage of formal operations around eleven years old I began to use a general principle to determine specific outcomes and consequences of all actions. Now I am older and affected by society, I can make the choice whether or not to smile at someone or whether I would like to say please when I feel it is something I deserve. It all depends on my interpretation.
What if I have to lie to protect someone’s feelings or well-being? If I had to lie to my dying Mother that I was fulfilled as she escaped into her sunken eyes? That I was going to make her proud in life and marry the boy she always dreamed for me in whom owned no interest from me whatsoever. If that were to make her happy and die contently, would I still perform a “bad” action? After all, she taught me lying was a bad deed and I would be punished or sent to my room as a child. So how come now it produces a different feeling? Is it acceptable to lie since in my head, I did not lie, I protected. It is the same word with the same spelling, but somehow means something totally different. How can something looked down upon be a tool of protection now? Why is something previously punishable, rewarded now, as I grow older?
As much as I wish to sit here and control how I would want my new box to look like, I cannot. I simply cannot. We are all blank slates, words are just letters, you define them; you give them your own meaning with the actions that follow. Your love may be different than my love. Clearly some people use that four-letter word differently than I would. That can only go so far though, if I am pulled over I cannot simply say, “I do not feel that my case of speeding is punishable; since I was rushing to care for my ill Father, it should be excused”. The police officer would just stare at me as if I were some foreign insect and answer sternly, “Rules are rules mam.”
I despise that. Rules are rules. They are not though; a little child kicking dirt in another’s eyes is punished. When can we bend the rules to comply with the other side of the story? He was given a timeout without motives taken in consideration. Authority figures only see unacceptable behavior that deserves to be punished. But does it? What if he was defending himself in the moment, reacting to name-calling and became frustrated so kicked sand at the bully? When are “bad” deeds acceptable? Of course rules are necessary to maintain order and safety but circumstances and taking account of different situations need to be considered. Since when is it okay for the carver of the knife to remain free and the murder jailed and isolated from society? When do the barriers and exceptions arise, who makes up the rule allowing humans to KILL murderers? Yes the human took a human life, but are they not just ripping away the life of another?
Words should not be next to a definition in the dictionary, we should not have a set meaning of the word "love" or "lie." Our actions define our words, what we do puts the real definition to the word. If I were to swear I love my best friend, but then lie to her, do I truly love her, if lying was punishable and scorned upon as I was raised? However if I use the word “lie” to protect my best friend, would that pass? It all boils down to the actions.
In other words, mean what you say not say what you mean. An action screams louder than mouthing simple letters out of a lying tongue. Letters and words are just there to provide structure, some form of education, although what we should really be instructing and passing on from generation to generation is how one word can subsist as a sea of individual interpretations, how one single word has the potential to exist as both bad and good, just depending on the action that follows.
Nonetheless the flame of this saying flickers accurately, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Your post was really good, especially the part about lying being good and bad. It was a really interesting idea to think about.
Hey, Vanessa I really enjoyed your post. I definitely agree with you. People try to cling onto titles on things such as good and bad, but their is no such thing. Most everything is measured by situation and reason. Really insightful post
First, let me start off by saying that, after turning in my post, I searched and sifted through this entire thread looking for your response. I LOVE your writing.
Second…I like your little reference to Sutro’s psychology class. Abstractions? More like COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY.
I also want to commend you for what you said: “is it the same word with the same spelling but a different meaning.” I can’t help but be moved by that sentence alone. In my book, it’s beautifully written. I often feel that these certain situations hold new sources of conflict than in the past as you mentioned: before, it was tell the truth or have a time-out. Now, if we tell the truth, we must face the guilt. Lying, on the other hand, is bad. The situations you’ve brought up are not only intriguing, but made me think more than any game of Brain Quest could ever do.
I liked your stance that words are just words, and that (to a limited extent) it is up to us and our actions to define them. Not every situation is black and white.
I have yet to be disappointed by your work! Keep it up!
Wow, your words of encouragement are sending me off to sleep with a huge proud smile on my face. You are so sweet! Thank you so much, and yes, I feel that psychology has helped me tremendously in this class! Thank you again!
I liked how you mention where actions are more subjective than anything, and people can interpret it how they want and the atmosphere of which these events happen can greatly influence what happens. I also agree with you on how actions describe a person, not what they say, because ultimately that is how they are judged as a person. A very insightful post. Good work.
one of my favorite quotes. mostly because i like semantics but still its a good one
Last year I played Oswald Alving from the play called, “Ghosts” by Henrik Ibsen for an acting competition. From my interruption of the play I determined that Oswald was sexually abused from his mother. In my preparation for the role I wrote a 25 page journal of Oswald’s life. I wrote vividly of how he was manipulated, forced into sexual acts and raped by his mother. I continued the story with how it affected him sexually, emotionally and socially as a teenager. To this day I still connect to this piece and have a difficult time talking about it. I feel like I have gone through his experiences, I know it sounds kind of creepy, but that’s acting for you.
As a result of this role I developed a hatred of sexual offenders and rapist. I would think about them all the time. I would think about how I would punish them if given the opportunity. This may sound ironic but, I used to hate them so much that I would want to commit the same action against them just to get revenge for everyone who has been hurt.
I hope that they get what they deserve in prison when the other cellmates find out.
I have faith in God to grant them the destiny they deserve.
I know that their guilty conscious will haunt them just like it did to Macbeth.
But if I knew all this, why did I continue to hate?
I knew that I was sick and needed to be cleansed of this hatred. I thought that forgiveness would be the answer, but I couldn’t find it in my heart. So I search for the answer. I knew that Christianity preaches forgiveness so I followed my roots. I went to my first confession in 4 years (2nd overall) to confess my sin of hatred.
The Priest answered by telling me that my hatred did not affect the people that I hate, but only affected myself. He said the men/women that I hate continue living their lives normally while I sit with negative emotion. He asked how I am going get rid of the hatred and I answered either, “Vengeance or forgiveness.”
He replied that I don’t need either to purge hatred. Just because you do not get revenge does not mean you do not forgive. The Priest said to first let go of hatred and then think about if I wish to forgive. After the confession I felt as if the weight of my hatred had been lifted off my shoulders. I was comfortable because I knew I did not have to forgive, and that hating them would only affect me negatively. I am at bliss.
The day after my confession I watched Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins which to my surprise connects to my life. (WARNING SPOILER) At the end of the movie Bruce Wayne has three choices with Ra's al Ghul who has attempted to kill him multiple times. 1st: Kill him 2nd: Save him and 3rd: Leave him alone (which most likely leads to Ra’s al Ghul’s death)
Ra's al Ghul: Have you finally learned to do what is necessary?
Bruce Wayne: I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you.
Bruce Wayne chooses choice 3. He does not need to forgive by saving him, but he also does not need to kill him. Instead he lets him rot in his own actions.
This applies to my life because I no longer need to carry the pain of hatred. Yet, I still allow myself to choose not forgive or care about the sick people in the world. They will be punished from their consequences whether or not it’s from God, others, or themselves. There is no use in wasting my precious life thinking about those who mean nothing to me, and obsessing over the things I cannot control. As of now the only thing that I can control is my forgiveness. There may be a day when I will have to make the choice to have mercy, but I think we know what the answer will be..
I like how you tied in Batman into your post, it fit in real well! Well done Sir!
I like how your examples already existed and tie in very nicely on dealing revenge and how it draws parallels with Bruce's decision.
I enjoyed your post and just wanted to say thank you for posting so openly. It is difficult for us as teenagers to become completely vulnerable and lay it all out there, so thank you. Also, I agree with your perspective and believe that we don't always have to forgive necessarily but move on and not carry that hatred along with us.
Thanks for acknowledging that, I debated a long time deciding whether or not to post it. It was my most personal post. I am glad you enjoyed it because that is not the first thing I would want to let people know about me haha.
Thanks for reading
Wow thats really well done. Touche on addin in Batman too, I thought that was great
You were defiantly right about your post being dark. But the thing is, I really like it. It might just be because as fellow drama member, I completely relate to getting very absorbed into mysner (and the like). Now that I think about it, I was also doing a revenge centered depressing monologue for Fullerton (we must have scared quite a few cafeteria goers with our bathroom emotional prep.).
Keep up the awesome writing!
OHH Yeaa your right! Both of our characters were seeking revenge! I just realized that haha. Well you know us drama kids, gotta do what what you gotta do!
If a tree falls over in a forest, but no one was there to witness (no loopholes). Does the falling tree make a sound?
Scholars argue both sides of the scenario – yes and no. Well, my answer is: who cares…
You may wonder why this came out of nowhere, but I’m telling you that it’ll start making sense as you continue reading…
Revenge is one of the big topics that I haven’t really given much a thought about up till this point in my life. But unlike the falling tree example, I can’t really escape with the answer “who cares.” Somewhere out there, there is a definite answer and solution to this topic – I just don’t know it. I just hope that my family will live in peace with no ninja/assassins/secret agents/Macbeth’s coming after us. But who knows, really, what I’d do being in that situation losing my children in some odd reason involving bloodshed; then, I may start receiving that feeling. Nevertheless, I’m in this class, so I might as well start thinking about it while I have the time to and hope that I don’t jinx it.
Well, here comes my first tackle:
One of those cycles portraying the depression of girls (maybe even guys too, not to be sexist or anything) fascinates me. But generally, they eat when they get depressed; then gravity seems a bit more “forceful.” As gravity enlarges the grasp, depression comes in again… then there is this everlasting cycle continuing throughout eternity. What was the bad thing not considering the food expenses? Gaining some mass, of course. Someone, somewhere and somehow is going to break this cycle and reverse it. It is the same with the revenge cycle. It seems reasonable to avenge a family member, but it doesn’t make it less wrong to murder another being while suffering the consequences—the consequences of generations avenging one another.
So now you ask me about the tree.
We can debate all we want about if it makes a sound or not, but the fact of the matter is that, the tree has fallen. The same thing applies to the murdered child. If my child is going to be murdered… the fact that he/she is dead means something to me. I have the rights to ignore the intentions of the murder, whether it was for the good or bad for humanity. But take that cycle into consideration: more of your people may end up dying paying the price that YOU have owed. Grendma is a perfect example, and I get a sense of why she did what she did and it is truly this mingled and weird feeling. But eventually the consequences results with her own death – or I guess that can also break the revenge cycle – eliminate every enemy…
Anyhow, how I will react to the murder of my children will be governed by my morals.
What are my morals then?
I guess it’s not anything new—just being a good boy—like how I was taught and observed. I was raised with good morals; at least, I think I have good morals. No cheating, no lying, no stealing, no backstabbing, no disobeying… and the list goes on. However, I think I have broken dozens of these “moral codes” of mine. I have definitely cheated, lied, stolen, backstabbed (yea, I’m not as innocent and pure and good as I seem), disobeyed… for one reason—temporary relief. Maybe I cheated to get the temporary A; lied for temporarily staying “out of trouble”; Stolen for temporary satisfaction; backstabbed for temporary fitting into the group conversation; disobeyed for temporary “I’m 18” and “I can be on my own” mindset. Then I reestablish my moral codes again and hope it was nothing I can’t fix.
I want to remain a man with good morals – not because I was just born this way, but because I choose to be this way.
But really, if my child were to be murdered, all I can/should do is forgive that person and pray for him/her. It sounds awfully pathetic, but I believe that justice will find its way into the criminal.
Hey, it’s that tree again. With the fall of that tree, it provides new soil and new growing space. Maybe a death shouldn’t be so taken in as such a bad thing, because there can always be good things that come out of it.
Great post, interesting relationship you did there with the tree and a murder.
(That last sentence made it seem like you justify death and murder and that it's actually a good thing to kill/die) (Care to elaborate?)
It's not that I justify death, especially an innocent one. But like the Futile Pursuit of Happiness illustrated, we can handle death of family members better than we think we can.
Nor am I saying that there shouldn't be any hard feelings at all about losing a dear family member. Deep inside I would probably wish the murder dead. But someone from the other party is going wish the same about me if I act on what I feel with revenge.
Profound post! As I was reading this I felt like there were tons of Baseline questions and themes that we have covered in this class flying all over in my brain. Good job!
I actually have the same attitude. It was interesting the way you phrased it.
I LOVE YOUR WRITING!
Literally, every time there's a blog post i would go to the find tool and search for your name because i feel as if your moral are often so similar with mine.
I agree with you, if something terrible happened, WHO CARES! The cost to revenge is way greater, we should just pray for them. It might hurt to lose someone but revenge really doesn't bring that person's life back.
The part where you wrote "hope there's never any MACBETH coming to us..." made me laugh haha.
I agree with what you wrote and I think you did a great job. It really put somethings into perspective for me.
The question of whether I trust my judgment really varies for situations. I would trust my judgment if I were to have to make the decision of whether or not a segment would go on Apache News, but for a circumstance so emotionally difficult as the loss of my child, I would not trust my own judgment. It would be difficult for me to bring judgment on someone because my eyes have really only seen so much. I do not know every circumstance, nor do I know every circumstance of my relationship with this person who has killed my child. For the record I don’t want my voice to sound as if I wouldn’t be grief stricken by the loss of my son or daughter, just imagining such an experience forces me into a state of extreme pain. But I don’t want to make a judgment as if I am a superior being and hold the fate of another human being’s life in my hands, because quite frankly it would take every morsel of my being not to kill the man. My fear is that I would do something in the influence of my rage, which would only create a perpetuating series of revenge; and if such were the case, no one wins.
A mother had once told me of how her young missionary son went to South America, and was speared in the stomach by an indigenous tribe leader. She then told me how she went to the man who had killed her son, and told him that she told him she loved him, and that her son did as well. This indigenous leader became a pastor and shares this story along with the other of how this act of love turned his life around.
I don’t know how I would react to my child’s death. This mother explained the extreme pain she felt when she heard of her son’s passing, but told me that she understood that risks he took. I’d like to believe that if my son or daughter were to tell me they wanted to go out into the world and bring medical supplies and support to the unreached places on the planet, I would have the strength to let them go and follow their passions. And if my son or daughter, whom I loved with every fiber of my being, was to return to me dead, then I hope to be able to honor their death, and fulfill the mission they had given their life trying to achieve. I don’t know if that is dishonorable, or foolish, or unloving, but perhaps one of the things I may take my greatest honor in, is in the fact that my child died fighting for a dream or passion he/she saw as just; even if he/she were to leave me behind in the process. But how would I respect all that my child stood for if I were to take revenge on his/her killer? Revenge is a circle of repetition dedicated to causing pain to another person(s), something I hope to never be apart of.
First, i really like your definition of revenge and how you explained it. Second, thats a really touching story and i would love to look into it, whats the name of the pastor?
I enjoyed your strong example of how choosing not to seek revenge had a positive effect on the indigenous leader.
Hey Jeff I like how you used that anecdotal example in your post. I also agree with what you said about revenge: it doesn't solve anything. Great post!
If you're in Grendel’s mother’s place, if someone tears your child apart – even if he brings it on himself – how will you feel?
Last Saturday, I felt a sudden urge to spend some quality time with my mom. She had just finished her usual Saturday cleaning and I found her laying on the couch watching a korean documentary. I carefully sat next to her and immediately I was drawn to the documentary. Of course the documentary was in korean and I was only able to understand parts of it. From what I understood, a boy was in jail..obviously for committing a crime and his mom came to visit him. I asked my mom why the son was in jail and she informed me that he was accused of killing his friend while they got drunk one night. They were both in tears and the mom was constantly repeating the words, “I love you” to her sinful son. After about 5 minutes of non-stop sobbing between the mom and the son, I bluntly asked my mom, “Why would she still love her son? He’s a murderer.”
My mom simply said, “..because he is her child.”
She said she’ll still love him unconditionally because that is how strong a mother’s love for her child is.
Yes, he brought it on himself due to lack of responsibility and dumb choices but his mother will never be able to abandon him because...
A Mother's Love For Her Son
Author: Valerie Dupont
A mother's love for her son is pure and special.
It can not be broken or reckon with.
It's a kind of love that softens even the hardest of hearts.
Love between mother and son is strong and visible from the sea.
It brings peace of mind and dries sad tears.
It can bring a man to his knees and make him weep.
A mother's love for her son is not hidden or shy,
but is ever lasting that grows stronger each day.
My mom always said that I won’t understand a mother’s love for their child until I actually become a mother. I’m really looking forward to loving the person that I bring into this world with everything that I have and always wanting the best for them no matter what it takes.
Now that I think about it, it really is too bad that our love for them will never even compare to their unconditional and everlasting love for us.
Treat everyday as if it is mother’s day. Go appreciate them.
awwww i really liked youre blog. It was definately true and from the heart. sounded like a very interesting documentary ands its cool that you took the time to watch it with your mom. oh! and youre very right about the whole part about we will never love them as much as they love us.
What about the dads?? D:But I do agree with the unconditional parental love. This is a great post (:
I will go hug my mom later... maybe...
Hey Shawn! Of course you should appreciate your dad too, but I only mentioned my mom because I feel that our bond is just effortlessly stronger. But don't get me wrong I love my dad to death!
Hello Kelly, it is so sweet that you care your mother (because you choose to spend time with her). I always neglect my parents. I don’t realize that I should spend some time with my family when I have lots of works to do. I always put school works and myself at the top. I never consider my parents’ feelings. So, I have decided that I am going to spend all my time with my parents tonight. Thanks, Kelly, for reminding me that.
By the way, I like your post. It touches my heart when I saw “…because he is her child”. Also, can you tell me the Korean documentary’s name? It seems so good. I bet that I will sob like the mother in the documentary when I am watching it.
Aw, I'm really glad that you decided to spend time with your mom! (: Yeah, I totally agree that school and friends can take away a majority of your time but I think it's very important to stop yourself once in a while and prioritize. Even if it's just a half and hour, I guarantee that your parents will appreciate and cherish it.
Oh my gosh I liked your blog. The documentary seems interesting, and this helped me think about what I am going to write for my blog. Thanks. (:
It's funny how things go perfectly with what we are learning...
I think Mr. Feraco plans this in perfectly. haha.
Anyway that was really touching and meaningful, i would honestly ask the same question to my mom but she would give me an answer like "i dont know..." cool mom kelly haha,
I really enjoyed reading your blog and I can tell you wrote from a deep place and that poke to me.
If so…if you're in Grendel’s mother’s place, if someone tears your child apart – even if he brings it on himself – how will you feel?
And how will you react?
I have 4 siblings all younger than me. A 12 year old sister, 5 year old brother and I live with my freshman and 6 year old brother. My 6 year old brother is my favorite sibling who is like a son to me. When I read this question I think about him as I put myself in Grendel’s mother’s place. It’s horrible to think about and make me very angry. I can’t imagine how it would feel if I was really was a mother. A part of me would want revenge and another part of me would tell me to forgive and know he’d be in a better place. I don’t know how id really react in a situation such difficult as this one but I would hope to do the right thing.
I do believe forgiveness is possible in a situation like this. A preacher named Yiye Avila went through a similar situation. His son in law killed his only daughter for no reason and he forgave him. Yiye went to the prison they were holding the man who murdered his daughter and told him he already forgave him weather the man was sorry for what he had done or not. That was probably the hardest thing he ever had to do but he also says it was one of the best decisions he made. The moment he faced the man who took joy from his life he felt free. He could have easily held a grudge and being a famous pastor he could have had someone “take care” of the situation, but he didn’t. Who knows if id be able to respond as he did or how Grendel’s mother did. I hope I never have to find out.
Hi Jasmine, your post, as well as Jeff's post, has inspired me in so many ways. And, I'm also starting to believe I have to right idea and mindset facing these tragic.
Thank you for such a great post (:
Hello Jasmine, it is interesting that you think your little 6-year-old brother as you son. I treat my 7-year-old cousin as my daughter too. First of all, I think this is because she is so cute. She looks so adorable as me when I was young. It is like I can see my past or my shadow. Also, she is innocent and she always keeps asking questions. I was like her; I asked a lot of questions to my parents when I was a kid. Now, I am grown up. I almost become an adult. I am mature. I learn many things and I do not have as many as questions when I was young. Looking at her is like I can see a temporary generational gap.
By the way, I agree that “[i]t’s horrible to think about [Grendel’s death]…if I was … a mother”. Hurting a kid is like hurting his or her parents mentally. It is like cutting the parents’ fleshes. It is just too terrible to think about it.
Forgiveness really is cathartic isn't it? It reminds me of the part in East of Eden, where Adam forgives Cathy for all the evils she'd done to her. Forgiveness is infinitely more powerful than revenge.
I can tell you are such a strong person and I admire that greatly. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to come across in life, but allows people to move on. I really enjoyed your post! Thanks! : )
I love how you think of your 6 year old brother as a son. And I would agree with on you how I wouldn't know how I would feel about the loss of a child and just hoping that I would make the right decision. Good job on the post!
When problems occur, I was always taught to approach them in a logical way. My parents have always been very traditional and conservative when it comes to their life. They taught me to always think before I act. The excuse “I wasn’t thinking” does not exist in my household. I admit that being the younger child, my parents were less strict with me. They were really strict with my older sister because my parents were so accustomed with their culture. My sister rebelled against my parents in so many ways, and one of the ways is carrying out her heart’s desires. She was punished for carrying those desires out. When my sister told my mom she caught me taking my sister’s toys when I was little, I hoped that my sister would get punished for something she did wrong, but I never actually did anything about it. Ever since I was little, I had a fear instilled in me that it was not safe to trust my heart.
I trust my judgment more than I trust my heart. What I think about something is sometimes different from what I feel, and I usually go with what I think. As a child, I was taught to think very heavily about the consequence and that is why I do not usually take risks, but some children are not taught this way. These people, who do not know how to control what they feel like doing, may become revenge seekers. Humans respond to pain by causing more pain because they feel it is the only fair way. Some people may call the need for revenge illogical, but the reason humans possess this instinct is because it probably seems logical to them. At the moment of all the pain, humans may feel as if inflicting pain on others is the logical way to deal with it. This is one of the reasons why I trust my judgment more than my heart. I may feel the need to inflict pain on those who have wronged me, but if I think carefully, the consequences usually outweigh the action I plan to take. Maybe we were all taught to feel the need for revenge at some point in our lives. Treat others how you want to be treated was always a quote that confused me. When someone causes me pain, do I treat them how they treated me? Maybe we learn to seek revenge as children, but what scares me is if we possess this needlessly destructive instinct naturally.
I like how you always thinking logically when thinking about revenge. I feel you keep a healthy mind and at the end of the day whatever you do would be morally correct.
Hey Tiffany! I felt that your post was really relatable because I was taught to think before I act. I also feel the need to inflict pain on those who have hurt me but I think about the consequences before the action. Great job!
I really admire your ability to approach life's challenges from a logical perspective. I wish i could be more like that. Thinking before acting is quit hard for me lol. Good job on your post! It was great reading it. : )
I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been used. I’ve been hurt, ignored, and especially when I was younger, bullied. The bullying really took an emotional toll on me. Too weak to defend myself, and not articulate enough to snap back a witty comment, I suffered. So I would beg my mother, my father, my loved ones to help, to take revenge on those I believed shamelessly disregarded my feelings. I wanted them to embarrass them the same way they would shame me. But those I loved did nothing. And now I understand why.
They knew that I was in the moment. They knew the bullying itself was no more than some hazing. If it were on a “Bully Meter,” that goes from 1-10, it maybe maxed out at a 6. Now that I look back, the hazing was bad, but it wasn’t over the top; it never got personal. I guess you can say that I was more picked on than bullied. My loved ones knew that. They knew when to intervene, and when to keep quiet. Without these people, I might have made some very bad mistakes.
And you know what? Now that I’ve thought more about it, I’m actually glad my childhood panned out the way it did, because I’m more confident in my beliefs and morals than ever before. When it comes to justice, honor or revenge, I’m set. And it’s to those loved ones in my childhood that get all the credit.
In my opinion, revenge is only for instant satisfaction. I’ve learned over the years not to base my actions on emotion. I do not lose it very often. I can’t remember the last time I’ve totally lost myself due to emotion. I either laugh it off, or keep to myself. Sometimes people think I’m being cold because I don’t get emotional in situations that others might. Truth is, I keep control of myself, and can sense when I’m losing it. On the rare occasion that I come close to the breaking point, I like to shut myself in the corner of my room, play video games, and eat a lot. Because hey, video games and delicious food are GREAT escapes when you get overly emotional.
Mr. Feraco questions “why do victims’ families still look haunted after justice has run its course?” And I’ve seen this SO many times in Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery, and other various TBS crime shows (my mom’s a huge fan). These families hoped that jailing the wrong would give them closure for their own loss. It just doesn’t work that way. What’s done is done, and you can’t go back and change it. Justice was served, but not necessarily for you.
If I am unfortunate enough to experience a loss of a loved one through unjust causes, I would not seek revenge. Sure I would seek a trial. Not for myself, but for the protection of others. It’s my responsibility to learn to celebrate the life of a loved one that I knew rather than mourn forever.
For me, humility is big. I don’t need revenge to satisfy myself. It is better to help the masses than to hunt for yourself.
Joseph C Period 2
I was very surprise that you opened up in your post, much respect! Grat Job.
I am glad that you have decided to not seek revenge and it is very noble of you to have come to that conclusion. I very much agree with you that revenge only gives temporary satisfaction. The guilt of hurting someone for revenging will come back and haunt us afterwards as we will feel bad for what we have done (usually).
Great job! I like your post!
A great ending to a great blog post. I quite agree.
Also, the beginning was equally enjoyable. We need to have more meaningful conversations, Joseph.
That's a good mindset Joseph. The world needs more people who can forgive.
Ahh.. Instant satisfaction. Great wording. I couldn't come to this conclusion earlier when I was doing my blog
BUT I agree.. I don't think it will put my heart to rest even if I did avenge my loved one(s).
I agree with your ending statement. And I'm glad that everything turned out better without revenge. Even when times seem tough, there's always a light somewhere. Good job!
If I found out that someone was hurting my child in any way, I would attack them. The first thing that shot through my mind was a vision of me beating the living hell out of that person. Sure, this seems kind of extreme on a certain level, but if I caught some one doing anything negative towards my child; I’m going to everything in power to stop them, hands down. I would resort to killing anyone, because that’s not how my mind operates, but my child is my life, my way of living, mess with them, you mess with my dignity and my center of life. Some people would say that it would be a bit extreme to start beating the crap out of the person that is hurting my child, but if they actually looked at the situation, and realized what was going on, then hopefully they would realize.
If someone tried to hurt me, my family, my friends or anyone else that I am emotionally close to, then tried to get away with it, with a grin on their face nonetheless, ITS ON! This goes back to my previous paragraph. I would do anything in my power to avoid them trying to do anything to the ones I love. There are some people in my life that I would die for, and there are others that I would give the shirt off of my back for whenever they needed it. I would do anything in the world to keep my loved ones safe, and my friends in good places. I’m not going to lie; I’ve seen my really close friends get in fights, but their not deadly fights, who know how some of them get started. But if my best friend starts getting annihilated by his opponent, you better believe I’m going to jump in and help him out if he needs it, same thing with my family; if they need me, I’m there, every time.
The phrase “Justice is Served” is very different from the phrase “Revenge will be mine.” When we hear justice has been served, we usually think of Batman, or Superman; maybe even the hero police officer in our favorite movie. Same goes for revenge, we usually think of the Joker planning his next attack, or the evil little child that got his hot Wheels stolen, and wants to plot against his “friend” that has just stolen his favorite Hot Wheel. When the word “justice” comes up, we assume that it means there is one more rapist behind bars, or one more drug dealer off the streets; not, “oh, that means that a cop from Brooklyn just shot another innocent kid that was protesting, which means one less dumb protester wasting everyone’s time!” Again, same thing goes for “revenge.” The minute we hear that word, the last thing on our mind is, “…Yes, this candy bar that Johnny gave me is superbly amazing. But tomorrow; yes tomorrow revenge will be mine when I give Johnny a snickers bar that tastes like it fell from the chocolate falls of Willy Wonkas river of chocolate!” Instead, mostly everyone thinks “revenge,’ the mindset is basically, “Look out, the villain will strike once again! Even though failure isn’t the game plan, it still might happen, because in every movie, the villain always fails.”
Hey, I appreciate the honesty and can relate to how you feel. You are right revenge and justice are too completely different things. And since we both included batman in our posts I have found some quotes from Batman Begins that support your piece.
Rachel Dawes: The DA couldn't understand why Faden insisted on making the hearing public. Falcone paid him off to get Chill out in the open.
Bruce Wayne: Maybe I should be thanking them.
Rachel Dawes: You don't mean that.
Bruce Wayne: What if I do Rachel? My parents deserved justice.
Rachel Dawes: You're not talking about justice. You're talking about revenge.
Bruce Wayne: Sometimes they're the same.
Rachel Dawes: No, they're never the same. Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better, which is why we have an impartial system.
Bruce Wayne: Your system is broken.
Rachel Dawes: [Rachel makes a sharp turn] You care about justice? Look beyond your own pain, Bruce. This city is rotting. People talk about the depression as if its history. It's not. Things are worse than ever down here. Falcone floods our streets with crime and drugs creating new Joe Chills everyday. Falcone may've not killed your parents Bruce but he's destroying everything they stood for. You wanna thank him for that?
BATMAN FAN FOREVER!
Revenge is a bitter but necessary option sometimes. I am all 100% on revenge when it comes to loved ones.
i agree with you. my child is my life so i will protect him at all times no matter what. i liked your post it shows what were willing to do for our loved ones.
Revenge... There's a reason why we do the things we do and revenge is not an exception. As humans, it is "human instincts" to eliminate things that pains us, like taking some aspirin to get rid of that nasty headache. Depending on how deeply bothersome the problem is, we may go as far as murder. Take any of the examples give, you have children, you don't, you get killed, your child gets kills. Whatever that happens, the only thing that would vividly remind you of the death of your child or relatives is... the killer.
We make negative connections faster than positive ones, they also are stronger and more "memorable". It's easier to develop a hate for someone rather than a love or to trust someone. For example, it's always easier to remember that one kid that kept throwing things at you in high school over than one girl that was slightly "hot" and as sad as that might sound, but we grow up to learn that others cannot be trusted (and those who think everyone can be trusted will be stabbed in the back till they learn). So back to the murder story, every time something that represents the murdered it will remind you that they are dead and that they were killed...by someone. It is THAT, that causes us the most discomfort, and causes us to eliminate it because it does.
So we know obviously that we get rid of the things that annoy us or remind us of horrible times, but why are we so violent? It's more of the fact that we want to get rid of them completely, forever and ... permanently. For most cases, jail is enough, a place where they won’t be exposed to the public and possibly remind us of the pain. In some cases, it isn’t and the only way to get rid of someone beyond just locking them in a room is to get rid of their existence.
Now I’m not justifying that revenge is right, I’m just explaining why we do it. Although the mindset is wrong to fight pain with more pain, it’s the only way we know how to destroy it. For some cases, you just can’t “get over it”. It’s hard to justify our acts of revenge, even to ourselves. Sometimes we call it “protection” or some call it an accident. But we all know; we all have that one person in our lives that we would want to get revenge from. But we can’t. Why you may ask? Well, I’m sure we all have our answers.
I totally agree with you that revenge is a part of human instincts. I sort of wrote about that in my blog post too!! I really liked how you explained your view in this post.
Good job! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting!
Words typically represent much more than we first face them to be. They don’t have one set meaning, but they represent a feeling, an emotion. I’ve always believed that to learn a language, you can’t learn by memorizing the dictionary translations of each individual word, but to be able to grasp the emotion and feeling behind that word—once you are able to use those words to represent your feelings and not a translation, that is when you’ve successfully mastered the language.
But even within a language, each word may take on a different meaning, not necessarily definition, for different people. Words with similar dictionary definitions take on different meanings. Justice and fairness—now there’s a pair that we seem to constantly pair up. Justice is to be fair and to have fairness is to have justice. Those two words, however, represent different emotions and different feelings for, of course, different people.
Both of these feelings (of “justice” and “fairness”), however, have been subjected the nightmare all living languages must bear, which is to throw those feelings in a certain set amount of letters (in languages that use the Latin alphabet, anyway) with a certain spelling, a certain way of pronouncing it, and a certain way to write it down, and we end up with a word.
It’s not really just a word, however.
It’s a box.
Like our choices and judgments, these “words” (feelings and emotions) outgrow their boxes after time. Take “love.” The complexity of this emotion (literally) manifests itself in word form, with some languages having many different ways to express this feeling.
The same goes for other key words in this post, namely justice, revenge, villainy, and fairness.
What fairness meant to us as children probably doesn’t mean the same thing as it does for us today—nor do any of the other words. As our morals and beliefs, our choices and judgments, our character and personality grow and expand, as those aspects of our lives tear down the walls of their box and expand to form new walls, these words do as well.
I felt like spending time to understand the words themselves is very important, and not just the fact that the meaning may change for us, but especially that different people may believe these words to mean different things. They aren’t defined differently, but they take a different emotion, a different feeling.
What is claimed to be “justice” seems to only apply for half of the party, the winning side, doesn’t it? In the courtroom, when a man is convicted of allegedly killing a person and then found guilty (let’s say in this case with very little tangible evidence), the prosecution and the victim’s family believe that they have found justice. The convicted and his supporters do not.
The winner takes it all
The loser's standing small
Beside the victory
That’s a destiny
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all
These lyrics have been running through my head this entire time. Although ABBA (and Mamma Mia) has a different message behind the whole of this song (heartbreak), this part of the chorus and a verse really captures the endless cycle and how each side stands at different points of the cycle.
I don’t see the “winner” being described here, in this context and for this purpose, to necessarily be the same person. The winner who took “it all” at the beginning of this excerpt probably isn’t same one at the end. But the truest thing is that the game is on “again,” and will be back, again and again.
Let’s say Grendel’s my son. With his killing I would need a feeling of “justice,” using the dictionary definition, and want to see “revenge.” I may lash out just as Grendma did. In fact, I think I probably would. It’s the emotions, the feelings that actually govern my mind and soul, and not the words, not the box that society also tries to place alongside my own.
And the only thing separating justice from revenge, here, is what other people see as right or wrong. Those who would side will me will think “justice,” while those against me would think it is an act of villainy “revenge.”
In a simpler sense, the thing that separates justice from revenge, justice and fairness, or justice and villainy is *perception*. And by perception, I don’t just mean each person’s views on the topic or what they believe, but how they feel—their emotions and feelings.
So we can’t really change our (as a society) views on justice, revenge, villainy, or even fairness. What it has evolved to become, still trapped in those letters to form those words, is the best (or closest to) representation of society as a whole.
I would probably be punished for lashing back to find my justice for the death of “my” son, and rightfully so—in the best interest of the public, of the majority. We must cater to the greater number—which is why bigger numbers seem to prevail. What I think is negligible, because I am an outsider, attacking the “righteous” majority. That’s why we conform. That’s why I would end up trying to do as much as I can to prevent myself from going back and seeking the evil “revenge” that I need, in the public eye, to satisfy my own feeling of “justice,” which is villainy to them.
Ashamed is a feeling I wouldn’t feel if someone attacked—or worse, killed—my son and I wanted to kill him. “An eye for an eye…” as the saying goes. By society’s standards, that’s not right anymore. That’s not what we should do, it’s not civil. So I may conform. But those feelings? Those emotions? It’s nothing to be ashamed of—yet the world will never twist itself to agree with me.
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, will make the whole world blind and toothless."
It’s true. But without an eye for an eye at times, without a tooth for a tooth at other times, there would be no progress. There would be no forward movement, no advancement, and no “evolution.” It’s not that we can never take an “eye for an eye,” it’s not even that this may continue on and on in a cycle. But finding that break in the cycle, finding the end of that cycle? That’s what’s truly wise. It’s not when you should begin or whether or not you should even do so, especially because with human nature it’s inevitable, but it’s when that cycle stops and another begins that is true wisdom and brings forth progress.
So these words? These different seven letters for justice and revenge? Our “definitions” may ring to be “true” today, but it will change. Like our emotions and feelings, like our own development, it will change. It just happens to take a bit more time.
What I would do is not what’s most important, nor what I think is “right” or what is “wrong,” not what I believe to be “bad” and “good.” I think what takes the most complexity and importance is the emotions behind what I think, the feelings behind what I believe. It’s the space outside my box and inside it, it’s the space I’ve started with, the space I’ve already expanded into, and the space I have yet to move into.
And I applaud you if you really managed to read all this.
Man Alton, I completely agree and was in awe as I read this. I understand when your talking about the whole "gotta look beneath the surface" sort of deal. Isn't it kind of sad when we were brought up learning how to behave, what is right and wrong, fairness and cheating? I mean the characters that are either on the opposite side of the main characteters who are strong, passionate, and cunning always seem to die out. Why do you think that is? I mean what is justice and revenge really? is there a fine line between the two? It's the moment we're living in now that open our eyes to the possibilities. Nice work!
I think that we were raised with such rigid rules because during our development, having many dimensions to one topic would have been to difficult to grasp. The thing is, I don't think there is a fine line between justice and revenge--the two feelings and emotions are muddled together, each representing different sides of the spectrum, if you will. Thanks!
Hi Alton! Yes, everyone's perception of the terms you pointed out are all different in everyone's mind, and its determined by our emotion rather than our definition of justice, or of revenge. For me, a term like revenge is coined as a rash retaliation while for others it might be necessary action for closure. Great Post!
-Joseph C P2
Revenge feels wrong to me. Maybe because it’s more of an animal instinct. I tend to reject those. By the way, Feraco mentioned a paradox in class today: We are taught to deny our emotions: rage, anger, jealousy. So to become a better human, we need to become less human?
Just like purebred dogs are bred to acquire certain traits, I think that society has chosen certain emotions of humans that it thinks is destructive. Namely, anger, jealousy, revenge, lust, and many negative emotions. Society tries to breed out these emotions to make Siddhartha’s out of all of us. So someone can make the argument that society makes us less human by forcing us to compress certain emotions, but society has always been what is most efficient.
Because what purpose does revenge have in society? Revenge is a destructive emotion that stems from impulsive anger. I have to admit, that flash of anger is hard to control. It only takes that one second, where you’re overcome by emotion, to make a mistake. Carl made a mistake by angrily hitting the construction worker in the head. Erik Spoelstra made a mistake last night by screaming at the referees, and getting himself ejected from the game. He also made a mistake by letting Lebron James take the clutch shots, but that poor decision didn’t come from impulsive anger. Anger unleashes a primal area inside of us, and makes us more dangerous to society. I believe that revenge is taking retribution into your own hands, while justice is letting an independent third party make the judgments. The reason that justice is acceptable and revenge isn’t is that according to social contract theory, humans give up their right to exact personal revenge to the government in order to have their own rights protected.
I remember clearly the day I woke up and saw the Twin Towers fall. And then I clearly remember the day more than a decade later that Osama Bin Laden was found in a city in Pakistan and killed. For the American people, justice had been served. The ten year long quest for revenge had finally ended in success. And for the people that had most directly been affected in the 9/11, it was a moment of closure. The loose ends were finally resolved, and people could finally completely let go of the past. So even though revenge serves no practical purpose, humans will never completely be able to let go of their emotions. That’s why justice stands in its place.
Good post! I agree to the fact that we will never be free of our emotions. It is what justifies our revenge.
Haha nice Lebron James reference.
But anyways good post. The heart wants what it wants.
Couldn't agree more! You will always have the feeling of revenge when someone messes with you. Nice blog!
Lyndon, I loved how you were able to incorporate part of Mr. Feraco’s lecture into your post, like always it really made question my opinion the human race. And I very much agree with you, revenge serves no purpose, it is merely there for a wee bit of satisfaction, then it’s gone again.
As children we were taught not to hurt others, whether it is saying something that would hurt their feelings or physically hurt them. Even in today’s society when one person hurts another in any way, it is looked down upon. I know that the common phrase “We’re only human, we can’t help it” could support this argument, but that only questions our free will and choice doesn’t it? Revenge is just an excuse to cushion the pain that made you choose revenge instead of confronting justice. For some, revenge and justice aren’t at all far from each other on the spectrum. “Revenge is about getting justice”, but what does it justify? It’s just a sudden adrenaline rush forcing our bodies to make the other feel the pain that we feel when we succumb to pain. It’s the human instinct to act forcefully when things don’t go the way we plan or when the unexpected happens and we don’t think about how to adjust to sudden dramatic change. The reason why humans respond to causing pain first is because it’s easy. One doesn’t have to think of another alternative, because if we choose to bring pain above all else, then that’s the action we have chosen and won’t stop until it’s done.
It’s kind of like a boulder rolling down a hill, once it starts and builds momentum, it won’t stop unless something else comes and stops its pathway. Same thing applies for the mindset of human beings. People who are strongly opinionated or strong willed won’t stop to kill unless the other person when in fact kills them first. For me, if I were in Grendma’s situation, I would’ve probably done the same. No mother in her life time should ever out live her child especially in such a gruesome tormented way Grendel went through. Just like the mother who clutches on to her child as bullets fly at them, what would make the difference if the child is just going to die anyway?
Back in elementary school, I would see boys and girl’s trip, steal, and laugh at others to satisfy their own ego. I would be lying if I said I never encountered that type of situation before. Even when I entered high school, my wallet has been stolen at least three times and every time it happened I would curse whoever did this under my breath hoping I would never see them or else. It would be wrong for me to say I’ve always stopped to think of the possibilities on how to get my wallet back. My mindset always switched to “anger-revenge” mode whenever I am encountered with these types of situation. Even though I know it’s wrong, I can’t help but feel sadness for Grendma. Everyday all sorts of people like her go to jail or is executed for her actions, but even then she’s still the victim here. So why must the innocent die out and the bad live on?
The box I’ve set up for myself are filled with the things I believe in to the things I love most in this world. I find it comforting how it protects me within its walls and secures me with reassurance that there are still “good” things in this world. But no matter how I would just love to spend my life inside this box, it’s what would bring me my own destruction. Just like in Siddhartha, without gaining new information, how can I learn to survive the real world once I leave for college? When I have my own family? For this, I want to set up a new box – filled with experiences not just life lessons I’ve learned in books and tv shows. With that I can finally say I stood on my own two feet, because I’ve lived through the experience and gained knowledge to form my own beliefs.
What you said about feeling angry and vengeful is like how I feel too. Your post was fun to read!
I liked how you drew a parallel to that boulder running down a hill, and it really does makes sense! Good job Lexy!
All humans feel the need to cause pain to others after getting hurt because in their minds, they feel a natural uneasiness. It is a sort of uncomfortable and unbalanced tension within ones own mind that signals a response. Ever since we were kids, we were raised argue and complain about anything that was not “fair”. As kids, this only meant the same amount of candy or the same amount of juice. But as we grew older, we realized that the concept of fairness existed in punishment as well. We began to see equal and fair punishments for certain actions. For example, timeouts were given to kids who were misbehaving, while good kids were not punished.
The satisfaction of revenge lies in the knowledge of the other party receiving what they deserve. No matter how good a person is, there still seems to be a newfound satisfaction for a punishment of one that previously hurt him or her. Even when nothing has caused pain to an individual, there still seems to be a satisfaction when revenge is paid to them. Even if it was a different person that got hurt, the simple act of revenge pleases those who watch from outside. Most of the time, revenge doesn’t originate from the first victim, but they still find it necessary to do. However, it cannot be assumed that all people view it in this way. For me, instead of living others’ lives, I believe that living my own life without worries of others is much more enjoyable.
What many don’t realize is that forgiveness is just as powerful as revenge. Some feel that in order to assert “manliness” or masculinity, one must give his or her victim what they deserve. However, it shows much more maturity to forgive and learn to forget someone for his or her wrong doings. When individuals learn to forgive one another, an unspoken sense of kindness that everyone passes on to each other. Without forgiveness in our world, we could continue to attack and eventually kill each other. The violence and revenge has to end somewhere. It takes the strongest and most mature individuals to stop the chain of revenge and restore proper order.
Well, I do not think that violence and revenge has ever stopped. As long as there are humans on the world, there will be quarrels and wars. Maybe peace is really impossible.
I really agree that forgiveness is the stronger power. It's like how people say to "be the bigger person", and it's true. I think though that some people in this world are not mature enough to take this action as being a bigger person. Sadly there are still immature people in this world that take it as forfeiting and being weak. ):
Justice, to me, definitely means that you have a clear and logical reason for doing an action. You’re action may seem justified to yourself but do you really have any idea of the exact level of severity your actions really is? Humans are deeply connected to their own emotions. It is what shapes our actions and the way go about our lives daily. For example, since I am depressed and cranky today, that justified the fact that I was rude to my teacher or friend in the morning. We do not care about what else is thinking we just feel what we feel in the moment while getting things done.
Honor. For me, honor is something that is important to me. It means that I have done things that make me feel honorable and proud of myself. I always make sure that others view me as completely honest and morally correct. Although, my perspective of my very own actions come first and they can easily outweigh my care for others. I feel that when someone feels honorable, they are definitely thinking about what they had just done as positive and completely justifiable.
Revenge. I hate revenge. I wish it did not have to exist or that there was no such thing. When someone commits rude and extremely disrespectable actions towards me, I tend to tell others about it immediately. My outside influences and inner emotions seem to channel my choices that seem justifiable. I definitely feel the urge to avenge myself. However, I am not the type to simply commit a terrible revenge. I truly think about others and thinking about doing horrible things to them would be the last idea in mind. Although this is very much true, if it were something done to my family or close friends, the idea is completely flipped upside down. If someone emotionally hurts my family or friends intentionally I would immediately intervene and try to ask for justification on their terms. If it were physically hurting them intentionally, I would definitely act on it. It really depends on the situation and my relationship with them. My emotions I feel toward that person control my mind and justification for my actions.
So, why do humans respond to pain by causing more? Why possess such an illogical needlessly destructive act? Generally, humans simply connect to their own emotions. It is only about emotion. They will do whatever they can to feel satisfaction. Only satisfaction will clear their heads of the thoughts of revenge, rage, and anger. Their actions obviously seem justifiable and honorable in their terms because they feel it is what should be done after someone acted horribly towards them or a loved one. They want their heavy emotions constantly in their heads to be lifted off their shoulders. Unfortunately, our emotions will never just go away. It what keeps us human and keeps us in touch with ourselves ad those around us. Without them, how can we live? It is just a matter of how you utilize them for either positive or negative outcomes. We always want to feel satisfied with ourselves and would do anything to reach it.
I think a lot of people can relate to this. Its a natural thing to act in certain ways concerning certain people. I guess if something terrible was done to me I would be able to shake it off, however, if something terrible was done to someone I care for I, like you, would defend them.
“Evil” that’s the word I typed in Google images.
Just as I expected, pictures of undead monsters, evil red eye bunnies, and immortals popped up the screen. Do looks, actions, and species really define who you are, good or evil? When we take one look at a picture of a monster, our brains automatically define it as evil.
Is it because we were taught this way for centuries by our childhood stories or is it the fact that they look intimidating… immortal.
Sure Grendel and Grendma look intimidating but are they really villains?
Honesty, at first I believed that Grendel was the villain. He killed so many villagers and felt no pity. I was eagerly waiting to hear the news of Beowulf slaying Grendel in half. However, I realized that every side has two stories. When Mr. Feraco told us that Grendel was an outcast and was abandoned from the town, I felt pity him. The fact that Grendel was born to live this kind of life made me realized that it was not his fault for his bloody outbreak. Moreover I recognize the fact that I felt pity for him was because I could really connect with Grendel.
In elementary school, I was the only Asian girl there. To top it off, I couldn’t speak much English. The only words I known was probably “Good morning”, “Good evening”. “Good afternoon” and “Good night”. Since communication was an issue, I felt like an alien. Everyday, I lived with pain and agony but each day gets worse. I tried to keep a smile for my parents, but the overwhelming emotion was too much for a kid to handle.
So I snapped.
Same emotion but different story; sometimes I wonder if I was in the Middle Ages, would be in Grendel place if I had an outbreak. When I heard that Grendel was ripped apart, my anger fell upon Beowulf. To me, he was the villain. Then again I looked at my own definition of a villain.
Villain- One who commits morally wrong deeds for no justified reason.
Beowulf killed Grendel because he wanted to save the villagers; he had a justified reason. Who is the villain now? In a third person view, it is hard to distinguish that idea. I believe the villain is whoever the audience chooses it to be. It’s not a fact.
It’s just an opinion.
Revenge only takes a moment of overwhelming burst of anger for it to take place. Think of a balloon filled with a little bit of air every second, that very bit of air is not enough to pop the balloon, but a single moment of rapid overwhelming air can pop the balloon insistently. Grendma never intended to hurt any villagers, but when she was wracked by grief, revenge was the only thing she could think of. We all take irrational actions when we are filled with anger. Our minds become completely blink. The only thing we could think of is the fact that someone had hurt you or your love ones. Can we really blame Grendma for having no control when at times we don’t even have any control over ourselves when it comes to intensive emotions? So why blame Grendma when we could do the same thing if we’re in her shoes.
I would do the same thing if the only person I ever had, loved and cared for is dying in my arms because of someone else. I would seek revenge because I would have nothing to lose. I would take the same action as Grendma.
In my opinion, I think that this whole story should be called “The Tragedy of Grendma and Grendel.” Then again others can argue that it could be “Deaths of the Townsman” Since the light shines upon Beowulf and the villagers are telling the story, my theory would not make sense.
I understand why we sympathize for Grendal. One could say that his situation justifies his means, but as a whole in the society should we forgive someone because what they are going through? Just because of Grendal had a tough upbringing doesn’t justify his actions.
Anyways, I really enjoyed your post; it got me thinking and sparked the question in my head. Even though my opinion differs from yours I still really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for giving different perspectives
May, I love your first line "Revenge only takes a moment of overwhelming burst of anger for it to take place". Yes, it's really just a short period, but once we revenged, we will regret it forever.
Man: I'm not gonna leave you here son. I'm not gonna do that and i'll tell you why. Cause I've been there. I've bought the gun, and i planned on using it ok. I've been there. And I wanna tell you something, It gets better.
Boy: Not this, it can't.
Man: It does. That pain in your stomach, that pain in your heart, it goes away. That voice in your head thats saying there's no way out, it's wrong. Would you please, please just believe me. It gets better.
Boy: It won't! Not after this! I cant take this back! I can't erase this!
[starting to cry]
Boy: She's gonna die.
Man: You don't know that.
Boy: I just... I wanted... I wanted them to leave me alone. I just... I wanted them to like me.
Man: I understand son. It's what we all want. Thats all any of us want.
Boy: I'm not here... I'm not here.
Man: Please... it's gonna be ok son... it's gonna be ok.
Boy: [pounding on his chest] But it hurts! It hurts! It always hurts!
Man: I know... please... please...
Boy: I'm sorry...
[Points the gun to his chest and shoots himself]
-Scene from One Tree Hill
“Who Really Wields The Gun?”
Too often we condemn the boy wielding the gun. Too often we forget that the boy wielding the gun is quite possibly the biggest victim… and that’s unfortunate. I guess… that’s because our society is so blinded by our insecurities. We’re so blind we fail to see past the gun, and if we do happen to see past it all we see is a boy labeled with the words “evil”, “outcast”, “bad guy”. We fail to see the words that truly describe the young boy wielding the gun… “bullied”, “victim”, “misunderstood”. We flip the script, we write ourselves as the victims and we turn the boy wielding the gun into our story’s “bad guy”. We’re so insecure that we bully others into believing that they’re the imperfect scum of the earth to make ourselves feel better. & even when the boy chooses to pocket a gun, to pull it on his peers, to wake them up all we do is hide behind it. We point figures at him and call him the bad guy so that we don’t have to face the reality… that we are the ones wielding the gun. & because of this Grendel’s mother is no villain, she’s a victim.
“Because of Loss”
Grendel’s mother and the boy who brings the gun to school are very much alike. They both lose valuable parts of themselves. They lose parts that we use to define our happiness. Grendma, who loses her son, and the boy, who loses acceptance. I can’t say I know what it feels like to be a parent because I don’t. However, from what I’ve heard your child becomes priority number one. Your child is put ahead of yourself through whatever situation, it’s how parents are wired to be so I wouldn’t say that I disagree with Grendma’s actions and I wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t want to seek revenge. Her love and her pride were taken from her and she acted out.
HI CHRIS! I had a feeling you we're gonna use this scene from One Tree Hill hahah I agree with you on your views about Grendma's actions. Good post!(:
Okay, not to embarrass you or anything but I saw "Scene from One Tree Hill" and I knew it was your post! haha but aside from that I totally agree with, "We fail to see the words that truly describe the young boy wielding the gun… “bullied”, “victim”, “misunderstood”." It's so true we are so quick to judge that we miss the meaning behind it, it's really sad. It also got me thinking of Grendma's situation and I feel that I would do the same thing if I lost my child, but then again the people she killed are someone's child too..revenge doesn't solve anything except self satisfaction.
I like how you're able to connect the themes that we cover in class to stuff that you've seen outside of class. I do agree that Grendma was victimized to some extent but I don't think this necessarily excuses her actions. Anyways, good post!
I loved that you included One Tree Hill! It actually is one of my favorite shows haha, but that was a really unique and great connection! Wonderful job!
My daddy always told me that he'd "take a bullet any second for my mommy, brother, and me if we were threatened".
Just the thought of knowing my dad would do anything to protect us scares me because I'd feel as if I owe him because he hasn't lived his life to the fullest and the murderer should be avenged. However, it is selfish of me to put revenge on another person without knowing their intent after all, there are many reasons as to why people kill others from hatred to greed.
Which action should be punished? An article I read stated that a young male was playing with an airsoft gun and foolishly covered the orange tip that indicated the gun was fake while pointing it to a police officer. The police officer felt the need to defend himself (keep in mind that he had no idea the gun was fake) and shot the young male. In the Harry Potter series Voldemort killed Harry's parents and Harry took revenge and killed Voldemort. Is it wrong to murder someone at all? Or is it ok because their meaning behind it was justified. A part of me believes that its wrong to take the life of another period. The other part of me believes that taking the life of others who deserve it is right.
In the end, it all depends on our morals, beliefs, and what the law allows us to do. We are human and we are prone to making mistakes, feeling regret, and most importantly feeling the need to take revenge on those who hurt our loved ones. There are so many aspects as to why someone feels the need to take revenge. When a loved one is at stake all the morals, views, their heart, and judgement leave the mind and after time of pondering what the right decision all our beliefs come into factor. If we learn from the mistakes of one another we'll be able to be the judge of what justifies the right to bring revenge upon someone.
Now with all this in mind I believe that my box continues to grow through my experiences and add on my new morals as I continue to live this thing called life.
I'm glad that I can relate to your opinion about taking lives of others sometimes is right because at times, I may argue that with others and it would turn into a big dispute. However, some people do really deserve it.
Haha Paulynn, I think we know why Voldermort deserves to die... He had a choice but he chose the wrong path. In other words, Voldermort HAS to die, because the Harry Potter series carry the theme of how "justice overcomes evil."
I feel like I can relate your beginning quote with "War" on how the author said "[the parents] belong to [the children]."
It's a really great post! Good job Paulynn
hey paulynn! I completely agree with you when you said "A part of me believes that its wrong to take the life of another period. The other part of me believes that taking the life of others who deserve it is right. "
I believe that Voldermort deserves to die but then again we never heard his point of view so another part of me believe that we didn't give him a chance for him to turn around.
Hi Paulynn! Yes I agree that we can only grow and learn through our experiences. We are always going to make mistakes: its how we respond to them that defines later choices in life. Great post!
-Joseph C P2
Can you think of a scenario – a real scenario – where justice can be served through revenge?
I remember a time in sixth grade I think we learned about the ancient world. The first written laws were called the Codes of Hammurabi, its where “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” originates from. Basically if someone did a wrong to you then the same thing can happen to the person who committed the wrong. I assume these laws didn’t work out to well because in the modern world revenge is frowned upon. At that point in time revenge was the only way to serve justice and be Maybe they thought it would only be fair if what they did happens to them. Another scenario I thought of is what if a person is on death row and is about to be executed, the victim would be given the option to push the button, flick the switch, push the needle, or pull the trigger. Since the person is about to be executed why not let the victim finally have their revenge.
Why is revenge so seductive, and why can’t we seem to leave this urge behind, no matter how many times we’re told it’s wrong by people we respect, or no matter how rapidly and completely society evolves?
From what I learned and experienced revenge is connected to anger. There were many times I wanted to gain my vengeance and a couple of times I did. Anger is a very powerful emotion it can help or harm you. Anger makes you forget about everything even the feeling of pain, rational thinking is also gone and everything is focused on your goal. Once the anger subsides it is a lot easier to forget about revenge. Or when they realize when they harm someone they are just as bad as the person who harmed them. Once your anger and hate subsides your desire for vengeance will turn into a desire to seek justice.
Someone is hurting your mother.
Someone is hurting your brother.
Someone is hurting your best friend.
Someone is hurting you.
Someone is getting away with it.
Someone is doing it with a smile.
What would you do?
What would you want to do?
Are they the same thing?
What that person did would make just about anyone’s blood boil. If they were hurting me I would try to ignore it because I know I can take it. What I would do if they continued to harass my loved ones I would demand them to stop. If they didn’t stop I would probably called the authorities or someone to help me with this situation. What I want to do is demand them to stop. If it continued I would get ready to beat the living snot of that kid or whoever they are with a smile and probably with a sadistic laughter. Another option I could possibly pursue would be calling the cops and press charges with a smile of course. Although I don’t really like this option because they would probably just give the victims a restraining order, basically a slap on the wrist.
Interesting idea about letting the victim conduct the execution. But what if the victim doesn't want revenge? What if the victim wants to forgive?
I agree with what you said about anger, though; it's a transient emotion that can cloud one's judgment -- best to make decisions rationally!
What would you think or do if you looked at your mother and was able to say to yourself confidently that she has been hurt. If you looked at your sister and know that she too have been hurt. If you looked at your brother and know that he has been hurt, at your dad who is hurt as well? Have you taken a look at yourself? You too now are hurt.
As a daughter, from my perspective, I know that there is only so much that I can do. When I see the tears strolling down the faces of my family members, the first questions that cross my mind is what happened. I wish I could do anything to make it stop but I know that I am only there to listen and to comfort. At times when I look at my mother, I wish that I could make the person who is making her hurt feel the same way, but worst of all, that person is my very own father. So what do you do when there are two people that you love very much but one is hurting the other? What do you do if that person is your father? Your own blood? At times when I think about it, I want my mother to be just as awful to him but I know that she is not capable of it. For me, as I grow older and mature, I realized that I am more capable of voicing my own opinions and am able to stand up for my mother to my father. There would be so much more that I would want to do, but as of now, that is all that I can accomplish.
For most women with children, their maternal instincts prey on those who hurt their very own flesh and blood. This is not a lie. There have been many stories on the news that have proven this fact. For an example, the child gets severely bullied in school, and the mother will end up going up to the child and scolding him/her or have an immediate talk with their parents. There are those other mothers whom take it to the extreme. This results in revenge and murdering others because they believe that eliminating a human is another roadblock to the safe path for their child gone. My mother does whatever she can to make me happy. When I was a child, my cousin who is 7 months younger than me used to hit me and when we swam, drowned me. I complained to my mom multiple times and at first she thought I was joking until she saw him do it in action for herself. My aunt, being the selfish person she is had always blamed everything on me and on that very day, enough was enough. My mother scolded my cousin and cut my aunt from contact after having a talk about her placement in our family tree and how we have been tolerant to her about everything and ever since, all connection with them was officially gone. My mother hurts when I hurt and she would never want any one of her children to feel any sort of pain.
Grendel’s mother is absolutely in the worst position possible. If I were in her place, I would honestly either go crazy, or would want to avenge my own son. Would I really do it? I would not know but I know that I would hold that person who killed my son responsible whether it was my son’s fault or not. Although I would be miserable, I would absolutely never kill anyone but I would do anything else if they were my own.
You are such a strong person. I respect you so much for posting this.
During this past winter retreat, my speaker started to mention about a short segment in Chris Paul’s life. This short story told about the loss of Chris Paul’s grandfather, Nathaniel Jones or Papa Chili to some, and Paul’s ultimate decision about the murderers. A group of 5 teenage boys around the age of 14 to 15 decided to rob Jones as he was getting his groceries out of the car. After beating and strangling him with duct tape in a "relentless, remorseless, conscienceless" attack, Jones soon died.
Usually at this realization of my own family member’s death, I would seek revenge. Not only because of my familial tie with the person, but also for a way to relieve the pain I received from this kind of incident. Searching for an outlet to take out this anger on and ensuring they would feel the same emotional scar, I would jail them for life. My mentality would be an exact replica of Grendma’s.
Chris Paul’s mindset was the complete opposite of mine and Grendma’s.
Even with the loss of his dear grandfather, whom Chris Paul held extremely close to his heart, the weight of his forgiveness to the criminals completely shocked the entire courthouse and soon the public. Instead of holding a grudge against the convicted criminals, he decided to make an appeal for the judge to recall the sentences to be revoked. With all this happening before his NBA career, Chris Paul did not want to ruin the lives of the criminals because “ [He would] hate to know that they're going to be in jail for such a long time”, they had their whole lives to live out.
Although I have a long way to go, I want to model my new box after Chris Paul’s. Just having the ability to forgive people after placing such a huge emotional scar in his heart is unimaginable. Even a lawyer said "I've probably tried 30 homicide cases. It's very rare for a family survivor in a murder case to feel that way. You just don't see that ever. That's incredibly generous of Mr. Paul."
At the realization of Chris Paul’s action, I realized that if I were the one to die, I would not want anyone to seek revenge or avenge my death in anyway. Vengeance can consume your life entirely. Rationality and morals would be thrown out the window and the perspective of the world would be narrowed into a single focal point.
What has been done is already gone. There is no turning back. No matter what actions are pursued in the future, nothing can bring the dead back to life or erase the memory or action once done. As a building block on my new box, I want to be encompassed upon the foundation of forgiveness. After conflicts I tend to use the motto of just forgiving and forgetting.
Awesome post, Noelle! I like how you put yourself in the shoe of the dead. I can see connections with what Arian said in class today about how "you can't do anything about the dead anyway because they're dead!"
May your strong morals and beliefs guide you through tough times (:
hey noelle I really like your post! I like how you can relate your self by putting your self in other's shoes.
Wow Noelle, I never imagined you to be the revenge-y type. I hope you can go through with that new box of yours.
wow I didnt know about this Chris Paul thing but great example! I can't believe that he revoked all the sentences. I personally think that he's way too nice though. The person who committed murder should've at least went to jail but maybe that's just my inconsiderate human sense talking
Yeah he asked for them to be revoked but I forgot to put that the judge wouldn't let him.
Wow, it's so crazy how he was able to forgive the boys. I'm glad you shared his story! It just reminded me that it's not very healthy to hold grudges, instead forgiving is a better choice. Not as easy as it sounds but it's true. Great post!
if you're in Grendel’s mother’s place, if someone tears your child apart – even if he brings it on himself – how will you feel?
All my life I have always been told by my grandmother and mom that I am the best most precious thing that they have ever had.
They always heard that over and over again that my mom would do anything for me, that she would give me everything she could, even if it meant that she would have to give up her life or me.
I would always feel kind of awkward when she would tell me that. I was just 5 years old it felt kind of extreme to do such things to protect me. I was just so small that I would no think much of it.
I would give up my life for you....
Those are some real intense words to say and mean, I never thought that I would be able to understand.
Now that I am older I can understand my mom and grandma. I love my family and boyfriend. I would do anything for them, anything at all just say the word and I would do my best to make it happen.
I love my family dearly, but the main people that I believe that I have to protect are the two men in my life. My little brother Andrew and my fiancé Fili, I would do anything for those two.
My little brother is going to be a freshman this coming year and I just hope he won’t fall into the wrong paths. I always try to look out for him and teach him from my mistakes so he won’t make the same ones. I really want to leave home when I graduate but the thing that really is holding me back is that I just don’t want to leave him. We have so much fun together always playing around and we always together. I could honestly say that my little brother (*is*) my best friend. We always hang out at home playing around, fighting, and laughing. I always try to teach him things that I know that my parents can’t. I want to show him what I know instead of getting the wrong information from others. I want my brother to be himself, not follow the path of the wrong people. I want the best for him and if anything I would always be here for him even if everyone else would turn they’re backs on him….not me though.
Fili. Fili, Fili, Fili. He is the most important thing in my life he is my life, I would do anything for him. I would give my life for him as well as for my little brother. I center my self around him, I would do what ever it takes for him no matter what. I’ve seen him argue with people and almost get into fist fights, and then he was a different person. He was aggressive, mean, and just plain scary. But he was always my love, the one that I care about. Even on New Years Eve this year there was an incident. We were walking along and then in an instant we were surrounded. I got pushed out of the circle that was formed around Fili, and all I heard was yelling; “Lets go bro, I’ll take you right here” I heard someone scream. I pushed my way next to Fili and I saw that all the guys were screaming at him. I was so scared but at the same time ready, I knew that things were not going to end good. They were all going to jump in and beat the [-] out of him, but I was there and I wasn’t going to let that happen. I know if I get in that they would hit me too and that it was going to hurt but I was ready to draw blood if need be to protect him.
I love my brother and Fili more than anything, they are family….but if I have my own child then that’s a bond that can not be broken. To carry a child for 9 months, to have created life, to give birth, that is something that only you and your child have experience. No matter what they can do nothing can take that away from mother and child.
Grendel’s mother is a mother no matter what that is her child and she would do anything for him. Me myself, I would do anything for my family, my little brother, and Fili, now if I had a child then I would do the same. My child is a part of me, they came from me, so if you (*try*) to hurt them, I will defiantly hurt them.
Carol! (: I love your writing style. It's fun & interesting to read. I know you would definitely cut somebody if you needed to. Don't mess with the homegirl! lol Good to know that some high school rleationships will last. I'm happy for you and your man.
The love you have for both your brother and Fili is a love that I don't see very often anymore. It's amazing, really. I admire your bravery so so so much. Put in your situation on New Years, I don't know what I would have done. But I know for a fact that I wouldn't have jumped in the middle of the fight....I would have been too scared. You are so brave. Fili is lucky to have someone like you by his side.
Thank you for sharing, Carol! SUPER awesome post (:
Revenge, we say it is a bad action, but we don’t know the situation. When have you ever told someone to “calm down, it’s not worth it”? You see the look in their eyes as then yell and curse about how they are going to get what they deserve. How can you tell someone to calm down when you have never been in the position there in? The truth is revenge is a way of getting what is rightfully yours, because if you are hurt you can’t accept that so you take it out on the person that hurt you.
In Grendel’s mothers situation why would it be any different with anyone else? I’m not sure about your guy’s morals, but I put family before everything, Family, school, friends, etc. When someone does something to my family to hurt or punish them, I will take offence. In Grendel’s mothers case she was crushed when someone hurt her one and only child. He may have caused it against himself, but you can’t hurt someone and think someone else doesn’t want revenge. Like what Mr. Feraco said, “it’s like a domino effect, you kill someone, someone will be looking for you”, not sure if that’s exact quotes, but you get what I mean.
I’m sure everyone has had that time where they really wanted to get someone back. You really wanted to get revenge on that person that has caused you harm. It’s a security feeling we get that if we don’t get revenge, we feel like that could happen again without consequence. I good friend told me in the nicest way possible, “If someone backstabs me, or betrays me I’m not going to stand there and take it. I like to say if someone pokes at you and you are tired of it, chop there hand off so they will never do it again. That’s when you know they won’t be “poking” you ever again.” Yes, he is very intense, but it is true. I’m not saying go chopping people’s hands off, but react in a way appropriate. Like Grendel’s mother, if someone rips your son apart, you want revenge, so in her case yes I think she did the appropriate thing and I would do the same if I was in her position.
True, family and friends matter. But should we react or *act*?
At first it was hard to imagine taking a bullet for my loved ones. I thought, that stuff doesn't happen here... Then I remembered my neighbor got shot recently. He's survived by his wife and kid. Now I wonder how they feel; do they want revenge? Do they wish they could find and kill the robber? Or are they just going to forgive him and let it go? I don't know the full story, but here's a mind-boggling, Inception-horn-blaring thought: what if the robber killed him out of revenge? Perhaps he knew my neighbor and something went wrong between them, or maybe they had a business relationship that went sour... I dunno. But it's a possibility.
Placing myself in that family's shoes, I'm thinking of what I would want them to do if I were killed in cold blood before them. I wouldn't want them to hunt the murderer down; there's no justice in sharing all that pain and loss with someone else. There's that quote, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." I believe Mr. Feraco used it in his post.
Revenge is a powerful force; it can change people in ways that they themselves wouldn't see coming. One awesome movie I've seen is "Law Abiding Citizen," starring Gerard Butler. Butler's character's wife and son are murdered in a robbery; but the killers don't get the prosecutions they deserve. As a result, Butler becomes a sociopath hellbent on revenge, not just on the killers, but on the justice system as a whole, which failed to... well, deliver justice. He goes on to murder both killers, in addition to attorneys, judges, and other justice-system-related people.
I've taken revenge before, though not as drastically as killing or physically hurting people. And every time, I would always feel bad about it afterwards. I would feel like I'm better than that, and that acting on my anger was immature and selfish and lowly. Most of the time the other person would become sorry and/or mad at me that I'm mad at them. Either way, it's pointless to exact revenge; is a miniscule instance of smug satisfaction worth giving up your morals and possibly messing up your present and future?
It feels weird to say that among everyone else here, I'm one of the few that hopes I would not hurt those who hurt me or my loved ones. I just don't think it's worth it.
Whoa I didn't think those kinds of things happened in Arcadia especially the shooting part. So he got shot because of an armed robbery?
He was murdered in his own home. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/robber-kills-arcadia-man-as-his-wife-children-wait-in-other-room/
We are all susceptible to the “what if’s” life throws at us and we have answered it through literature. The Babylonians had Hammurabi’s Code, Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai and outlined the other tenets of the great monotheistic religions in the Book of Leviticus, the Chinese devoured Confucian works for dynasties, and the samurai followed bushido. Each outlined the can’s and can not’s of the respective cultures. Yet, as the Ghandi quote explained, we often lead ourselves into a rampage of destruction of ourselves and others in the pursuit of “what’s fair”.
As Mr. Feraco is a fan of real life dilemmas, feudal Japan faced the same problem as a group of samurai killed a rival daimyo, their reason? Avenge the death of their master daimyo at the hands of the rival daimyo, or put simply to follow the way of bushido. The predicament the authorities had was, while the samurai did what was proper and necessary of them, the rival daimyo’s samurai were honor bound to avenge his death. Yet, were the samurai wrong to follow their code of honor? Of course not, in a culture where one’s dishonor meant your death and shame upon your family, as they had no choice.
As a child I often found samurais inspirational, to be like Aristotle’s philosopher-kings. They were learned people who lived by, bound in, and generally protected honor and integrity. To me they were the perfect balance of physical, mental, and intellectual strength; one to serve and protect his people with mind and body, teach the knowledge of his experience, and ease the pains of life with service to the government. It is not because it’s a man’s duty, but that was how I thought society would function and civilizations prosper.
I’ve always had a clear line in moral matters, which my mom believes I inherited from my grandmother, and it wasn’t because I was shielded from the wickedness of war, greed, and inhumanity. I grew up falling in love with World War II admiring the “Greatest Generation”, so much so that my cousin gave me a DVD documentary about it in when I was eight. I watched the entire set immediately and though the footage of post-atomic bomb Japan horrified me, the faces of men, women, and children badly scarred, burned, and dying from an invisible hand, it only strengthened my resolve to want a world of moral clarity. My childhood was filled with the tales of horror resulting from war, from my grandfather seeing Chinese nationalists blow themselves up trying to remove the Japanese, the horrors of frontline combat from my grandfather’s best friend as he served at the tender age of 12, and from my grandmother, the near genocidal murder committed by the Japanese as well as living in Korea, where artillery fire so frequently it was no different from a heartbeat.
I felt terrified by the free will my God allowed us and the vile acts we choose to commit. Being desensitized to war, death, and suffering did not traumatize me, instead it led me to believe that we are led by the heart, our paths are formed from our views, and our judgment clarifies our “I don’t knows”. All the while I cannot disregard the irrational frenzy we will be put in as we face the tragedies of death, I do not approve of Grendma’s actions. By killing and attacking savagely in the dead of night, she confirms the monsters on which they are monsters. Reacting in a way similar to those who caused your suffering only brings you to their level and their relations will bring the same fate upon you as they have done to your son.
Of course, this is not to say I would not fall into the same actions. Upon seeing the slaughter of my child, the miracle I made torn apart by honorable, courageous men who claim to be of cleaner slate than I. My hatred and wrath knows no bounds as their swift and fear-filled death will not resonate a message to the others. I seek not the death of the body or spirit as so much the death of their soul, for one who disregards others need to be put into the level of beasts. The savage destruction of a village or town cannot quench the fire of my heart as the tragedy of one cannot and should not be drowned by cheers and adulations for the lessons of death will return and crush us. A life of man takes nine months to sire, and much more time is invested in its growth and development, yet a can life disappear in the blink of an eye. So with death, I seek learning from it as the departed no longer can.
Mohandas Gandhi is often being referred to as “mahatma”, or the great soul. Why other political leaders who led their nations to independence aren’t granted the same title? Well, because people do understand that violence and revenge do not equal to justice despite they can be used by great leaders to serve the same purpose. Revenge is a double blade that comes with a price for using it, a man’s soul gets deprived because of revenge regardless of how just the purpose seems. Gandhi deserves his title because he did not let the anger of avenging British rulers to contaminate his soul, thus he becomes a great soul, pure of status yet able to achieve goals that mortal souls can only do so by paying the price of compromising their spirits. Now comes the difference between revenge and justice, the former serves the purpose of latter with an intention or self-interests. We say Grendma AVENGES her son instead of justice has been done in killing humans because we clearly understand that there is a motivation involved in Grendma’s action. On the other hand, it would be odd if people say laws take revenge for victims of crimes because laws have neither interest to gain nor hatred to relief through punishing the criminals.
Our high school has nearly 4000 students and assuming I am only looking for best friends among students of my own grade, which is around 1000 students, it would be a difficult feat (especially since we only get four years and so much school stuff to worry about) to talk to and hang out with all of them and then decide who’s going to become my best friend. Luckily, I found my friend group not through achieving such daunting social feat but because I gravitated toward people who seem to share more similarities with me. I didn’t know I have already chose for myself the moral, social values I wanted in the box the moment I decided who I want to become friends with, but instead, I came to realize this fact after seeing how much my friends changed me and how I influenced them in return. I aligned the moral values I share with my family, friends and society into the box along with a sturdy stone of faith that holds firm of the box and things inside. There are still plenty of spaces left in the box, waiting to be filled with more things that will become a part of me in the future. Instead of thinking what I want to put in the box, I let my heart decides what it wants.
It’s tempting to follow my intuition when making decisions since it saves all the work of making a judgment or evaluating a view, and from my experiences it is usually a good idea to follow it.
What made me decide to choose Chicken burrito over Fajita style Torta at BajaFresh?
Why did I decide that the Beatles beats Bieber?
Why I chose to preorder Battlefield 3 instead of MW3?
Since those questions do not have wrong answers (except the second question), the best option is to follow my heart because only it can tell me my own right answers. The questions that my heart deals with is rather light hearted and insignificant in their nature, however, following intuition is not necessary the best strategy when answering questions relating to moral values we deal with in the society. While reading Beowulf many of us might feel delightful upon reading Beowulf killing Grendma, however as I carefully consider the scene once again, it is just like what Mr. Feraco said: it really becomes difficult to feel cheerful for what the hero has done. I am blinded by my own intuition upon reading this heroic scene as my emotions are bonded with and manipulated by the storyteller, and thus my intuition failed me in this case. Intuition has its limit as it lacks the ability more complicated issues that involve logic. For example, the question about whether revenge is “good” or “evil” seems like a question can be answered based on intuition upon a glance. However, when we really started to answer this question we make our choice base on how we look at vengeance on our own moral scales, which definitely involves making careful judgment. Even though I am inclined to trust my heart more often, yet the reality is rather harsh, often times I have to rely on critical thinking based judging more than I wanted.
Well, at least my heart helped me writing this blog, trusting my heart doesn’t seem that bad after all.
You should always trust your heart, your heart will always tell you what you want or desire.
Gandhi was a really big man, as in his heart. He refused to give into the low life quality of revenge and violence because he believed that the morally righteous way will eventually manifest itself no matter what.
Also, I agree with trusting your heart and your instincts. You can't go wrong with trusting your initial instincts most of the tiem.
Hey Yoitsu, I don't see revenge as a hard moral issue. In the case of any bully, the aggressor seeks a reaction from the victims. With a quest for revenge comes the alteration of your life, your focus and purpose becomes them ultimately making you lose. Instead true payback is to move past the tragedy and to live a stronger, happier existence for those who are unable to .
Someone is hurting my child. My immediate thoughts are to defend the child – to do whatever it takes to prevent him/her from hurting. If hurting the other person is what it takes to stop it, then I’m inclined to do so. My actions are out of concern but I don’t think I could help but let anger seep out and use it as a drive. The thoughts are ugly, and I’m not proud, but I’d rather have ugly thoughts than an ugly situation for the child. As long as I’m able to stop it, it’s okay.
So I let the person flee. I don’t chase, but I turn back and tend to the child. It’s more of a need based that is fueled by emotion.
My emotions completely overhaul what I would do when I play a scenario akin to Grendma’s, where a loved one is being hurt and I can’t do anything to stop it. I want to inflict pain on that person. I want revenge because I feel pain. Something valuable to me has been taken away and I can never get it back. Even though it’s not possible, I want reparation for something that cannot be repaid. It’s extremely selfish of me, but I want to let them know that this is how hurt I am and this is what it feels like.
But the pain will still be there after.
Had this scenario happened to me – had I been the one at the hands of death and my child I would not want them to avenge me. I would want them to move on because everyone loses. They are dedicating there life to my dead memory when they don’t owe me anything. It would be a harmful expenditure of life. Nobody wins that way. I want them to live their lives out in happiness and not in anger. Even though being selfish is how I want to respond, I hope that my child would be strong enough to be selfless.
I enjoyed the post and read it while agreeing with most of what you said. Good Job!
As I read through the introduction to this blog, I kept thinking back to one of the statements on our philosophical baselines.
The baseline reads, “Some acts are too terrible to be forgiven.”
Revenge stems from an inability to forgive. In a way, revenge is the quick and dirty way to achieve closure. If you suffer because of someone else, they should also suffer as well to make things even, right? But what kind of way to live life is that? That’s ridiculous. Our whole race is based on inequalities. We don’t ask Usain Bolt to slow down just so we can keep up. We never asked Albert Einstein to stop cranking out theories so we could actually understand our math and science textbooks. And we certainly have never asked Steve Jobs to stop coming out with pieces of elegant engineering.
I know the connection appears rather weak. Pain and suffering seem to have little to do with the talents and accomplishments of others, right?
To be honest, I’m not so sure about that. Both are founded on the idea of equality. And it’s this idea that transcends man made problems and situations. I also know that this tastes like a watered down, overly simplified version of revenge but there’s not much I can do to remedy that. I just ask that you try and keep an open mind.
On July 22nd, 2011 Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in what is the largest massacre in modern history. He committed these atrocities in Norway. How convenient. Norway’s longest prison sentence is 21 years and most convicts are up for parole after only a few years. There is however, a provision that allows for a convict to be held for up to 30 years but it has never been used before. What is Norway to do?
Even for such a situation, Norway and the EU (European Union) have upheld their faith in their more lenient prison systems. And they damn well have reason to. Norway’s imprisonment rate is one the tenth that of the “land of the free” (U.S.) and only 20% (ours is 60%) of convicts return to prison within two years.
Now I understand there’s a reason why the English language has the word “Revenge” and why it has the word “Justice” - to most, there’s a clear distinction between the two. One comes off the tongue with bitterness and a despicable aura, while the other comes off with holy righteousness. But really, what is the difference? They both provide one thing and one thing only – closure. Are we to permanently damage the lives of those who have wronged us? Or is it time that we move past the intensity of the moment and be the bigger man/woman?
Wow a maximum of 30 years for killing 77 people I don't think 30 years would satisfy someones vengeance.
I like how you stated that revenge comes from the inability to forgive because I completely relate to that. I also think it comes from the inability to forget too. I admire how you had statistics to go with your post. Thank you!
Your last paragraph makes an good point; there really isn't a clear line between revenge and justice, yet the connotations are so different. Good Job!
Eddie, I believe it is more of a trust issue. Yes, the consequence of imprisoning them is to say, "You are not fit to live within normal society, we are tossing all you scumbags together." But it is that, we take the worst we can convict and move them to learn, organize, and battle each other. Within those concrete walls where crime is rampant and where their hierarchy rules. While we remove them from sight, we also gave them a base to strike us from.
It is important to factor in pain when it comes to revenge or vengeance or anything of that matter. Consider the amount of physiological damage one goes though in the after math. For example rape, wincing to every touch or movement is just one thing, but how about the emotional pain. And yes, pain varies from person to person, as well as the reaction to the action. If we think about a 5 year old and his favorite toy, and the action of taking it away, he will cry until he gets it back. Surely he will remember to be mad at the taker as well as avoid their presence. But as time progresses, so does the child. We grow into teenagers, where, we seem more clever and irrational about situations and how to handle it. Being seen as weak is almost inacceptable, so we do everything we can to show that we are strong.
I talked to a classmate I met, and he mentioned getting into a fight recently. Being a person of curiosity and concern, I asked what the reason was. I wanted to know WHY? He told me because another boy called him a pussy (for a lack of a better word). I’m guessing things escalated and an argument turned into a full fist fight. But I continue to sit here and wonder why one reacts that way. Why do we react when we should act? Pride, I believe is the right word here, but that still didn’t seem like a good enough excuse to punch a boy down.
So I look at an even bigger scenario, thinking about friendships, my friendships for instance. Friendships are more complex than anything. My best friend knows to right words to break me or lift me up. And she also doesn’t know everything about me; that’s for another story, hence, vulnerability. I remember we got in an argument about something we both look back on as silly, but still important. She told me things she knew would hurt and I reacted out of anger. I said things I was ashamed that I admitted, because well, it wasn’t the right time. So why did I say it? Denial! I refused to listen to the words she spat out, knowing it was all true, because I didn’t want to believe it. Perfection is truly a lie, but one always seems to aim for it. Faulty, I thought my efforts were perfect and I didn’t need to work on our friendship and she did. Denial! Denial! Denial! But as our anger became a calm environment, we listened and talked things through. Why was I ashamed to admit I was hurt? Why did me being ashamed lead to an outburst reaction?
Revenge can go deeper in meaning. From cheating to broken relationships, to jealously, to death. But we can never forget that the reaction may come from pain. Concluding so, each and every one of us are different from the other. The character we are determines our actions. Whether we taking things in for karma to handle, or we take things into our own hands just shows how strong/weak one can be.
I believe in revenge.
I am not saying that I am the one who will be seeking revenge or that I am the person who will avenge someone. I just simply believe in revenge.
It is natural. Revenge is second nature to us as humans (and monsters). We believe in fairness and pushing others down to make ourselves feel better. At a basic level, isn’t that what revenge really is? Yes, an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind, but we would rather be blind and have our enemies blind as well.
I could imagine Grendma before my eyes trying to finding the only way to cope with her son’s death was by avenging him, I felt for her. It made me terrified that a mother must deal with her son’s death, of which was committed in such a dark, hateful way. I became mad seeing Beowulf going after her for avenging her son. She was the person I was rooting for in the fight, not Beowulf.
Overall, Grendma’s actions made me proud. Although, Beowulf ends up killing her, his victory was not handed to him. Grendma was able to show him that she was a force to be reckoned with, that he was not going to just get away with killing her son that easily. Maybe that’s what revenge is really about. By just showing that you are not going to let them off the hook, could be all the revenge necessary. Showing them that their actions hurt someone, affected someone, and ripped at someone’s heart is revenge in itself. Perhaps that could be the loophole in Ghandi’s quote. Either way, my instinct when reading the passage was that Grendma did the right thing.
For this reason, I also feel emotional towards Grendma, because she did something I cannot do.
If someone were to hurt my family, I would want something VERY bad to happen to them. What right do they have to hurt my loved ones?
I would like to say I would get back at them
I would like to say I would make them feel pain.
I would like to say I would make sure they would feel what it was like to have a loved one hurt.
…Just like Grendma did.
But unfortunately (and fortunately because I am not too sure if I would enjoy being a monster), I am not Grendma. I could not avenge a loved one, past a certain point. I am too much of a peace maker. I am good at finding a common ground. Somewhere, where both sides are brought to justice. I do not like that this is my way of “revenge”, but just like going after her son’s killer was Grendma’s instinct, this is mine.
My final reason for sympathizing with Grendma is what she did is something we do every day. Not us ourselves, but as citizens of the United States of America, when our nation goes to war, we are a part of the deaths and murders and killings. Why do we go to war? For many reasons, but at a basic level, we are just seeking revenge on another territory. How can we possibly accuse Grendma of committing a horrible sin, when we have troops in other countries all the time killing people because they are on the “other” side.
Revenge is natural. If we wanted peace, we could have had it by now.
wow, he's right that is a good line....but humanity as a whole does'nt want peace....we're a violent, war hungry race that thrives off of it....dark way to look at it but it's the truth.
I literally picked a random post and it so happened to be yours haha. I believe that you are correct, we must not deny that we feel Revenge. It is natural, a part of human nature. It is in our nature not to be peaceful.
Raven Claw for life. Throw it up!
Awww. Thanks peepsicles for your comments. It means a lot. And yes Gabriel, I am doing the claw. Ravenclaw all the way.
I find it really interesting that you believe in revenge, yet you don't think that you could ever commit it yourself. I like your last line as well. Good job!
revenge is in our human nature. without it people could get away with whatever they want. good post i enjoyed reading it!
As much as I'd like to say that I'm the bigger person and I wouldn't murder to avenge the killer of my loved ones, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't act the way Grendel's mother did. My family and friends mean a lot to me and I would hate to see them hurt… or dead. I don't believe that resorting to violence for revenge is the right thing to do. It's against my morals. However, if I was put in a situation like that it's highly possible that murder is what I would be driven to do. I'm not proud of this thought. I'm not a violent person and it's scary to think that under certain circumstances, I can become a vicious person.
If I was murdered, I would hope that my loved ones would grieve and move on. There's no point in having them become involved in such a messy situation. First of all, it's not right to kill. Secondly, I would hate to see them sink down to the level of my murderer by attempting to kill. Whatever reason the murderer had to kill me, it was between me and him/her – not my loved ones. It's not their fight and that is why I would prefer that they moved on. They shouldn't burden their lives with a conflict that initially had nothing to do with them. Even if they did decide to avenge my death, they would be getting themselves involved in something much more difficult to deal with than grieving for the loss of someone.
The justice system can only do so much. Their job is to punish criminals for their wrongdoings. They can't change the past. What's done is done. That's why the families of victims remain affected even after justice has run its course. No matter how many years of prison the criminal is sentenced to, the families of the victims will still hold the burden of having lost a loved one.
The thought of revenge is soothing to some people because they believe that making their enemy go through what they have gone through will comfort them. Revenge never ends well. The point of it is to inflict pain upon another and doing this usually makes the situation worse. It can bring out the worst in people and that is why I believe that revenge is bad.
Hello Riona, I understand the moral conflicts involved when dealing with revenge, it is an unpleasant thing to even think about. I definitely agree with you that revenge does bring out the worst side of a person as it forces the person to twist his/her moral values.
I agree, I can relate because my family and friends are important to me too. I admire your honesty.
I completely agree; I would never want my loved ones to be involved in something so messy as seeking revenge for my death.
I honestly think hardly anyone wants those they left behind to do something like that. But then again, maybe they don't want to be forgotten. Who knows....
I agree..... much harder to be the bigger person when you're actually put into that position!
And yet, I would hate for my loved ones to continue grieving after I am gone. I'd want them to live their lives to the fullest.
Though I wouldn't be entirely honest if I didn't add that I would...stilllll feel a twinge of neglect.
I guess I'm just scared to be forgotten.
I don’t think revenge, from any degree, can be a good thing. It does not undo bad things, nor does it create anything positive. Revenge, in my opinion, is what people do to satisfy or quench our thirst for justice. Revenge, at its roots, stems from the victim’s desire to make the culprit suffer for his or her bad deeds. That’s all it is. However, while seeking revenge is not necessarily morally righteous, sometimes it cannot be suppressed. This is one of the reasons why war exists.
Take, for example, the attacks on America during 9/11. Terrorists flew our own planes into our own buildings, and took thousands of innocent lives with them. Not only that, but they left many scars on so many. Such a terrible crime could only result in one thing: revenge. It was what most everyone wanted; people were willing to have bloodshed for justice. President Bush soon afterwards declared war on Afghanistan. This was the ultimate sign that the U.S. would have its revenge. Furthermore, Bush’s approval ratings even rose tremendously after he declared war, meaning that revenge lies within almost all people. Going to war didn’t bring back those who died, and it even resulted in more American lives getting killed in war. In addition, many other innocent lives on the other side died as well. This just shows how ugly human nature can get since throughout history, people have been seeking revenge since the origins of man.
If I were in Grendel’s mother’s place, I would feel both distraught and infuriated. If I was forced to watch someone violently end my child’s life, regardless if he or she deserved it or not, it would definitely make me sick. Having your child killed is probably even worse than having yourself killed because you know that your child cannot have possible done more bad deeds in his or her life than you have, and your child is your creation and one of your life’s biggest creations you can ever make. In the place of Grendel’s mother, I would have probably sought revenge and make Grendel’s killer, Beowulf, endure the same suffering, if not worse.
I agree with you (:
great example you used about 9/11
But what if you're not acting on revenge? What if you just want the person to feel what you felt because you don't think it's fair? And what if you just want to take control of karma and do to them what they did to you?
And you're right, going to war didn't bring back the innocent people that died. But how weak and vulnerable would America look in the eyes of other countries if we knew who did it and didn't do anything about it?
I agree with some of what you said. Good job.
Hate. Blame. Revenge. Success? Knowledge. A process I see in a nutshell of what people have when they lose their loved ones, consider something being unfair, or find a need to lash out anger. Spiderman, the movie, provides great examples with the ideas of revenge and hate. Firstly, if I was a parent and I just died I would not want my child to seek revenge. In Spiderman, Peter Parker seeks revenge for his uncle, thus killing the man that supposedly killed his uncle. However, it is not until the third installment that Parker finds out that he killed the wrong person. By trying to seek revenge Parker takes an innocent life that did not harm him. Even in the third installment, Parker tries to seek revenge again and, as a result, he lets power consume him and the hero he was once now turned into a power hungry egotistic person. Luckily he learns that to forgive is better than to attempt to take lives. I want my child to move on. Forgive and forget, because the idea of revenge is like a smoker or drug addict trying to stop. They must not think about what they are trying to have or else it will occupy their minds for a majority of their life. Instead of going through the process, he/she can go straight to knowledge and avoid the trouble revenge provides.
The idea of revenge being “bad” or “good” varies among people. Where they come from, what they have experienced, and even what they have learned depends. To me, revenge is a “bad” idea. However, I have not experienced something where I want to make sure the person that hurt me is in a state that I am satisfied. Humans want to cause more pain, because they want to feel satisfied. Regardless of how long they feel satisfied, they mainly want to get even to get the feeling of conquest and happiness. This is why revenge is so “seductive” as well. The idea of revenge is like an ‘easy way out’ almost. It supplies a quicker alternative than to forgiveness. It is hard to forgive especially when you feel emotional or mental pain from a being that deliberately caused it. Also, I think when we are young, we are molded into thinking that being fair is good and that the world is fair. When we actually experience the fact that something is not fair, it is then we discover that revenge is not so bad.
Injustice can only be numbed by punishment; it cannot be eliminated by punishment. 67% of people who went to jail go back or gets charged with a new crime. This is again based on each individual’s circumstances. Everybody is on a different scale when it comes to life. The people who live in Los Angeles probably have different lifestyles from those who live in Detroit. As a result we probably have different ideas and opinions on many subjects. I do not think I can trust my views, heart, and ideas. I have not experienced enough negativity in life to desire a harsh revenge or forgiveness. I have experienced, what I consider to be, minor situations and problems, but nothing that has made me desire to kill via revenge. I will still have to grow and learn, until I trust my current views, ideas, and heart.
I agree, revenge is a "bad" idea. I mean in the concept of shedding blood for the sake of having them feel pain because you did. I think that revenge is just a one sided phrase that keeps justice from being reached; in the sense that there is not justification if someone has to be sacrificed. Good job!
There is a point in which all humans will snap. Whether it be a murderer holding your child at gunpoint or seeing the corpse of your loving spouse, there is something that will set you off. Anger clouds our better judgments and our instincts tell us to take revenge. This is true to some extent for all human beings. While many try to justify their actions as a preemptive strike against future wrong doing, the reality is that most revenge is done from blind anger, feeding the “eye for an eye” mentality.
There are always two sides to the story. There is the story of the traditional protagonist who seems to be pure and just. She or he carries out his actions without any fear of punishment because he feels that “God” or “good” is on his or her side. Then there is the side of the “villain”. This character is always portrayed as evil and seemingly has no reason for sowing destruction. In the case of Grendel at first glance, we see a demented monster that destroys the joy of other human beings, terrorizing a land for years. Only when we dig deeper do we see an exiled being removed from all happiness and company. It is only natural that he would get frustrated and snap at some point.
Revenge can be portrayed as a good thing, necessary for resetting the natural order of things. Beowulf kills Grendel, the monster terrorizing the rule of Hrothgar. Revenge can be portrayed as a horrible thing meant to create pain and devastation. Grendma kills one of King Hrothgar’s most beloved advisors and rips his body apart. It matters ultimately on the bias of the writer. Storytelling can never be an objective art; after all there must be a good and there must be an evil.
I wish that I have lived my life free of anger, always looking for peaceful solutions to problems. However, this would be a lie. Several times, I have responded with anger. On countless occasions, the only thing on my mind was revenge. Therefore I wish to better understand both sides, examining carefully instead of angrily acting. After all, no amount of punishment can undo the past.
There is definitely a snapping point for all people. Just look at the many insanity asylums around the world. Also, I completely agree that revenge can also be somewhat of a good thing because it can teach the culprit something, even if it is how it feels to be victimized. There are always 2 sides to a story since it takes more than one to cause and argument.
I really enjoyed reading your first paragraph. It showed that we don't essentially have control of our feelings and actions sometimes because our emotions take over. Good job.
I agree with you that there are two side to revenge. Revenge justification ultimately depends on the situation. I also like your first paragraph about snapping when the situation requires it. Overall, good job!
Throughout our lives we are confronted with situations that make us feel betrayed, dooped, or hurt in some way; and the only thing we want to do is get revenge. This natural feeling of anger and the belief that something equal or 10 times as worse must befall the one responsible is almost always more than we would ever think to do in reality thanks to either our own morals or fear of persecution from society.However, just because we don't act on our feelings doesn't remove the fact that we intended or hoped to do so. Does intent make us "bad"? or simply human. I do believe that my judgment is trustworthy enough to follow in these situations, but then again my idea on getting revenge for extremely evil crimes such as murder...but I'll get to that lster. Now, do I believe that Grendels mother had the right to berserk and try to get revenge for the murder of her son? Well she certainly had the right to be angry, but not the right to go out and attempt ro murder Beowolf for that would'nt make her any better than him.
Now if a time does come where someone does kill my parents or some other member of my familyand I have the ability to easily find and reach this person than I may throw caution and reason to the wind and go after them. Now my ideas on revenge for this subject are in some ways...kind of dark. You see I believe that simply killing someone accomplishes nothing, because you can't learn a lesson if you're dead; however you can teach a living man a lesson...you can punish him. I would want the murderer of my parents to feel the same pain that I would have felt...I would make him suffer....then I would leave him with a remiinder of his sins so that he never forgets me even in his golden years. I know most people would say thats very dark and maybe even sick, but I would not let such a thung as a familial murder go unpunished...an eye for an eye (in my own fashion).
If I was unjustly murdered than I would'nt want someone else stooping so low as to murder in vengence for me, but I do believe in getting fulll justice for your crimes whether dealt wih personally or with the help of the courts. Though even if somebody did'nt avenge me life always seems to have a way of sorting out payback where it is necessary. However I don't believe our justice system does what it's made to do. It simply quarantines that member of society and hopes that he gets scared into rehabilitation when he could easily serve his time and then go commit whatever crimes they wish as soon as they're free. Revenge and justice are very similar, but also bery far apart and must be judged on how they are accomplished...nothing more
I am not one who holds grudges. When I get enraged with someone or something, I usually just sleep it off. My friends and family would tell me about people they encounter who are complete jerks to them but the most I do is comfort them. I do not seek revenge for my loved ones. I support and try to understand what they are going through but I personally do not see that it is my responsibility to get revenge for them. This is mostly because I do not think I can do much about the situation.
If someone were to kill my grandma, who I love very much, I would definitely hate that person but I do not think I would kill murderer. Nothing positive would come from me killing someone who hurt my grandma. The only thing that WILL happen is me going to jail for committing murder. Even if I do commit murder, I think that I will be just as bad as the person that murdered my grandma. I am not any better than the person who committed a great sin if I commit the same sin. I think she would want me to just move on and look forward to each day ahead of me. Grandma would not want me to mess up my life just because I took revenge for her. If I were she, I would not want my children, grandchildren or anyone for that matter, to take revenge for me. I do not want them to just throw away their life like that.
Now, I am not saying that someone should not take revenge but it really depends on the situation. In fourth grade there were these two girls who would constantly steal my cute lead pencils from my desk during recess. I had no proof but it just seems suspicious that they would have the same pencil that I got half way around the world. Scared to tell my teacher, I just “solved” the problem myself and stole the pencils back. The two girls saw me with the pencils and they claimed that I stole it from them. Being such a terrible liar at the time, I just gave MY pencils to them. In this situation, yes, it is considered “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” However, I did not feel like I did anything wrong though because I was just taking back what was rightfully mine.
There are many situations where I think that it is right to take revenge but when it involves people getting physically hurt, I’ll pass.
Hi Esther, I agree with you that justifying revenge depends on the situation. I too would not resort to using physical harm as revenge. Overall, Good Job!
Revenge is a very powerful motivator; many stories have the main character seeking payback, such as The Count of Monte Cristo or Hamlet for example, because it makes them more relatable. Most people can understand the compelling urge for revenge, the need to right the past and give the perpetrators what they deserve. But few actually act on it, whether out of fear or because of a strong set of ethics.
Imagining someone is hurting my family, the people that I love and care for so much generates a pent up anger. To know that person enjoys it is just plain infuriating. I’m so thankful that I have not been put in that situation. I feel like lashing out, inflicting pain on those who have done the same to me. At first it seems as if it’s the right thing to do; this person wronged me, I should strike back. I want to get even, but I probably won’t. Rage causes people to make quick decisions, and from experience those choices are usually the wrong ones and will come back to bite.
If I can avoid making rash decisions from that initial fury and really think about what is best, then I probably won’t be out hunting for vengeance; revenge can consume a person and ruin their life. But that does not mean I will forgive. And if it were me who was killed, I would want my kids to think the same way. I would not want them to carry such a heavy burden, spending all of their time plotting to avenge me, filled with hatred and anger. I would hope that they could move past it, take time to mourn my death of course, but still be able to enjoy life and live long and happy ones.
I like how you clarified the difference between making rash decisions and making logical ones. I think its very important to remember that revenge is usually acted out on the spot. Good post!
Hey Bryan! I totally agree! Revenge shouldn't consume your every thought. Being angry but thinking rationally can save a lot of headache. Good post!
Hey! Bryan. I agree with you. Nothing can consume your every thought. We have to try to use rational thinking. It will be easier.
Back in my younger days, I remember the days in which constant bickering and fighting between my brother and I defined our relationship. Ah yes, these were the days where an argument as small as who would take the last chicken nugget on a plate could spark a monstrous conflict between us. There was only one true mediator that was able to resolve the conflict, my mother. Within each and every fight, my mother and her ultimate wisdom looked upon me to be the “understanding child.” So it ended up that I was the one that had to responsibly lose every fight I had with my brother. Justice, eh? Well, ultimately, I believe it was justice. In the end, I was the better person. Sure, at times, revenge appeared like a bright red button, ready to be pushed. Yet, I resisted the temptation. It seems that Gandhi was right in saying, “We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party.” In the end, a gigantic fun slide is to Ferris wheel as justice is to revenge. One eventually ends and the other continues on in a constant cycle, yet both are part of one wacky carnival.
Revenge is a double-edged sword. In terms of benefits, achieving revenge does grant some satisfaction. Sometimes some people view revenge as a tool that helps to achieve justice, keeping the balance of fairness. In my opinion, revenge is more of an endless tug-of-war happening between to enemies. Other than a sliver of satisfaction, there are not many benefits I see in revenge. Now, the negative consequences of revenge are more numerous. Acquiring revenge requires sacrificing some valued morals. Firstly, the avenger has to sink to the same pitiful level as the person that initially caused pain. Secondly, the satisfaction from revenge is almost always unfulfilling. A human searching for complete satisfaction from revenge is like a dog trying to chase a red dot of light emitted by a laser pen. In the end, when it comes to revenge, it does not payoff in the long run.
In Grendma’s shoes, I would have done the same thing. In this situation, there is no mediator. Instinctively, revenge would be my natural reaction. I believe the validity of revenge depends on the situation. In this case, Grendma’s one and only son was taken from her, justifying her means of revenge. In truth, the image of Grendma as a mother pops out at me more than the image of her as a murderer. She is fulfilling her duties as Grendel’s guardian and parent. Grendma’s reaction is like that of a mother bear and her cubs, a natural one. In my opinion, humans come equipped with this built in revenge instinct because it is nature’s way of providing an equal and opposite reaction to an initial harmful action. Revenge is like a natural defense system, yet in the end everyone loses. As Confucius wisely put it, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
I also have a brother and remember those days when fairness was so important. Also, interesting metaphor comparing revenge to tug-of-war. Good job!
I agree with your opinion about revenge being unfulfilling and the comparison of "A human searching for complete satisfaction from revenge is like a dog trying to chase a red dot of light emitted by a laser pen."
Yeah, I agree with you about revenge, it is really 2 sided and could sometimes does damage to yourself.
When I was younger, I had some pretty significant anger issues. These bursts of anger weren’t an everyday occurrence, but when they did happen, I was a completely different person. I never hurt anyone but things that I’d say and the things that I’d do in my fits of rage were pretty extreme, especially when you consider how young I was. I was selfish and inconsiderate. I wanted things to be done my way and it would upset me when other people got in the way of that.
As I grew older, I eventually learned to control my temper and my emotions. At this point of my life, I think that I am a relatively calm and understanding person. I find it extremely difficult for me to stay mad at anyone for an extended period of time. Even in the rare case that someone manages to truly upset me, I don’t act on it. I’d like to believe that I’m completely rid of the anger issues I had as a child and that I’ve become a better person because of that, but part of me fears that it might still reside deep within me.
If someone killed one of my loved ones, my instinct would be to retaliate, to seek revenge. It’s obviously a different situation from the ones in my childhood. I would be retaliating in order to protect and avenge the people near and dear to me instead of simply lashing out in anger. But would that even give my actions any more justification? Yes I’d be acting out of love. Yes I’d be fulfilling an obligation to protect loved ones but murder is still murder any way you look at it.
What makes killing a killer any more justifiable than killing an innocent person? We all feel joy and pain. We all have mothers and fathers as well as hopes and dreams. We’ve all loved and been loved. We’re human. We’ve been given the gift of life and no one deserves to have that forcibly taken from them.
By seeking revenge through murder, I could potentially be killing off a loving and caring father or a devoted husband. I could potentially be taking away someone else’s loved one, and I simply don’t think that I could live with that.
I think the right way to deal with revenge would be to simply move on, but rarely do things actually work out that way. When given the time to think about it, forgiveness seems like the more rational decision to make. But we don’t always stop to think. We don’t always plan out the consequences of our actions. “An eye for an eye”. It’s human nature. We seek vengeance. We hurt others. I’m not proud of it, but in the heat of the moment, I’d probably do the same. I’m weak.
I can’t imagine the amount of strength it would take to stare into the eyes of someone who had murdered your loved ones, and walk away. To forgive, but never forget.
Mhm indeed. It totally different when the time comes and you're involved in the situation. We may like think we'll do one thing, but we actually do a different thing. It might be that one spur of moment where you act irrationally and you lose your composure because someone dear to you is gone.
Wow, you honestly don't seem like someone who would have anger problems!
I was a lot more...volatile as a child, too. But now I find it harder to get mad at people; instead, I think I've become disappointed because I always expect better from them.
As for the last paragraph--I think for many of us, it'd take not only strength, but a pair of shackles and cuffs to keep us from flying at the murderer in a fit of rage! Or maybe that's just me...
Anyways ,great post!
Justice. Something that makes me think of equality and fairness. Something that makes everything right.
Honor. A feeling of pride and a sense of good doings.
Revenge. I think of my idol, Lady Gaga. Bad Romance video. She burns a man to death that bought her against her will and tries to rape her. Now THAT, is revenge.
I absolutely trust my views. They’re mine aren’t they? They obviously have some merit because I’m still alive and kicking so I must be doing something right. Yes, at times I do doubt my views and how I feel about them but 99.9% of the time, I think that my views of things and of people are spot on.
Do I trust my heart? Now that’s just a whole nother story. My heart tells me one thing, and then a second later it tells me to go against what it just told me. My heart at times doesn’t know what it wants. But I as a person who thinks things through and feels and loves, know exactly what I want but my heart gets in the way. My heart has caused me to have a very mish mashed, jumbled, chaotic love life…and yet, I’m very happy with it and where I’m at, at this point in time. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though my heart can lead me astray, I do in fact trust it. I only have one heart…I should trust it, shouldn’t I?
Hmm…my judgment. Uhm…I plead the fifth! Just kidding. Do I really have to talk about this? sigh I don’t exactly have the best judgment. I make plenty of bad decisions within the 24 hour span of a day but I feel that overall I trust my judgment. On certain things though, not so much. I’m an all-over the place kind of person with my feelings and emotions and things like that, if you haven’t already noticed.
If I was in Grendel’s mother’s place, I would feel extreme sadness and anger and definitely defend and seek revenge for my child. My child is my child no matter what and that’s it. End of discussion. Besides, in this scenario I’m a dragon, right? You’re a human. I. Will. End. You.
As always, your voice shines through in your writing and it makes it so fun to read! The part in the end about the dragon made me laugh.
Andrew, you are one of the few people who actually agrees that revenge is a necessary act. I admire your courage, I admire your strong opinion. Our society needs people like you in order to progress, people like me who is always afraid to be different is less likely to make an impact on the society! Good Job Andrew (:
People say violence isn’t the answer. In any case I wouldn’t want my child to take the chance to kill someone to avenge my death. Yes, it was unfair for my child to have to live their lives growing up, motherless, but I think in the end it benefits them. Sure my child might be scarred, might not even understand what it is like to have mother figure, they probably will feel abandoned but killing someone isn’t the answer. I believe in second chances, so I believe that my child should learn to give a second chance to the person who took my life. My child should learn to forgive the person who killed me. I believe that my child should be the bigger person, to forgive them because in the end nothing hurts more than to see someone else be happy. I think that if my killer was to see my child happy then he/she would question why they are, they would be confused, and possibly angry because taking my life didn’t destroy their life.
Forgiving is hard. Apologizing is hard. At the end I’d hope my child would just move forward from my death. To not have to be scarred, to not be burdened by the event the rest of their lives. I’d hope that they had the heart to forgive, and if the murder came up and apologized, to understand that they felt guilty. Understand that the sweetest revenge he/she could give would be guilt. To have that person feel the guilt and be in it the rest of their lives. I understand that my death might be a huge impact on my child’s life but I think that instead of just letting it bring them down, it should strengthen them. I want my child to be strong, to know that my death might have been murder but they shouldn’t stoop to the same level. They should keep moving forward and look into the future knowing that they can’t change the past. I’d want them to live with their lives with no regrets or doubts, to be smart and keep their chin up high.
My child shouldn’t waste their life trying to get revenge. I would want them to be successful to be stronger because of their loss. Everyone has a past that makes them who they are we all have stories to tell. As long as my child knows who they are and not let negative causes shape them to do bad things I will be happy. I don’t want my child to fall into a path of hatred, to focus all their lives to seek the death of one person. In the end the person might have a family too, and if my child did take revenge, they’d have to live with that the rest of their life. I don’t think I could be strong enough to deal with that guilt, so I doubt my child could proudly smile and say they feel good about it. I guess they might feel as if they “got even” but why shed more tears and pain? I think that revenge is a never-ending cycle, because at the end the murders family would want to kill my child and ruin his life. The cycle would never end unless someone learned to forgive, and I’d hope that would be my kid.
People change. I think that’s a well-known fact by now. Especially for those of us who find ourselves stuck in that awkward stage in life between childhood and adulthood. We find ourselves striving to retain the innocence and simplicity of childhood, yet simultaneously trying to achieve the independence and freedom of adulthood. We’re trying to shift from one snapshot of life to another. Or are we? I personally don’t think that there is a “childhood box” and “new box” that you develop, as you grow older. I think that life is the box and that the box itself doesn’t change; the contents within it are the ones that change. It’s similar to the river analogy in Siddhartha : the river is always there, but the contents in it are constantly changing. You’re constantly rearranging the things in your box, adding things, and taking things out.
I’ve often wondered whether I’ve added the right things to my box, or even if I’ve chosen the right things to take out of it. I worry about the decisions I make that put me towards a different course in life, or set me on a slightly altered state of mind and/or morals. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust myself to make these kind of big decisions for me. I’ve often had the mindset that I was a much better person as a child, or even two years ago, than I am now. I have this nagging feeling that I’m on a downhill ride. Before, I was so pure, so innocent. And with every passing day, more grime and dirt seems to be added onto that seemingly white slate that I had to start with. But sometimes I think, where would I be without that grime and dirt? That grime and dirt is my grime and dirt. My combination of grime and dirt is different from that of anyone else. It practically defines who I am today. It’s the result of the many experiences that I have gone through and it’s the knowledge that I’ve gained from not only failure, but also success. So maybe in a way, I appreciate that dirt and grime. After all, what would be the point of living a clean, white life when you have the option of getting your hands dirty trying to get the most out of life?
But when talking about the topic of revenge, I tend to try to stick to a hands-off policy. As mentioned before, I don’t trust myself with big decisions, especially not the kind of decisions where I could possibly affect another person’s life in such a negative way. I usually leave justice up to the natural course of things. I guess you could argue that I’m a huge believer in karma. And with regards to the topic of revenge, I can’t and won’t deny it. They will pay, eventually. It’s just not my right to decide how or when, or even if they should be punished at all. Because as with Grendma’s situation, there are always two sides to a story and if I am involved, I may be too biased or too blinded to be able to see the situation in the other person’s perspective. No, it is not my right to judge someone else’s fate for them. Who’s right is it then? That is something that will probably puzzle many for a long time to come, if not for forever.
The extremely difficult question of why we feel the natural want to seek revenge also arises amidst this discussion. “Why do humans respond to pain by causing more? Why possess such an illogical, needlessly destructive instinct?” I think that this is almost due to natural instinct that we have built within us. I mean, think about it: our bodies naturally heat up above normal body temperature, sometimes even to an almost dangerous and fatal point, just to combat viruses. We call it a fever. Our body calls it self-defense. We naturally combat destruction with more destruction.
But I try to avoid vengeance as best as I can, even if I do have the urge to chase after it until I run it down and feel satisfied. And to follow up on that, I expect no less of those around me if I were to wrongfully murdered or something terrible like that; I wouldn’t expect anyone to avenge for me. Sometimes I don’t even know if I would want my loved ones to mourn for me even after I die. True, it would be nice to know that people are thinking of me even after I am gone, but would I really want them to feel sad every time they think of me? I forgot where or who I heard this from, but I recall being enlightened by a friend who told me about how their grandfather’s funeral. I know it’s strange to be enlightened because of someone’s death, but hear me out on this. She said that her grandfather had specifically told people that he didn’t want them to hold him a funeral after he passed away, but he wanted them to hold a party. Yes, a party. Even more strange, don’t you think? But the explanation is quite simple: he didn’t want his loved ones to feel pain because of him just because he wasn’t with them anymore; he wanted them to celebrate all the times that they had together and celebrate all the great memories they were able to make together. It’s so beautiful, and yet so simple. Embracing the idea of life rather than clinging to the idea of death.
Your view point on death is so interesting--definitely not something I'm used to hearing (reading). One of my friends always jokes around about wanting to be a fly on the wall at her own funeral just to see who would show up to pay their respects. ( It's a pretty out-there thing to joke about, but she does!) It so interesting that you don't want people to mourn for you after you die. It makes sense, honestly. After reading your post, it does seem more appropriate to hold a party instead of a funeral! I had never considered that. I think your post has actually slightly changed my view on death; maybe I want my relatives to have a party!
It sounds weird to say it out loud (or type it, I should say) but it really does make more sense.
Thanks for sharing (: Great post!
I agree with you when you started of the fact that people change. And I also like how you admit you'd rather stay "hands-off" with revenge because you dont like the big decisions--it seems like you actually get yourself pretty well.
I can’t forget the look on her face. It’s been imprinted in my mind since I first saw it.
My mother returned from her final day of Jury Duty. In the past, when she returned home from her final day of this type of civic duty, my mother treated the family to a nice dinner, and would spend the next few weeks reminding herself that she was lucky to be doing laundry, dishes, and other household chores (on top of holding a full-time job) when she could be spending that precious time in a courtroom, listening to two idiots battling it out over a fender-bender. Instead, upon her return home, she walked to her room, sat on the couch, and had a beer…my mom doesn’t drink.
Over time, I was able to decipher the situation. A 25-year-old woman had been returning from a concert with some of her friends when they were in a car accident. The girl, according to witnesses, was thrust out the window from the car and killed instantly. The driver, unknown to the other passengers, was drunk. He was her fiancé. The woman’s parents pressed charges, and that day, he was found guilty.
It was then that my mother told me: “It’s sad that she’s dead, really. What’s worse, though, is that even though her parents won, they lost.”
No words have resonated with me more. Justice was served; so, why couldn’t her family be happy?
Because they want revenge.
I couldn’t understand revenge up until that day. Why focus your energy on hatred? Wasn’t it better to use that time and energy to start the healing process, and start that new chapter of your life?
Just six years ago, my world was composed of beliefs that everything was concrete. Heroes were heroes, villains were villains, and justice was always served. Everything was fair. Anything different would have tasted like vinegar. But with age comes experience—each new story leads to new discoveries, and new lessons. I heard the news reports. I listened to the discussions. I’ve been betrayed, and hurt, to say the least. The experiences mankind lives through are purposefully meant to shape one’s beliefs and form judgment and jurisdiction. They cause us to leave one box, and enter another.
I can’t say my new box is completely defined, nor will it ever be. I will always have new experiences and make decisions that shape my perspective. I may decide to drink one day in the future, just as I may decide not to live in California.
Both seem very unlikely to me right now, but my views may change. Therefore, my box is never permanent.
All it took was a single story—her story. Then came the stories of Elizabeth Olten, Natalee Halloway, Caylee Anthony and Alice Zhang. These stories questioned my beliefs. Didn’t they win the court cases? Shouldn’t they be happy? No. The punishment can never amount to the same level as taking another’s life. The scale will never be balanced.
I have never felt more vengeful. My box is a far cry from where it was before.
Good post. I really enjoyed reading it. It caught my attention. You have a really great way of explaining things where it makes your point of view so much easier to understand. It really helps the reader and makes the piece THAT much more enjoyable.
At first I questioned your idea of revenge when you said the man was found guilty but that was not good enough revenge for the family. But by the end, you convinced me by saying that a punishment does not replace someones life.
So Good job! Thanks for posting.
Yes! All the things are changing as we are growing up. We see the world wider and wider, and we changed more and more.
As the legend goes, Pandora was the first woman made out of clay. Zeus equipped Pandora with a locked box she was told never to open, while the key was given to her husband, Epimetheus. Zeus seeked revenge on Prometheus for allowing people to have fire without asking first and knew that eventually curiosity would get the best of them and the box would be opened. When she couldn't take it any longer, Pandora unlocked the box unleashing Envy, Crime, Hate, Pride, and Disease.
I don’t believe as humans we’re compatible with every single individual on the planet and for that reason we’re placed in sticky situations that result in a quick morality check. Too often our pride gets in the way and we find ourselves at opposites ends of a table where neither person is willing to compromise and thus a fight will be imminent. There will always be that one person you just can’t wrap your finger around, that one person you’ll never really forgive for whatever reason, that one person you’d like to seek revenge on.
But revenge is bittersweet.
Yet it’s so simple. It’s a quick solution that provides you with instant satisfaction, a concept that constantly lures children to accept in compliance. Children are notorious for living in the now while simultaneously seeing life as only black and white. As we grow older our thoughts mature but some things never change.They say that even when you’re old and grey, there’s still a child inside you. Perhaps that’s why even now, we still find adults playing the age old game of revenge.
I love my family and when posed with the hypothetical question of watching them die before my very own eyes, I cringe to think that someone would be so cruel as to commit such a ruthless crime. My instant reaction would be to give them their just desserts, to play the eye for an eye card. Instant satisfaction again would suffice here, right? Wrong. When I think about doing the same deed to this monster just to avenge my family, I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I would never want to resort to this cruel individuals’ level. A little nagging voice in the back of my head tells me it isn’t worth it, that I’m better than that and I should be the bigger person. At the end of the day, what’s done is done and I know my parents would understand. The only thing I can do is look to the future with high hopes and if that means not acting upon my semi evil thoughts, then so be it.
After all, the final item to be unleashed from Pandora’s box was Hope.
...and I definitely have hope.
I like how you use pandora as an example and the definition of revenge as "a quick solution that provides you with instant satisfaction".
I love your post. I have always been a fan of Greek mythology, and relating revenge with Pandora's box was really cool. As for the end of your post, I also have hope too. Thanks for sharing!
Revenge works well in the time of Beowulf but not in modern time. Mr. Feraco said that monsters back then symbolizes sin and to kill the monsters would be to purge the village of sin. So back then revenge is thought of as more of a glorious thing. It means that you have redeem the honor of someone or something that has been befouled. For that reason, Grendel's mother was only doing the right thing, attacking to redeem justice for her son. On the other hand, the story of Romeo and Juliet reminds us revenge back then also means putting the risk of a family line in danger. Lineage and inheritance was greatly important back then yet redemption was fairly just as important.
However, revenge does not work so well in modern society. We are driven away away from revenge today morals but mainly by fear. Fear of the laws and consequences. Unless the action is taken right away, people tend to shrug off their feeling to get even with others. Today, the cause for revenge seems to be more selfish and centered on the individual. I have witness my friends fighting over a couple words spewed out of another person's mouth. Furthermore, I believe that the grief loss of something or someone or the anxiety for revenge would diminish as time goes by. For example, in Up Mr. Fredrickson grief for a long time the loss of his wife and his actions becomes more centered towards the house instead of others but as time goes by, his perception changes and he could let go of his grief.
From person experience, I believe that as time goes by, the urge for revenge lessens. When I was in seventh grade, my house was robbed. I was really furious and could only think of punching or beating the thieves. I would picture what I could do to torment them but as I grew older, I asked myself why? I would picture things from the thieves' point of view and try to come up with the reason why they would rob me. They could be less fortune and has a family to that they need to provide for. It is like in wars, where when you kill someone, you are killing off a member of someone else family and their story. Therefore my thoughts of revenge for the thieves lessen within time. Revenge might work well back in Beowulf's time, where redemption is recognized as heroic and remembrance, but with morals today, revenge is just another definition degrading your character in society.
I agree that revenge isn't as glorified today as it was back then because of the circumstances. As I've said in my blog entry, today the best way of getting revenge is proving how the action only bettered your life. How it's built on your life positively.
Revenge does lessen. As with all things, time really does heal wounds.
I strongly agree with Mohandas Gandhi’s quote, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the whole world blind and toothless.” Revenge is a dangerous state of mind to be in, because logic disappears and wrath takes over. After the wrath is out and the action is done, what was the purpose? Avenging for whatever the reason is does not heal the situation. Take my life for example. This awful girl keyed my car (which was my grandpa’s 2003 Thunderbird until he passed away AND she knew that!). She didn’t just key a line or two into my car, but keyed the B word, underlined it three times, and put two huge explanation points. That is not even the worst part. She used three dozen eggs on my car as well. And HONESTLY, I know I am not an angel, BUT I did not do a single thing to her. She was just jealous that her boyfriend’s family liked me better than her.
Would I love to get even? Helk yes! But, I know that a nonstop battle would rise, I am not the type of person to conflict harm on others, as a Christian it would be wrong, and in the end, the key marks wouldn’t magically disappear from my car by getting even, taking revenge. Also, it wouldn’t take away the mental toll she has caused, but would prove I can partake in childish behavior too. I am better than that. I know I am a nice person, who didn’t deserve that, and I strongly believe in what goes around comes back around in some way shape or form.
In Beowulf, Grendma’s situation is immeasurably worse, because her son dies tragically in front of her. I can understand the pain/anger she felt at that moment, however it was not right to take an innocent mans life. Killing the man does not heal the pain of her lost son or bring him back. It ultimately ends her life. I imagine if my kids saw me die tragically, I wouldn’t want them to avenge me. I would want them to somehow find peace and build a strong bond with God and their family, because avenging doesn’t solve anything. It may be satisfying, but being sufficed from a vengeful action can only last so long.
I actually didn't know anything about that even happening to your car and to you.
Are you okay Caputo? D:
You're such an amazing person. If it were me, I would go and confront the girl.
The things she did to you were pretty bad...
Are you okay now?
Trust: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
Do I TRUST my views? Do I TRUST my heart? Do I TRUST my judgment?
I/ME: I still don’t know my own definition. The definition of myself, I’m still searching for. I mean, I wish I could type my full name into dictionary-dot-com and get something out of it, but honestly, that isn’t going to happen. So I search for myself on my own.
Do I trust MY views? Do I trust MY heart? Do I trust MY judgment?
Views. Currently my views are limited and obscure. I haven’t seen everything, I haven’t gone everywhere, and I haven’t heard everyone else’s voice in this world. So MY views are miniscule compared to those older and more experienced than me. So no, I would not trust my views. Though I do have an opinion on things, I, myself, would not even trust ME on that.
My heart. Physically I do trust my heart. But experience wise, not so much. At this age, with all the hormones and changes, I can feel so happy at one moment then so angry the next. I still can’t tell the difference between what my heart says and what my head thinks; to me it’s all the same. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to tell the difference, but I believe that will come with experience… and good judgment.
Judgment. The ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion. Judgment is a hit and miss with me. With small things, I’m pretty good at sensing the good and bad and weighing it out. But lately, I’ve been breezing right through with my big situations, not really judging the outcome, and shooting through it not exactly paying attention to the decisions I need to make.
My views are in my heart, and my judgment comes from both of these when I put my all into things. Eventually my views will broaden, my heart will soften, and my judgment will come with more wisdom. Yet to gain all these things, I must first go through the fire, pain.
Pain. I've had the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, and none of it had me smiling through the fire. No one, that I know, likes to get hurt, and I don’t blame them. Unfortunately, pain is a part of the process of life, of growth. Sometimes, we go out of control with pain. We can use it to our advantage and make others feel worse and worse. I know because I’ve been through it, and I’ve also done it to people.
When someone hurts me, my initial reaction is to inflict as much pain back into them that they wish they had never hurt me. Revenge. It’s horrible, but I do admit, it had me feeling great sometimes. As humans, our initial response to things is a reaction. Most of the time, when we are reacting to something that’s bad, we want to respond with bad, most of the time we do, even if it’s in our heads. I do think that our response to things are controllable, and can be handled internally before externally. I know many people whose response to their life is great, even though they have gone through the extremes. For me, these people set an example and show me that not everyone is out for revenge.
I really enjoyed your last paragraph and I agree with you!
Satisfaction pulls me in; it engulfs me, leaving me spiteful to anything less than perfection. Revenge then, is only a fragment of satisfaction. From the outside looking in; however, brevity of satisfaction is nugatory when faced with the aftermath of disappointment. Revenge isn’t necessary, but without it, our hearts just somehow seem unsatisfied.
Being the older sister to a younger brother at the tender age of eleven, we fight, we just do not see eye to eye on everything; though I only think it’s common. There is not a day that goes by when one of us can resist the urge to somehow aggravate each other, and that is a major problem. My mother’s daily reminder to play nice has not only become old, but tiring. Still, knowing the consequences we pull pranks, we yell, we scream, until one is left with tears and sometimes, a bloody nose. I can’t help it, I feel as if it’s my duty to seek my revenge when he takes my stuff and is simply being an annoying little brat. Frankly, this is the only time were I see revenge is okay, it’s a love hate relationship and this is what siblings do, we fight, we make up, then we some more. Anywhere else is just wrong and evil.
Since this is my last year in high school, my aunt and uncles are constantly reminding me to make it a memorable one, because “once you’re my age, the only place you wish you can be is in high school”, and I see that as not always being the case. The high school world is fun, though filled nothing but backstabbers and immature little rats roaming and screaming constantly, similar to an infectious disease. Revenge in high school is almost similar to the ones displayed in the real world, scary but it never forgets to come back and bite you on the butt. It’s never over; it’s only preparing itself repeat its course.
Ultimately, I find revenge useless, you’re never actually fulfilled for a long period of time, and it only leaves you wanting more.
I like how you say "I find revenge useless, you’re never actually fulfilled for a long period of time, and it only leaves you wanting more." I agree with it! Good post!
I know that revenge is a topic that has popped up quite frequently in literature and especially movies. However, I never really stopped to think twice about it.. Well, now is the time.
“I don't know who you are, but if you don't let my daughter go, I will find you, I will kill you” -Taken
This quote is from a movie I watched two years ago. To me, it stood apart from all the other lines in the movie because it made me realize how incredible a bond between a parent and a child can be. For those who have watched it, you know that he does indeed end up saving his daughter. But, what if he is unable to? What if that child dies before he gets there? What would he do then? I think he would most definitely revenge her daughter because if he is willing to go all the way to another country just to save her, why would he just let her die in vain? He wouldn't.. because she means a lot to him.
From my experience and from what I have read, there is undoubtedly a special bond between a mother and a child. Now, I am not the healthiest person in the world nor do I have a body in normal condition. I know that.. and my mother knows it too. I can say that I've experienced a lot of pain throughout my life and who else beside my mother would be there to help me through it? No one else. She hasn't thrown me away yet despite my health. After all the stress I've given her, she still loves me. Therefore, I understand Grendel's mother's position. Even if Grendel has brought himself to his very own death, she would still love him. Although, I understand her position, I would not do the same as she has done because “violence does not solve anything.”
“Are you sick? Stomach flu again?” I read the text. I felt happy. Someone noticed my absence at school. Someone cares.
Even though it was just pixels, those words gave me warmth. It was nice and sweet.. That feeling of having someone who cares.
One of my worse fears is to be forgotten, to be completely erased or suddenly be completely unimportant to someone. It hurts to know that you used to mean something to someone and then suddenly lose that sense of value and importance. Even though I do not want my loved ones suffer the weight of vengeance, I do want them to remember me and acknowledge that I was once alive. That would let me feel at ease because I know my memories will continue to live through my loved ones despite my absence.
I love the connection you made with Taken! It's the perfect example for revenge. Great job!
When I read the second half of your post, I thought of this quote.
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”
I felt that you described the need to have someone care about you quite well in your writing. Good Job
P.S. After my parents watched Taken, they wouldn't let me go anywhere by myself for days (you just reminded me).
Revenge is something that comes natural to us. Even though some of us say we don’t believe in it, you know you’re thinking of some way for that person to feel the pain that you felt. A recent example of me wanting revenge on somebody would be last summer. My sister was on an all-star softball team and the coach was a good friend to the family at the time. She had a Saturday night game and I was the team’s scorekeeper. Long story short, the coach’s daughter messed up on a throw to my sister and she missed the ball and the girl was safe. He then publicly humiliated my sister and his daughter in front of both teams and the spectators saying how they weren’t good and how they shouldn’t be on that team. I was furious, actually beyond furious.
Even though I’m not close with my sister, nobody publicly humiliates her like that. I wanted to smack the coach so bad and tell him that he shouldn’t even be coaching because he doesn’t have the right skills. I ended up giving the score book to another parent and walking away to cool down. My mom later pulled my sister out of the game because she didn’t like what the coach had done.
I was taught to always think about my consequences before my actions. In that situation I thought about what would happen if I went over and smacked the coach or cussed him out. I would’ve embarrassed myself, my sister, my family, and their team. I would also be stooping down to the coach’s level. I believe that when people do get revenge on people, such as killing the person who killed their loved one, you aren’t helping the situation. You make it worse, and by doing that you also stoop down to their level and it shows that you aren’t much better than the person that took your loved one’s life.
When it comes to what Grendel’s mom did, I can understand why she did it. She was mad that those people who killed her son and she wanted revenge. I don’t blame her for what she did, and I don’t see her as evil, I just think she took her revenge to the extreme. She didn’t need to take another person’s life because not only will she feel the pain of losing her son, but she will also live with knowing that she killed somebody as revenge.
i agree with you about how by taking we revenge we are "stooping down to their level" but at the same time.. i agree with brandon truong (blog post # 3)
"revenge is beautiful. It’s what makes us ultimately human. All that anger isn’t meant to be harbored in your heart – that could lead you to do even worse things that you initially imagined. For me, having that revenge, in a way, cathartically releases a bit of that burden that I’m going to have to carry."
But those words have a limit to it. In grendma's case...her son was killed.
and im not trying to say that what your coach did was insignificant. yes what he did was wrong. but the intensity, seriousness, cannot be compared with the death of a loved one.
the anger that builds up within you is brought to a whole different level.
revenge merely continues the cycle...but it also breaks it a little bit at the same time by releasing a bit of anger...taking it off your shoulders.
We have been taught our whole lives that revenge is wrong. So we go around saying that we believe it’s wrong and that, like Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the whole world blind and toothless”. We don’t really stop to think of what we would do if we were placed in a situation because, most of the time, our response is a natural human reaction. In a high school fight, after the first punch is thrown, the victim’s natural reaction is to swing back and get revenge. The victim was angry and feeling the moment so he would hit back without thinking of the possibility of getting a punishment. I believe planned revenge is immoral, and if we are given the time to think about the consequences of revenge, we will not put ourselves into that position.
Revenge is a natural human reaction to situations that upset us. We are attracted to the idea of revenge, even after we’ve been told that it’s wrong, simply because we seek fairness. Some people see revenge as good while others view it as a crime. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to whether revenge is good or bad; it depends on how you see the situation. What I would think is “good” revenge may be “bad” to someone else. Take capital crime, for example. A boy is murdered and his family believes the killer should get the death penalty. The family would see this as “good” revenge because they see that as justice being served. Someone who sees is as “bad” revenge would argue that giving the killer the death penalty will not bring their boy back to life and that he should spend time in jail to think of his actions.
I remember saying to someone that if they were to do anything to hurt my grandfather in any way, I’d make them regret it. The look on their face was a look of disbelief. They saw me as someone “who wouldn’t hurt a fly”. Sure, I don’t like to start thinking of revenge at every situation that upsets me, but this is family we’re talking about. When we see someone we care about getting hurt, it is natural to think of revenge because they are dear to us. If I were in Grendel’s mother’s place, I would seek revenge. She has the maternal instinct that wants revenge for those who hurt their blood.
I thought it as interesting how you presented the difference between a planned revenge and one where you didn't have the time to think about it. Also, I liked how you presented both cases with how revenge could be seen as good and bad. I like how open-minded you are about it, yet you stick to your own beliefs, like you did in the last paragraph about how important your family is to you.
When I was small, still in elementary school, I didn’t know anything about revenges. I wasn’t that mature, and didn’t understand the complication in this world. Once, I got into a fight with my friend, like those one where we start pushing each other (When I was still in elementary school, so it not that serious). Somehow, all the sudden, he bites me in the face, and ran away. After I went home, I saw this scar in my face, and I thought about it. I wasn’t appreciated with the result. So I wanted revenge, I went outside his home, and just waited outside, trying to ambush him when he comes out. I waited and waited, and finally he came out. So I jump out, and ambushed him, but I didn’t bite him in the face. Instead I bite him on the arm. However, I am still not happy with the result because arm could be covered by clothes, and my face cannot.
I think I am just like that; biting his arm does not heal my face, so why should I do it? It is kind of satisfaction I gain when I revenge my friend. All it did was wasted some of my time, and hurts my friend. We revenge others, without any benefit to anyone. Revenge is some sort of natural feeling we automatically generates. It is really hard to say whether it is good or bad. However, we do it because we are hurt; therefore we want to hurt others in order to make us feel equal. Using a easy example, if I am offered with 2 cookies, and others are get 3, I would get this kind of unequal feeling. Like revenge, we are not gratified with whatever happened to us; therefore we want others to feel the same.
Decisions are made by ourselves, like whether to revenge or not. I believed in myself. Although I know I made many wrong decisions, I still trusted my heart. I trusted my feelings and judgments. I realize sometimes I regret my decision, but they are unchangeable, so why bother regret? I should just learn from the mistake I made.
When I think of revenge, I see a dark cloud hovering over myself that is just pouring these massive thoughts of vengeance for either me or someone I love/care about. I know that revenge is never the answer to problems; as they only create more and make situations more densely complicated than they should be, but personally I would still continue to do it. Why you might ask? Because it is nature for a human like me to let my emotions run its course. If someone I loved/cared about was in any type of danger, and I had the opportunity to change that course in any kind of way, I would do something knowing that even if I were too late, I could avenge them. Revenge is self-satisfaction and it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they want that satisfaction or are willing and wise enough to let it go in the moment. You never truly really realize your actions until large gaps of time have passed and you have come to a better reasoning.
If I were to ever have a child, I could not bear witness to any moment where my child would feel completely helpless as to whether either of us would be in danger. Just imaging a scenario, picturing a life or death moment for either of us as we bear loosely as these final moments could scar us for eternity. If anything were to have happened to my child, I would seek revenge until my own satisfaction would be settled. To know that even though my child may be taken from me, I can still succumb to that pain and return it to the person responsible. Without a question, that would be my mindset in the moment, on the spot, if something harmful were to have occurred.
Seeing as how justice, honor, and revenge can all stir in one big melting pot, it really makes me think about how everything can co-exist in different places at different times. As a human, I know that my judgment is not perfect, but I feel strong about my choices and my feelings. I let my feelings run who I am because personally that is what I judge myself on, and how I react to people and situations. If I know that I feel a certain way about something but deny it to seek what people think is “right,” then I’m just lying to myself. I cannot let what others define as “Justice,” or “betrayal,” be the definition for me if I know deep down I am lying to myself. So when we see Grendma and how she reacts to her own child’s crucification, can we truly really blame her? And define her as an “evil,” when all she was doing was doing was avenging someone she cared/loved for? People take actions like these because they want their, “justice,” served but as far as we all know, physical satisfaction is all we can succumb to in the process of this due justice.
I like how you defend Gendma's intensions with justice, seeing the other side of her character.
Let's initially consider the emotional aspect of revenge; to be more accurate, let's consider how you would feel if you just found out that, while you travelled away from your house and your family to do whatever, a man is responsible for the slaughter of your entire family. But he did not simply slaughter them, he kills them in the most inhumane way, striking from behind and tearing their hearts apart at the times of vulnerability.
The first, most natural and most instinctive thought that flows in your mind is something in the line of the following :"they destroyed something I loved, now I'm gonna teach those [insert a very offensive word, or expression] who they are messing with!" this thought is accompanied by a sudden feeling of increased strength and generally improved physical abilities. Why? Because your body intends to prepare you for revenge.
Now, let's consider the logical aspect of revenge. Logically speaking, following the rule of "an eye for an eye" does nothing to restore the lost peace; thus, it does not bring about any form of justice. I believe justice, at the broadest and most basic level, brings peace to both sides, and thus makes them more satisfied and happier. Revenge, as I previously stated, does not do so. This is the first logical problem of revenge. The other problem happens when the "avengers" firmly feel, and even believe, that by not avenging their loved ones, they would be disappointed in them, and would not love them any more. First of all, assuming that they are dead (worst kind of damage), then they are simply dead. They do not exist any more. It is as if you try to pay for a hamburger that does not exist at the first place.
In the second logical problem, let's assume that spirits, in fact, exist. Now by spirits, we mean creatures with the highest level of enlightenment and understanding. Thus, if they love you, then they logically want the best situation for you; a situation in which you live a happy and satisfactory life. Knowing that being involved in the process of taking revenge, by no means, is and results in a enjoyable situation, then the spirits would never want you to avenge them.
Now, let's consider how we should respond to the feeling of revenge in real life. I believe that we should forgive, forgive, and forgive. Our peace matters the most, and we should never do to disturb it. Now, does forgiveness mean that the guilty should not pay the price of what he did? Absolutely not. I believe we should note that forgiveness and external justice are distinguished concepts. When we see that an other wise normal person acts so out of character and does something brutal to you, we should seek to help him, not committ what he committed.
That was a very descriptive first paragraph.
For your third paragraph, I, in a way disagree because I don't believe that after this life there's nothing. But then again, it's all based on a person's beliefs.
Overall, good job. I like your post and agree with most of it.
Thanks for your feedback. Just as a side note, I do not believe in the nothingness after life. Don't be misled by what my paragraph implies!
I really like the way you put your ideas together as well as the way your descriptions made them come off the screen.
What would my first thought be if someone killed my loved ones? Of course, get back at them, and for obvious reasons—they took my loved ones away from me, forever. But in-between the moment you think that and the following moment, your conscious always kicks in and depending on the type of person you are, you might or might not act on your first thought. I have not had any of my loved ones be killed, but I imagine it to be worst then tragic because I have thought about my reactions if someone was ever to take my loved ones’ lives away from me. The reason I have thought about it is because of the media; what we see on the TV which includes the news and movies.
As far as revenge goes, I agree with Victor Vazquez. I don’t approve of revenge, but I do understand it. Revenge, to me, is karma by choice of the person on the sideline. However, there is a huge difference between revenge and vengeance. Vengeance is the same as revenge but with justice. I, in some degree, approve of vengeance. If you have seen the movie *The Punisher*, then you would understand what I mean possibly a bit better. In this movie, Frank Castle’s family is murdered while they are on a vacation. The murderers are following the orders of a money launderer whose son was killed by Frank Castle. Basically, the money launderer avenged his son and acted on revenge. However, afterwards, karma hit him back. In the ending of the movie, Frank Castle says, “Revenge is not a valid motive. It is an emotional response.” And that is all it is, an emotional response to that specific sort of pain.
I like how you brought in the aspect of karma. People forget that revenge and vengeance can all lead of an never-ending cycle of pain. I liked your post, good job!
People seek revenge to feel justified, but I believe they lack the proper form of revenge which is why some victims still feel haunted afterward.
Growing up, my sister and I have had our fair share of fights, stealing, and destroying each other in order to feel justified when wronged. If she ripped my drawing, I would color her barbie's hair black with sharpie. If I scratched her, she'd scratch back twice as hard. Same goes with hair pulling. Welcome to a girl's version of a fist fight. This system worked for years, except drawings and barbies changed to clothes and scratching turned into shoving. The reason why this form of revenge worked with us, is simply because we're sisters. We knew we'd get along by the end of the day and whatever argument it was, it'd be forgotten the next morning. Outside the domestic life, people don't get into silly little arguments that sisters do. They steal money, opportunities, or loved ones. In those situations a different approach on revenge is required.
Using an easy high school example, if someone were to "steal" you're boyfriend/girlfriend, stealing something else back wouldn't fill your empty void. It wouldn't make you feel completely justified, because you still don't have your loved one back. My outside-the-domestic-life approach would simply be to be the "bigger person". This term is probably over-used, but it leaves the victim with a longer lasting satisfaction and the wrong-doer with a truly guilty feeling. With the boyfriend/girlfriend stealing example, the one stolen from could move on and make something positive out of the given situation. It leaves the "thief" feeling guilty rather than successful in their steal, which is the best revenge. Not only does it leave a better and positive revenge, but it leaves the one stolen from with a positive effect. Even if it takes a while to get over the person, in the long run it leaves the "thief" feeling haunted with guilt.
Sometimes it takes taking the long route in order to get the best results. People usually resort to direct revenge because it is faster to enact, but the results leave both parties fighting an eye for an eye until both are blind. The other path to revenge takes longer time, but leaves the victim party leading a positive life, and the other shamed with guilt.
As George Herbert, an English poet once said, "Living well is the best revenge."
"Living well is the best revenge."
Totally agreed. I think that putting your time and energy into something that will make your life worse is not helping anybody. But showing that you are stronger than that and moving on is the best thing you can do.
For my older brother’s 8th birthday, we went on a family outing (minus my daddy because he had work) to the L.A. County zoo. My younger brother Andy, who was only four years old at the time, was lagging behind. My older brother demanded to see the snake exhibit first so he zoomed in front of us. My mom ran after him, leaving Andy and I temporarily unsupervised. As I turned around to tell Andy to hurry up, I saw another little boy, who was much larger than me, pushing Andy around. I remember my face burning with rage. How dare he touch my little brother? I screamed at the bully, pushing him out of the way. I obviously wasn’t thinking. That bully could tear me into two if he wanted to but my adrenaline was pumping. Somehow I managed to push the bully to the ground. My arms were shaking.
I’ve never laid hands on anyone outside of my family before that day. In kindergarten, I always received the “certificate of award” for “showing compassion and kindness.” I always tried my best to follow the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.
Maybe I was shaking out of fear. Maybe I was scared of the monster I had turned into in the heat of the moment. The transition was so smooth.
I just wanted to leave. But something inside of me held me back. As I walked away, I wrapped one of my scrawny arms around my little brother, turned around for a final time, glaring intensely at the bully.
That last gesture was unnecessary. But seeing the tears roll down Andy’s plump little cheeks as his big round eyes locked onto his bright red boo boo…that just broke me.
Think before you act. Wise saying…right? Think before I act? Lay hands on my family, I’ll take you on one serious rollercoaster ride.
Hold up…that’s not me…I’m the girl who was recognized for showing compassion and kindness…what that monster really me? is it?
Ironically, I used to bully Andy around all the time. I used to get into fist fights with my older brother. We’d all kick and scratch at each other until my mother broke us up and sent us to time out. When William, my older brother, ate my lollipop, I felt an impulsive need to take away his candy. When Andy drew on my homework, I’d draw on his. When I did something wrong, my brothers found their way to take revenge as well. Revenge seemed like the perfect way to make things “right.”
But why is it that when I saw another person bullying Andy I snapped? How dare he lay hands on my family? Yet… I do it all the time and when I do lash out at my brothers, I’m okay with it.
Maybe it’s because I know the arguments that I have with my family are so insignificant compared to the strength of our relationship. Maybe it’s because I can tell that my brothers don’t mean it when they call me names.
“Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back. “
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
My brother’s insults bounce right off of me. But when a stranger says those same words, I cannot tell whether or not they mean it. I don’t know them well enough. My bond with an outsider is not yet strong enough to absorb the insults.
When I fight with my brothers, I know we would never try to seriously hurt each other. When that bully touched my little brother, I didn’t know how far he’d go. So I stopped it before the bully had a chance cause any more pain.
In contrast to my brothers’ insults bouncing right off of me, just a few words from my family could inflict more pain than anyone else could possibly cause. When they mean it…I take it straight to the center of my heart.
In first grade, my father took me to dance class. I was so happy that he was taking me. The only person I ever want to impress is my daddy. During that short five minute drive to the dance studio, my father asked me one. Simple. Question. “Are you even good at dancing?” Six. Simple. Words. Hurt so much. I’ve never tried so hard to hold in my tears.
My elementary school “rivals” asked me the same thing except instead of using my father’s soothing…curious tone…they filled those words with attitude. Pfft. I just walked away. I didn’t care what they thought about me.
My box…is made out of wall impermeable to those outside my family. Those walls can only be penetrated by my own blood. The wounds my family inflicts scares me deeper than anyone else can because those occur at the center of my heart…inside my box. However, my family can also take curb the pain better than Tylenol. They heal at the center of the pain.
I think I can relate to your family quite a bit, mmn. But, I guess I've never really had to take criticism and insults from people outside my family before...
I guess, I just blend into the background sometimes so people don't even count me as something to tease. Haha!
Silly silly, anyways!
I thought your writing is phenomenal and I really liked your stories. I hope you're okay, and there are no permanent scars on your heart.
I hope you're doing well! :]
I understand how much parents' unintentional comments can hurt us greatly but aren't those comments also the most motivating words in the world since they are spoken by those who care and love us the most?
P.S You are so good at dancing!
Aww, Tina. I totally agree with you when you say that when a stranger says the same exact thing you to, you dont know whether or not they mean it because you don't know them. Maybe that's why we take the words of others we don't know too harshly or guard ourselves around people we are uncomfortable around to avoid causing
Great post :]
Reading your post was really enjoyable because of the outlook it gave me on you, but my favorite part of your post, by far, was the final paragraph. It came alive really vividly.
I’ve started this response multiple times now, and I can’t seem to get past a simple definition.
What is it and what does it mean… to me?
Growing up as an avid fantasy reader, justice was simply the “good guys” winning and the “bad guys” suffering some horrible fate. In my elementary school library most stories were like that; the villain gets punished and forgotten while the hero rises to glory.
I never really took the time to wonder what happened to the villain, or why he or she committed such acts. Sure, some stories wrote background information but I never seriously put myself in their shoes. Looking back, I realize that if I read many of those stories again… I would have a harder time celebrating the victory of the hero. There are so many loopholes in my old books; I’m surprised I never thought of it.
Ironically, I’ve lived my life believing “each person has their own reasons for everything”, but never applied it to literature, heck, to prisoners and criminals. The more I think of these concepts: justice, revenge, honor, and the like… the less bad they become in my eyes. I feel a slight connection, a closer bond to those who are “villains”.
I’m not saying I pity them or think that their punishment is unjust; just, I understand more now. To a certain degree, I understand why our society functions the way it does.
Society works like this in my head:
Someone is suffering, it doesn’t matter what. (Bullying, poverty, mental illnesses, etc.)
They are driven to desperate measures to protect something, or someone.
The said person commits a crime, big or small.
People or someone’s sense of security is injured by the criminal.
The criminal is caught and tried.
The criminal goes to jail or suffers some punishment.
Our society today says it is the just and correct thing to do, but I’ve never wondered why. Now in my mind, I grasp at the idea that perhaps we have a court with judges and juries to protect not just the victim, but the criminal too.
Perhaps, if we didn’t have a government to enforce us into a civilized court to settle matters, we might as well be like the people from Beowulf’s time. I’m pretty sure if we didn’t redirect our rage and trust the government to deliver the correct punishment, then every crime would lead to a new family feud. Every death would result in numerous others and vengeance would be in every man, woman, and child’s heart. Our society would be in so much pain…
But we aren't. We trust our justice system. I see now that it does more than protect the victim, but the offender as well. Protection from those seeking vengeance, from scorn, from shame, and from death. A jail is almost like a safe house in that sense… Hmm, a safe house from revenge.
On one hand, I’m glad we have the justice system that we do, but on the other hand if someone were hurting the one that I love… the first thing I do would be violent. I don’t know if that’s the wrong response, but I know that would be my first response. The instant I found out about my person’s pain, I would think of strangling or mangling the person who hurt them. For a split second my logical, caring, and understanding mind would turn off and revert to the teeth-baring, growling beast I am inside.
Last year, my brother was still in 8th grade and he had a collection of strange friends. My brother is by no means small or weak; he was five foot eight inches and he was stronger than most boys his age. Yet, one day I received a phone call from my mom saying that my brother had gotten in a fight and was now suspended for several days. My initial reaction was, “Who was the other kid? Let me go find him. Tell me where he is.” And I trust my own strength is strong enough to beat up other people, heck, I was the one who taught my brother how to defend himself. I wanted to strangle the guy, watch him cry out on the floor, see him apologize and beg for forgiveness… I know that isn’t the kind of person I am, but just hearing and even thinking about my precious people being hurt drives me nuts. If my loved ones were killed, I would almost kill for revenge. Almost. I would struggle endlessly between morals and what I want. Luckily, the boy didn’t hurt my brother too bad and he wouldn’t tell me what the attacker’s name was. I was ready to go to school and roughly interrogate him.
It turns out my brother was attacked unsuccessfully. The boy only knocked the wind out of my brother before my brother pinned the boy down and just sat on him nonviolently. The kid tried getting up and headbutt my brother in the nose before my brother just pinned his arms too and waited for him to stop struggling. The teacher came out and saw, thinking my brother attacked him. The only pain my brother got was a bloody nose, but still. I was and still am so mad at that kid.
I may be nice and caring, loving and all that but if you bite at my precious ones, I bite back harder than you’d ever expect.
In all honesty, I’m not proud of my thoughts, but I’m not ashamed of them. When it comes to my loved ones, I become the mother protecting her young. It’s a mixed response really… I don’t think it’s wrong to have these thoughts, but I don’t necessarily want to broad cast to the whole world that I would like to annihilate so and so. I’m confused on my own position on this…
In the beginning of this post I mentioned "justice", but I haven't even touched on honor or revenge... The ways in which I comprehend such concepts are so hard to put down into words that... I leave this for another day.
[On a side note:: I spent so much time wondering over this blog response Mr. Feraco! Everything I wrote felt wrong, so I deleted it and started over and over. Why is this so hard for me to answer?! Dx ]
I agree and like the idea of believing in the justice system to provide the right punishment for crimes. Just hate when a criminal is set free when it seems he should have been punished.
We all ask what is really justice, go read history.
Human history tells us that justice is mostly filled and built with blood and bones of other human beings.
In one episode of Law & Order: SVU, a mother named Annette Fox was murdered at night by a homeless man. Her daughter Jenna, witnessed the murder. Prior to her death, she was a rape victim and was able to identify her attacker. In a week, she was about to send her attacker to prison. At the end of the episode, both the homeless man and the rapist are in prison in the SVU jail cell. Jenna, the daughter, walks in with a hand guy and kills the rapist and nearly kills the homeless. In the end, Jenna is shot and killed by one of the detectives. Justice was about to be served to the two criminals but the satisfaction of them being alive was not enough for Jenna. The damage she was dealt could not be repaired with Justice running it’s course. She needed more.
If I was murdered (knock on wood) I would want my family and friends to move on and let Justice run its course. I do believe that my friends and family know me well enough to not seek revenge but to seek Justice. If they were to seek revenge and to kill the criminal or criminals that did the horrendous crime to me, they would end up in prison. I wouldn’t want that to happen to them. I wouldn’t want anymore pain or suffering. Seeking revenge will only lead to more pain, suffering, and frustration.
I do trust my judgement, heart, and my views. But of course, there are times where my views or judgements are clouded by other’s opinions. When my judgement or views are clouded, there is always someone that makes sense of the situation for me. That may be my sister or my girlfriend. They always seem clear up the confusion in my head and allow me to think normally.
But wouldn't you revenge for your family if the justice has not being given through the legal processes?
With a patriotic heart, an ordinary girl has voluntarily joined the mission of revenge for her country... she sacrificed her innocence, she sacrificed her freedom, she sacrificed her very first sexual intercourse, she sacrificed herself for the country she loves. This courage is admirable, this loyalty is commendable but these sacrifices seemed contemptible. Logically, revenge is reasonable because we as human spontaneously demand equality in this society. Consciously, revenge seems unreasonable because it only provides men the sense of satisfaction and nothing practical. Notice I use “seems” when denying the worth of revenge but use “is” when agreeing with the intention of revenge because it is too cruel to ignore a victim’s pain and simply replace it by the flowery concepts of conscience.
Many of us who have siblings must have experienced fights that made us felt extremely unfair. When my brother and I got in a fight, he would cry to my mother; after my mother yelled at me and made me cry, my brother would smile and stick his tongue at me as if he has won the fight. This small action during human’s early age has already shown a sign of revenge; therefore, revenge is not a decision, but rather an emotional instinct. Revenge is not evil nor is it awful, but just like Newton’s law of motion, revenge cannot rest unless someone applies force on the revenge – this force is love.
Love is a force because it is the motivation to all action. Love drives one to revenge, but it is also capable to stop one from a revenge. As we grow older, our conscience starts to build up and it signals us to cease our impulsive decisions.
A while ago, I had lost my relationship because of the sudden presence of another girl. It felt as if she has stabbed me from my back when I was soaked in the joy of love. I felt as if she had stolen my happiness away. My first instinct was to revenge just like what my younger brother did to me when he was young. I transform my love into the anger that motivates me to plot my revenge; so I completed my plan, it was a perfect plan. The happiness of completing my plan did not last long; I was surrounded by this guilt inside my heart wherever I went whatever I did. I am no longer the three years old who acts upon her emotion, I am seventeen, well enough to understand the consequences of my actions. I asked myself what I would benefit from making this girl suffer ?
A verse from the Bible inspired me and stopped me from my revenge; this verse teaches “If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic” I have learned to love my enemies. I have chosen to stop the revenge because I have realized that in order to recover from a lost or unfairness is to meditate on the priceless lessons that are only able to be learned from a traumatic distress. Revenge does not improve the life of the person who revenges, the person who is revenged on, nor the person who is revenged for. It is a useless transformation of hatred from love. Keep the love, dispose the hatred.
The patriotic girl who was going to revenge for her country has failed… because she fell in love with her target. “To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart and break her own” This quote was taken from the movie Lust, Cautious. The cost of revenge is too expensive but the benefit of love is immeasurable.
This courage is admirable, this loyalty is commendable but these sacrifices seemed contemptible.
absolute favorite line.
Logically, revenge is reasonable because we as human spontaneously demand equality in this society. Consciously, revenge seems unreasonable because it only provides men the sense of satisfaction and nothing practical.
i agree with everything except for two words: logically and consciously.
i think its the other way around.
logically revenge is unreasonable because we know its not practical. it continues they cycle. cause and effect.
but consciously, our needs, desires...we want to make things "fair" but our way is totally illogical
I agreed with you up till you said 'love' stopped revenge. I honestly think 'love' is part of what starts revenge. I think the force that stops revenge would be closer to 'forgiveness' or 'acceptance' or even something as dark as 'abandonment'. But good job.
Patriotism is giving men the authorities to step over other men’s dead body with waving a flag with “justice” says on it.
“They don’t even ask they just went in and shoot every one in the village. This village is wiped out, but the other villages would just get the XXX out the way, no more killing, no more fighting in this huge XXX area…” That is what strong countries do in some area at some dark corner on this earth. Of course done by the patriots.
"Revenge is not evil nor is it awful, but just like Newton’s law of motion, revenge cannot rest unless someone applies force on the revenge – this force is love." I like this quote a lot!
However, I know well the Bible's teachings of stepping down, but a family member being murdered is quite a different story. No matter how much you hate your little brother (I assume), you still love him. And losing him to a murderer, well, can become pretty tough.
And you are one fine writer yourself! Don't flatter me, haha! Great Post!
It is easy to see that we seek revenge as a means of getting even, or to make things fair; someone hurt you and now you hurting them back is the only choice. However I think it is deeper than this. When someone hurts us it makes us feel week, small, defenseless, and worthless. And so, in an attempt to feel bigger and stronger we gather power from our pain and bathe ourselves in the malevolent glow of revenge. Having the power to crush some one's spirit, as if they were an ant beneath our finger, satisfies some sick hunger within, selfishly feeding our ego and artificially lifting us above our pain. I emphasize artificially; this temporary distraction does not heel our wounds. Is this short-lived high really worth it?
The relationship between a mother and her child is complicated to say the least. To have a child, to create and care for a life, creates a relationship unlike any other. For a mother, having a child is always having a piece of you, having someone that can't and will never leave you, a true companion for all time, until death. If anyone were to hurt my child, no revenge would be great enough to satisfy me; I would not stop until they regretted the day that they conceived the thought of hurting my child. But if the situation was opposite, someone hurt or killed me, I would wish only for my child to resist the temptations of revenge and move one. Fear, hatred, anger, frustration, the darkest of our emotions, consume us from within until nothing is left but the hollow shell of a person. I would never wish things upon my children, and I am not sure what mother would.
So is Grendma truly a villain? Maybe is many ways, in many moments, she has acted villainously, but in this moment I believe she is only a mother in pain. Calling out desperately for someone when there is no one; her only connection has been stolen away in one foul swoop. It may have been wrong of her to kill an innocent man but was she to know who was solely responsible for her son's death? Following that trail back to the hall filled with people, I can only imagine what crossed through her mind. I would think it was something along the lines of "every person in this hall stood by and watched, even cheered, as my son was brought to his end; they are all guilty". Aeschere did not by any means deserve to die, but Grendma should not be labeled a villain on account of the actions she takes as the temptations of revenge begin to consume her.
When we are hurt by people we had once confided in, many people think about revenge. Revenge can do many things; however, none of its effects are good. One benefit of revenge is temporary satisfaction and as a result, when people have their revenge, they feel better for a certain time. They believe that they are paying back the person for what they have done. For a certain time, they believe that vengeance has been done, and that everything is perfectly fine. However, after a while, that vengeance doesn’t seem to be enough, and as a result, they may want to attempt revenge again. Unfortunately, this solution is similar to drugs and alcohol; it never works in the long run.
Another reason for the temptation of revenge is that ever since we were young, we were taught to be kind, sharing, and fair. Fairness. This method of growing up has led to people believing that everything should be fair. At kindergarten, if a child was being a bully, the bully would be punished for what he had done in a time-out or by taking away one of his toys. However, this idealogy has only escalated from the time when we were in Kindergarten. The action done is many times worse than one done by kindergarteners, however, our experience tells us that we should punish the. If one has been hurt, the other person should also be hurt at an equal or larger magnitude, similar to the Hammurabi laws.
Some of the darker aspects of human nature is our tendency to be selfish, greedy, and power-hungry. As a result, we want to inflict more and more pain towards people whom have hurt us. As a result, once one person is wronged, usually revenge works in a spiral without an end, never ending and only becoming worse.
I think Victor Vazquez’s quote very much sums up my own interpretation of revenge.
However, despite my claims of understanding I have never been placed in a situation where revenge was ever a viable option. I have never been betrayed so horribly that I would want to hurt another human being. And even when it comes to little matters, I cannot even hold grudges.
I am terrible at being angry.
But like I said, I’ve never really had to be. Especially not to the level that Grendma was been put through. She lost a child and that’s the worst pain a person can ever feel.
When I was in middle school I watched the movie “Se7en” with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. The movie is about the seven deadly sins. Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Acedia, Envy, Pride, Vanity and most importantly for today’s matters, Wrath.
Warning: Spoilers Alert.
At the end of the movie, the serial killer that was committing all these murders based on the seven sins was caught by Brad Pitt’s character. They were in the middle of the desert. The serial killer confessed, with the condition that Pitt open a box which he ensured would end everything.
All the sins had been accounted for, except wrath. Upon opening the box Pitt’s character finds his wife’s severed head neatly placed inside. To add to the horror of it, she was pregnant before she was killed.
Pitt’s character not only loses his unborn child but his wife as well.
I remember thinking that Brad Pitt should have shot the killer. In my 7th grade mind, there was no doubt that he was psychotic; he had already confessed so why not shoot him?
But if Brad Pitt had shot the killer then that would not have made him any better of a person. By listening to his natural, animalistic instinct he would have also been committing an illegal act. He would have gone to jail; his life would have been over.
So of course it would have been an “illogical, needlessly destructive instinct”.
I’m not so sure.
Because if the only way I could ever find peace in my life came from the satisfaction of knowing I killed the man that killed my family, I would do it.
Even if it meant going to jail. Even if it meant being labeled a killer.
So while I do not approve of it, I understand it and thus I know that I am capable of it.
When I think of justice, I don't see a scale. Instead, I see a person holding two unconnected trays. When a crime is committed, one tray goes down but the other stays in place. If "justice" is served and the offender is punished, the other scale goes down while the lowered one stays in place. Even though justice has been served, the damage had already been done and in most cases, cannot be repaired. Because of this, the trays do not return to their original places and are instead lowered to the same height. It seems crimes cannot be alleviated by punishment. The punishment does not amend the past; it secures the future.
If a family member or a close friend of mine were to be unrightfully harmed, I would likely try to seek revenge. Although I know that revenge gets us nowhere, I'd still feel that something has to be done to let the offender know that I will not wait for them to stop. If the person harmed wanted me to let it go, I would. However, if the crime were murder, then it would be harder to just drop. Although I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want me trying to avenge them, it would be hard to just let go without hearing the words coming from them. It would feel right to me to seek vengeance.
If my child were to be killed for countless murders that he committed, I would feel great pain and sorrow. However, I don't think I would try to avenge him. He had gotten himself into that predicament and gotten what he deserved. I would try to avenge him, however, if the toll of his actions greatly outweighed the actions themselves. In this case, death would have been too harsh a punishment for him and like Grendma, I would try to avenge his death in any way I can.
If someone was hurting me or my loved ones I would want to get revenge. It would depend on the situations the form of revenge I would take. If my friends or family deserved it then I probably wouldn’t do anything because they’ll need to learn sooner or later that they can’t get away with everything and karma will come back if they’ve done something unjust. I cherish my friends and family so under the right circumstances I would want to hurt the person so bad that they will never want to mess with my friends and family ever again. My loved ones mean the most to me so I would protect them if they were in danger. What I would do and what I would want to do are the same because no one deserves to be hurt because they’re an outcast. Grendel was an outcast and he was treated poorly for something that was out of his control. He wanted to get revenge on everyone because he never got to live the same life as them because of a mistake his ancestor made and that is very unfair.
Most people would want revenge if someone they loved was hurt. Grendma was only trying to avenge her son’s death; therefore she can’t be viewed as a villain. Grendel and his other mother lived there whole lives as social outcasts. They were banished from society because of something they didn’t do. Grendma did what any mother would do. They have the instincts to protect their child at all costs and to honor him by retaliating on Beowulf. It’s understandable why Grendel and his mother would be viewed as villains because they wanted revenge on all the people who treated them like scum. Even though they are hideous creatures they still have a heart and soul and should be treated with respect just like everyone else.
I don’t want to say what I would do to someone if they were to hurt my child because it would get really graphic. So many emotions would be running through my head that I would want to take it out on the person hurting my child. The first thought that would pop out of my head is revenge. My life revolves around my child so if you’re messing with them then you’re messing with me. I’m not proud of the thought but they should have thought about the scenario before they decided to hurt my child. I will protect my family because they mean the most to me. They are going to be the people that will stand by your side no matter what. Family is the most important and without them I am not complete.
Of course the desire for vengeance is understandable. From an evolutionary standpoint, the revenge instinct wards off potential aggressors from preying on one's kind. From a personal standpoint, revenge can satisfy the wronged individual's lust for justice. And if someone wrongs me, the first thing I think about is getting back at the wrongdoer. But this is only the initial reaction; logically and morally, revenge is a bad idea, and I will not act upon such impulses if I am given enough time to fully consider the decision.
Logically, I know that exacting revenge will not fix the damages caused in the first place -- killing the killer will not bring back the dead. One may attempt to justify vengeance by claiming that it yields catharsis (this form of therapy was first popularized by the early psychologist Dr. Sigmund Freud). However, later studies have more or less disproved this -- examples include Bushman's study (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/bbs99.pdf) and Geen's study (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=lEgM5N6rIKwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Geen+and+Quanty+in+1977&ots=mtgUuLmu8V&sig=NHwkRNzaLV2g4WdordU8m2nFKX4#v=onepage&q&f=false). Furthermore, many things could potentially go wrong when I try for revenge; my actions could have unintended disastrous consequences for people who were not even involved in the original conflict.
Morally, I feel that aggression does not justify retaliation if my safety is not directly threatened* -- "two wrongs do not make a right", if you will (and if you won't, then don't); killing out of love is still killing. Perhaps a villain's motives might be more complicated than it appears at first. But no matter how complicated or even understandable those motives are, in the end, the villain is still committing sin. One may argue that I should feel an obligation or responsibility to avenge murdered family members. However, I personally would prefer my own family members to move on rather than avenge me if I were to be murdered, and they would likely think the same.
I will not forget any evils done to me -- after all, from a survival perspective, I need to be on my guard -- but I will forgive. Simply forgiving the offender can resolve inner pain and liberate emotional burden more easily than carrying out an entire master plan of vengeance, Count of Monte Cristo style can. Gandhi's famous "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" rhetoric as well as Jesus's teachings in the New Testament of the Bible reinforces my belief.
*Morals with asteriks? How can it be? My explanation here is simple: self-defense is justifiable because I like being alive. But there is a line between self-defense and revenge.
Revenge. For me, revenge is as sensitive a topic as something like politics and religion. Its almost like dealing with emotions. Revenge is fueled by emotion, usually relentless anger. Over the years, the topic of revenge has popped up in conversations with my friends. To a certain degree, such talk makes me feel very uncomfortable. Since birth, were we not taught that two wrongs don't make a right? Revenge is justified as a way to even out situations. Yeah, it can be...if you want it evenly bad.
I find revenge totally unnecessary. Taking action against someone who has wronged you makes you just as bad, if not worse since you'd be a hypocrite. People say that “happiness is the best revenge.” I couldn't agree more. Why dirty your hands trying to get even with someone? Its so much more satisfying knowing you can be happy regardless of what people try to do to you. It happens in real life and in stories: revenge will get you no where. Revenge is nothing but a sad excuse to do bad.
Revenge has crossed my mind many times. Each time, thoughts of revenge passed along with my anger. I realize I didn't want to seek revenge, I just need a way to vent my anger and my angry thoughts. Revenge is a scary thing and some of the stuff I've thought of scare me just thinking about it. Revenge is a path that I have never felt inclined that I needed to take. The way I see it, revenge takes up more energy than necessary and leaves me feeling unsatisfied. More bad than good comes out of vengeful thoughts. Don't let it happen to you.
I agree with you about revenge being scary and I agree with a lot that you say great post!
This is a spinoff of my response from Blog 8. ‘Story up till now’: Will has grown into a fine assassin of equal strength to Black Diamond and has cornered the female assassin with his comrades, all of which are thirsty for revenge since the female had somehow wronged them.
William and his companions have finally cornered Black Diamond. They may have lost Macbeth, but the actual killer, the one his companions truly despise, is within their grasp. But, as they were chasing the injured assassin William couldn’t stop this dark feeling in the pit of his heart. Something wasn’t right, Black Diamond was faster than this. Will ignored the feeling as her being weaker due to her injury.
Black Diamond reached a dead end, but, instead of trying to find some way of escape, she simply stood there. She turned and faced the group that would soon kill her, her expression still apathetic. William’s feeling came back again; she wasn’t even raising her weapons. “Are you so arrogant that you think you can take us unarmed?!” Lydia yelled, infuriated
Will knew better, he’s had more meetings with the assassin. She never took chances. ‘What is she planning?’
Black Diamond simply opened her arms wide and stated “You have come to kill me. You now have the strength. Are you going to waste your chance by asking me ignorant questions?”
Will’s eyes widened. ‘Is she… planning to die?’
But before Will could inquire more about this, his team charged. Black Diamond sped towards them and used wind magic to instigate a great leap. Once in the air, she sent ice shards towards them. The group easily dodged to the side. “You’ll have to do better than that!” Nox yelled. He charged his sword and sent a magic wave towards Black Diamond’s falling form.
Will was stunned. He knew Black Diamond. And he knew this was not her best, even being injured shouldn’t weaken her this much. “Why?!” he yelled. The assassin and even Will’s team glanced over at the prince in shock. Stopping their fighting to wonder what Will was talking about. “Why are you making this easy?! I know you’re stronger than this! Why are you letting us kill you?” Will demanded
Nox and Lydia’s eyes widened. Could William be right, could the assassin be allowing her death?
Black Diamond blinked. “You all have come after me because I killed someone you cared for. My master no longer has any need for me. What else is there for me to do but to allow your revenge to be fulfilled?”
The team was shocked silent. It was Will who finally managed to muster a question “Why are you just submitting yourself to our revenge?”
Black Diamond simply looked at him. “Here’s a question for you. Why do you want revenge on me? For the people I killed? What’s killing me going to do for them? For yourself? Just speak to other people who have achieved revenge, most of them live pretty empty lives. Some even commit suicide at the weight of the fact they became no different from the person they hated. For other innocent people I might kill? Even if I die, someone else will kill people. Your revenge is pointless, yet you all endure and go to such lengths in order to achieve it… why?”
Even Will didn’t know how to answer. “Isn’t it natural to want some kind of justice after losing someone precious?” Lydia gritted out
Black Diamond glanced at her “Explain how it is justice.” She countered “You call it justice, but even someone as oblivious to your ‘morals’ can figure out you’re just fooling yourself.”
“Shut up!” Lydia yelled “What do you know? The only thing you’ve been doing is listening to orders!”
Black Diamond simply glanced over to William. “No, she hasn’t.” William defended, “She hasn’t been only following orders. She’s not a machine. She’s a person just like we are.”
“How can you defend her?” Nox demanded
“Because…” Will started, “She’s been guiding us this entire time. She’s prevented us from becoming the worst case scenario.”
“What?” Lydia questioned; she looked betrayed
“If not for her, we would have never spoken to each other after our mission. But her master would have still ordered our loved ones death. We would each try to kill her on our own. We’d either die by her hand, or succeed but never be even slightly the same as we were before. Now, we have each other. Now, we don’t NEED revenge. And neither do the people we were avenging.” He explained
As I entered class early and saw the substitute greeting students by the door, I felt relieved. A period to rest my brain I thought. Shortly after the bell rang, the substitute wrote our assignment on the board, and explained to us that if we were to finish, we could work on other homework. I quickly got to work, hoping that I would have the opportunity to finish the daunting amount of homework that was already piling up. Halfway through, I felt the urge to use the restroom. Turns out, there were 2 people in front of me, so I did the right thing and patiently waited my turn, letting everyone who needed to go attend to nature's call. Eventually everyone came back, and I was the only one left. I quickly signed out and as I reached for the door, the substitute gestured for my attention. I turned around, assuming I forgot the pen when I was signing out, or he wanted me to run a quick errand. Instead, he told me to sit down, telling the class that no more students were to use the restroom. Bewildered, I checked the digital clock. 20 minutes left. I sat back down, embarrassed, as my classmates stared at me. I tried to process what happened. The last time a teacher stopped me from using the restroom, I was ten. I was infuriated. "Why me?" I thought. Why does everyone get to use the restroom, and when it is finally my turn, I'm not allowed to go? I was contemplating simply leaving, with my backpack and all, but I realized this was too obvious. I needed something more subtle. I was already plotting my revenge.
After school, I ran home and rushed to my computer. Yes, a lawsuit. I began to research the possibilities of a lawsuit. All I could think about was ruining this man. For something so small and trivial, I was willing to go to such unnecessary lengths. After surfing through hundreds of court cases on this type of incident, I started to come to my senses. What was I thinking? Although I believe what he did was not fair to me, wasting his and my time with a lawsuit would be nonsensical. So why then did it take me 2 hours to realize something I should have realized hours ago? Why did I hold in so much anger and frustration when in reality, I could have simply brushed it away?
A great author once wrote, "This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. " This is one of the quotes I try to live my life by. Emotions are important, but compromising logic for the sake of emotion will ultimately lead to not only unforeseen consequences, but to compromised principles. In a nutshell, revenge is the result of this. When our mind is shrouded by anger and rage, and we ignore the logic that is sometimes so invisible in the presence of anger, it is a recipe for inevitable disaster. Revenge accomplishes nothing, yet we strive for it. The mere seconds of satisfaction that we attain for the hours and hours of plotting and carrying out of said plot is far from a fair trade off. Even after we accomplish this "revenge," we are often left with a feeling of emptiness. Because whether it's suing someone, or murdering someone to avenge a fallen friend or family member, it doesn't change what ultimately happened. Grendma will never get Grendel back. Even if she succeeds in killing all of the Danes, nothing will fix her broken spirit.
Not only does revenge fail in accomplishing anything, it often leads to a path of devastation. If someone killed your friend, and you avenge him by killing the murderer and the murderer's mom kills you and your brother kills your murderer, what does anyone gain? A chain reaction of death and pain. Only when people stop to forgive one another does this stop. If my life was cut short by some kind of brutal murder, I would not want the same fate for the murderer. Instead, I would want for everyone involved to realize that revenge will not solve anything, but add to the problems already at hand. Revenge is ultimately foolish. Grendma did what she did because she had no one to turn to. She was left alone with no one to comfort or console her. She knew revenge would not accomplish anything, but not avenging his son would accomplish nothing as well. She was looking at two equally horrible options and chose revenge. We, as humans, have unlimited resources to get back on the right track, and on the same coin, we are capable of understanding and forgiving others, even for the most heinous of crimes. That is what separates us from the beasts of Beowulf and the insane, and whether we like it or not, this is why we are able to ultimately function as a society.
I like what you wrote about logic versus emotion and how revenge is merely a byproduct of emotion overcoming rational thought.
Throughout my life, I can honestly say, I have never truly experienced the feeling of revenge. I question revenge a lot. To me revenge is a feeling that instantly overwhelms the body and soul after experiencing pain caused by another. Sure I have felt pain in my life, trust me, a ton of pain, however I have never had another person purposely cause or wish any pain towards me. In a lifetime, I feel humans will definitely encounter revenge and I just know my first encounter will be a true test towards my soul and morals.
The words revenge and seductive are not two words that people often use together. Revenge can be seductive in many ways. Like I said before, revenge overwhelms the body, controls every thought, and every whim. It is an internal force and once it hits you, it lingers with you. Revenge is alluring and influences your state of mind and obscures your judgment into doing things that you would not usually do.
In my future, hopefully filled with kids and a wonderful husband, I wish for everything to be great. The family will have will mean everything to mean the stars, the moon, and the universe, and the thought of anyone ever threatening my family scares me. Grendel’s mother has the right idea, I believe. She protects her family and when Beowulf caused Grendel’s death, his mother immediately thought about why this happened, and revenge suddenly took over. I feel Grendel’s mother has the right to do what she wants and if a situation like this would ever happen to my family, I would definitely be hypnotized by revenge.
“Mom, if you saw someone kill me right in front of you and you had a gun in your hand would you try to kill them?” I asked my mom this when she came home. “Yeah, I think so.” she said. Her reply made me both happy and a bit confused. You see my mother is not someone who typically believes in revenge. It made me happy that she’d not only stick up for my life but also that she loves me enough to avenge me. She’d be going against her own morals just for me. But that’s what confuses me. Why would she go against against herself? I know I’m her daughter and I can only imagine what kind of pain and emotions would go through her if I was ever killed, but to seek revenge and be someone she’s not confused me deeply. My mom is not a murderer; she’s a 4’11” forty year old woman who enforces peace and spends most of her day smiling. She even can’t kill a spider yet she’d kill a person for me.
My grandma also went against her own morals for her son. Her son, my uncle, Jim completely cut her out of his life when she moved from Las Vegas back to my house. He was also living in Las Vegas and relied on her car and financial support. She moved because she needed to find work because it was clear she couldn’t be a teacher in Las Vegas. So when she left he left her out. He didn’t answer her phone calls, reply to her e-mails, nothing, like he had vanished. In fact no one heard from him. My grandma is the type of person who believes in giving the other person space after making an effort, but for some reason she continues to write to him everyday. It her at all to do that. But it’s her baby and she just can’t seem to be herself. In a few months he wouldn’t have spoken to her or anyone in three years. She wrote to him everyday for almost three years. She stopped recently when my cousin (Jim’s son) came into our lives. Before December I had never met him and suddenly he was here. He just turned 21 and his mother had prevented any of us from having contact with him. Not even his own father could see him. Then next thing you know he’s visiting us and talking to his father. Which is good we all assumed Jim was dead or in prison because he refused to talk to anyone. Expect his son. And still keeps it that way. My grandma claims she stopped writing to him, but come on she’s my best friend I know her well enough to know she writes to him every now and again.
The more I observe, the more I think about it, I can see more and more parents who go against their own morals for their children. It’s a type of bond I hope to feel one day and I personally think it’s somewhat beautiful. I’m too young and childless to understand this bond, this love completely. My mom would murder for me, my grandma would be clingy for Jim, my cousin’s mom would let my cousin leave the nest, my uncle would stop being stubborn to work on his relationship with his son, Grendma changed from an outcast to a revenge seeking monster after her child was killed. That’s just not them. So why are they doing it? For the love of their children.
So why do victims’ families still look haunted after justice has run its course?
For the last three days, I have been at home wrapped in a blanket and drinking all the soup I can get my hands on. In that time, I’ve finished an entire season of Lie to Me and Law and Order: SVU. Seeing the victim’s families mourn over the death of their child, even after the killer has been caught and given the proper punishment is a little puzzling if you think about how the justice system is supposed to work. The justice system makes us believe that if somebody commits a crime on one of our loved ones, that a lifetime in solitary confinement is a sufficient enough ‘pay back.’ However, this is not the case. No amount of punishment to a criminal can ever bring back what is lost. The amount of emotional torment and lifetime of mourning holds a price that cannot be paid.
This does not go to say that federal punishment serves no purpose. It is there to reduce the amount of crimes committed and lives ruined by giving potential criminals a consequence to be afraid of. Much like the adult-version of time-out when you steal a cookie from the cookie jar. You steal a cookie, we put you in time-out. If we stop believing that putting a criminal in prison will somehow make us feel better about the crime that was committed toward our loved ones, then we can finally make peace with ourselves and move on with our lives.
Would you burden your loved ones with the weight of vengeance?
Would you feel unloved if they didn’t take that burden on themselves?
I wouldn’t want my family members to bear the burden of taking vengeance on someone who harmed me on my behalf, because in my mind, that will only keep the in a bad place for longer - making them unable to let go of what happened to me and move on with their lives. I will not ask them to forgive that criminal, but to do whatever it takes for them to move on and live the life that I want them to live. I will feel more unloved if they spend their entire lives sulking and mourning about me, than if they spent it the way I would have spent my life: happy, chasing my dreams, and experiencing the things that I always wished I could. Go live your life, let the justice system punish the criminal.
Why do we think thoughts we’re ashamed to express when someone tries to hurt us, or tries to hurt someone close to us?
Why do humans respond to pain by causing more? Why possess such an illogical, needlessly destructive instinct?
I think what most people want when someone has tried to hurt us or hurt someone close to us is revenge, a natural instinct. But wanting revenge does not make us any better than the killers themselves, who find joy in harming others. So we do what is the socially acceptable equivalent of vengeance, we find justice by locking up that person for good. But in that aspect we are both causing more pain and alleviating it. We cause more pain to the person that harmed us, by making their lives a living hell. While on the other hand, we save others from the future torment that that criminal could have caused them.
We respond to pain by causing more because we want the other person to know what they have put others through and to realize the ‘real’ consequences of their actions. Even though they might never have the chance to prove that they have learned their lesson in the outside world, their lives will be scarred the same way that ours were.
For our entire lives, we have been searching for balance. Balance between work and play, spending and saving, confidence and humility. So when we are faced with dealing with murder and loss of somebody near and dear to our hearts, we do what we have been wired to do from the beginning - balance.
I agree with you about how prison isn't a good enough punishment.
"That's the best revenge of all: happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good
I've always liked the part at the end of  Days of Summer where the background colors and the timer reverts to day 1 after Tom meets Autumn. There is no saying that Tom and Autumn will have a wonderful relationship that is all rainbows and fluffy bunnies, but things are looking up. At that moment, Tom is happy.
Two of my good friends have been dating for quite a while now. The guy came back from a messy breakup and asked her to "be his Autumn". He's told me that he will occasionally feel hurt when he sees his last ex with her new boyfriend, but then he remembers how happy he is with his current one. He doesn't need to see his ex suffer (even thought the thought may be quite appealing), having his own happiness is enough.
The Laramie Project is the story of Matthew Shepherd. He was beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die because he was gay. He suffered quite a bit. When his killers were brought to court, the decision on whether or not to evoke the death penalty was given to Matt's father. Mr. Shepherd let them live. He didn't say that he forgave or would ever forgive his son's killers. Both Matt and his father both believed in the death penalty. However, Mr. Shepherd realized that the only way to really begin the healing process was "to show mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy".
To break a cycle of hatred, one side has be merciful.
Someone has to reach out and stop the pendulum from swinging. That side may very well end up like Finn (the Frisian King), but that is a risk that needs to be taken.
I find it very important to note that forgiveness is not necessary. Mr. Shepherd still obtained his revenge in a way. It just wasn't violent. After killing, a strong sense of guilt often haunts those who order the death, but in granting life to his son's killers, Mr. Shepherd has let them keep that guilt. He tells the killers to "have a long life and may you thank Matthew every day for it".
Direct revenge doesn't provide the cathartic effect that is sought after, but neither does forgiveness. Instead, I remember.
As Gabriel Rousset pointed out in his last stand and deliver, people are selfish. As humans we don’t do anything without gaining, or the hope to gain something in return. And if the intentions of every action are self-seeking, how can an individual be regarded as good or evil? Hero or villain? It’s all relative. If I kill someone for a selfish reason but in doing so I bring joy to the world, I would be called a hero. But if I carry out the exact same action for the exact same reason with an outcome of anguish for the world, I’m called a villain. Distinguishing between the two is selfish in itself; we don’t care who does what or why they do it as much as we care about how it effects us. Throughout history as the scale of justice tips back and forth each side justifies their own actions while condemning the others without the thought that the actions are the same. Here’s the truth: both sides are wrong. People don’t want to accept it because they want to see themselves as righteous. They want to see themselves as superior. When the side of someone else’s scale is above theirs, they can’t do anything but drag it down. How can we see a specific action as justice from one side and revenge from the other? We live in a world where it’s unacceptable to kill people but when someone is at fault it’s okay if we kill them? It’s irrational. Some states don’t have the death penalty but what do we do instead? We put them in an institution with others who have violated other aspects of the law for extensive periods of time, usually the rest of their lives. I don’t know about you but if I knew I were going to stay in jail for the rest of my life I wouldn’t have the best attitude. And although these individuals are unable to return to society, their attitudes do through those who are released. The idea of jail is that if we take all the “bad” people and cram them somewhere with each other for years and years and years, when we let them back in they’ll be better? Hopefully someone can explain this to me because I don’t get it. Yeah it’s following through with a punishment used for incentive not to commit a crime but the very nature of how we deal with criminals, with villains, needs to change if we want to see any progress. We put people in jail because our selfishness is nagging at us to do something and we don’t know what to do. Is Grendel’s mother a villain? Simply put, yes. She takes actions for selfish reasons that harm others, but don’t we all?
Revenge is tricky because when people are in danger there are definitely certain actions that are justified, but most people choose the ones that aren’t. Why? Because it’s selfish desire. The trouble is where you draw the line for justification because after all morals are based on personal beliefs. Personally I think revenge is a terrible thing that shouldn’t exist but you have to understand revenge how I see it. Revenge is taking an action for the sole purpose of lowering someone physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, because they first did it to you. Often people think revenge will lift them up but it only appears that way because you're bringing others to the level you have been brought to. It’s all relative. Now having said that I’ll admit I have a problem with anger. I’ve become a lot better at controlling it but things don’t turn out well when I'm angry. When I was in elementary school my brothers knew how to provoke me better than anyone. And they’ll admit although they’re five and three years older than me, they were afraid of me. They called it furry mode because I would start shaking and then attack them both with no remorse. I would throw whatever I could get my hands on at them, hit them, kick them, try to spit on them; it wasn’t a pretty sight. If I remember correctly there was one time I was playing with Legos and my oldest brother said my building looked stupid or something that brothers do, and I took a pencil that was on the floor and stabbed it into his leg then broke the led off. Because he said my building was stupid. I haven’t gotten furiously mad like that since I was a young child but if someone were hurting a family member or a close friend, it wouldn’t be a good day for them. I don’t like this about me. A few weeks ago I was almost to the point of snapping on my brother before the other held me back and afterwards I had to hold back the tears of the thought that I would hurt my own family over words. It’s not something I'm proud of. However if two people were fighting an uneven fight or especially if a guy was hitting a girl id step in right away and stop the confrontation. The difference between the two is the selfish desire of inflicting endless pain on someone whose hurting my loved ones. In the other altercation id pursue it until their dispute was over. If something else arose from that between another male and myself then that’s a different story but it’s that selfishness that leads to injustice. If someone killed me I would not want my children to pursue my killer. I would want them to forgive the killer and leave vengeance for God who has a righteous anger. Sadly though I don’t know if I would have enough self-control to do the same. If there was time between the murder of my parent and an opportunity to kill the murder I honestly believe I would forgive them. My views are twisted, my heart is broken, and my judgment is selfish, but that’s why I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding while submitting to Him in all my ways because then and only then my path will be made straight.
As I entered class early and saw the substitute greeting students by the door, I felt relieved. A period to rest my brain I thought. Shortly after the bell rang, the substitute wrote our assignment on the board, and explained to us that if we were to finish, we could work on other homework. I quickly got to work, hoping that I would have the opportunity to finish the daunting amount of homework that was already piling up. Halfway through, I felt the urge to use the restroom. Turns out, there were four people in front of me, so I did the right thing and patiently waited my turn, letting everyone who needed to go attend to nature's call. Eventually everyone came back, and I was the only one left. I quickly signed out and as I reached for the door, the substitute gestured for my attention. I turned around, assuming I forgot the pen when I was signing out, or he wanted me to run a quick errand. Instead, he told me to sit down, telling the class that no more students were to use the restroom. Bewildered, I checked the digital clock. 20 minutes left. I sat back down, embarrassed, as my classmates stared at me. I tried to process what happened. The last time a teacher stopped me from using the restroom, I was ten. I was infuriated. "Why me?" I thought. Why does everyone get to use the restroom, and when it is finally my turn, I'm not allowed to go? I was contemplating simply leaving, with my backpack and all, but I realized this was too obvious. I needed something more subtle. I was already plotting my revenge.
After school, I ran home and rushed to my computer. I began to research the possibilities of a lawsuit. Yes, a lawsuit. All I could think about was ruining this man. For something so small and trivial, I was willing to go to such unnecessary lengths. After surfing through hundreds of court cases on this type of incident, I started to come to my senses. What was I thinking? Although I believe what he did was not fair to me, wasting his and my time with a lawsuit would be nonsensical. So why then did it take me 2 hours to realize something I should have realized hours ago? Why did I hold in so much anger and frustration when in reality, I could have simply brushed it away?
A great author once wrote, "This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. " This is one of the quotes I try to live my life by. Emotions are important, but compromising logic for the sake of emotion will ultimately lead to not only unforeseen consequences, but to compromised principles. In a nutshell, revenge is the result of this. When our mind is shrouded by anger and rage, and we ignore the logic that is sometimes so invisible in the presence of anger, it is a recipe for inevitable disaster. Revenge accomplishes nothing, yet we strive for it. The mere seconds of satisfaction that we attain for the hours and hours of plotting and carrying out of said plot is far from a fair trade off. Even after we accomplish this "revenge," we are often left with a feeling of emptiness. Because whether it's suing someone, or murdering someone to avenge a fallen friend or family member, it doesn't change what ultimately happened. Grendma will never get Grendel back. Even if she succeeds in killing all of the Danes, nothing will fix her broken spirit.
Not only does revenge fail in accomplishing anything, it often leads to a path of devastation. If someone killed your friend, and you avenge him by killing the murderer and the murderer's mom kills you and your brother kills your murderer, what does anyone gain? A chain reaction of death and pain. Only when people stop to forgive one another does this stop. If my life was cut short by some kind of brutal murder, I would not want the same fate for the murderer. Instead, I would want for everyone involved to realize that revenge will not solve anything, but add to the problems already at hand. Revenge is ultimately foolish. Grendma did what she did because she had no one to turn to. She was left alone with no one to comfort or console her. She knew revenge would not accomplish anything, but not avenging his son would accomplish nothing as well. She was looking at two equally horrible options and chose revenge. We, as humans, have unlimited resources to get back on the right track, and on the same coin, we are capable of understanding and forgiving others, even for the most heinous of crimes. That is what separates us from the beasts of Beowulf and the insane, and whether we like it or not, this is why we are able to ultimately function as a society.
I just fixed a few silly typos in my original post. If this is too late to grade, please look at the other one
“君子报仇，十年不晚” It is an old proverb, saying if a man wants to have his revenge, ten years wont be long. No matter which culture or how the culture has been around, “revenge” always has its own place to be in the river of history. Similar to the modern Hollywood movies, stories, mysteries from ancient China, Rome, Grace; the writers of histories, books love the theme of revenge. Some of them were written down coming to people’s site in a huge patriotic way such as this well-known Chinese short story from thousand years ago. A boy lives on the grassland of the Chinese barbarian boarder.
“The barbarians destroyed my village, they killed my father mother, captured my brother,”
The boy cried out,
“I want them to pay back, I ll lead the army march to their tribe and slay them all, seeking revenge for my family in heaven.”
He went join the army of the dynasty, fight extra hard, put in extra effort into whatever he faces.
He slays as many enemies as he could possibly reach on the battlefield.
Grassland, mountain, desert, thousands of miles of the soil he traveled with the army,
All covered with blood dripped from his long sword.
The barbarians are getting more and more scared of the army of the dynasty,
They are migrating towards west, to where they could avoid the yellow skinned cavalryman
The boy is a general in the army now,
He and his army had drove out almost all possible threat from the barbarians to the Dynasty
He had lead his boys conquered countless river, mountains and lands
He had used his sword headed thousands men with higher bridge of noses.
One day he asked himself, did I revenge for my family?
Do I deserve to see them when I go see them in heaven?
Will they be comfort if they witness all this?
Am I doing the wrong thing?
I translated the story into few simpler lines in English, cannot really show what they meanings behind the original words, but it is not difficult to see the tip of the glacier. Since ancient time, we had been taught to revenge. The thing is how, and base on what. Well, normally and most likely people would say justice, and you do it for your honor. From my understanding, justice is some men made up rules protect the most population. Justice is not for everyone, it needs sacrifice to run properly in the society. Small portion of the population would be the “Miss Fortune” But what is justice for them? The sacrifice of these people made the larger population seem to be justified; if we put the little story onto them, they might all want to kill to revenge, the rest of the world. It happens. They would say they want to fight for their honor; they do not want to be sacrificed, no matter how their sacrifice could bring the large peace instead. We’ve been taught to be this way. We, I mean literally we, are the fortune ones get to hold a share of the peace and the peace of the society from some other people’s sacrifices. And we go learn justice, honor and revenge from what we do to ourselves. Isn’t it funny?
Hey！Forrest. I like the questions that you wrote. Those are the good place to think about.
Even though Grendel himself was a villain with all the deeds he has commited, his mother isn’t really a villain, despite the fact that she kidnapped and brutally murdered someone else. She watched her child that she’s loved and taken care of for numerous years suddenly disappear, never to open his eyes again. It’s very easy to think that if all Grendma did was stop and think about why her child died, then she might stop but we can’t truly feel her grief unless we’ve been in her shoes.
If someone was hurting my child, then in that split second, the most prominent thought would be to do whatever is necessary to protect them . It could range from intimidation and persuasion to violent acts such as punches to even murder if needed. As wrong as it could be, I’m quite satisfied with it. I end up protecting my offspring, distasteful as the task may be.
The difference between justice and revenge is in how they’re done. Justice is where the wrong is settled by a third person party such as a judge or a law defining what to do in such a case. Revenge is where the person comes up with their own punishment no matter how unfair it may be. In today’s society justice is simply putting the offender for X amount of years in prison so that they can think about their deeds. To me, it seems like prison is boredom as punishment – a jail cell with nothing to do. Putting people in prison would hardly count as rehabilitation. For example, 67% of criminals released from prison in the year 1994 commited crimes again, not including the ones that haven’t been reported. Prison could be seen as payback from the victim/victim’s family if they wished for the criminal to be placed in a location where break outs, parole and pardons are possible.
If suddenly my child was left parentless, then I’d rather have them not kill in vengance but rather focus on life instead. Sure, my child would have a clear purpose with what to do, but what next? What would he/she do after having their vengance? I would rather have my child knowing what their future would be and my killer living freely than my killer having been slain by my child and not knowing what next.
My innocence was ripped away from me at a young age. I was forced to grow up faster then my surrounding peers, so, consequently I became highly protective of the ones I cared for. At a young age I was thrust into the responsibilities of a mother by taking care of my two siblings. To say the least I clothed, bathed and fed them as a result of my step moms preferred dedication to television as well as shopping. Part of me, after growing so accustom to looking after everyone, is unable to grasp the concept of living life focused purely on myself.
Growing up very protective of my loved ones caused me to be the one unafraid of standing up against those who hurt them. (I’m still unsure if this trait I hold is one to be thankful for or not.) Though I am extremely protective of those I love, I can’t truly say whether or not I would be able to commit to the ideas my imagination cooks up in the eyes of revenge. Revenge is dangerous; the powerful emotions behind it cause a creation inside people that compares to nothing. It is self-destruction.
While reading this blog one simple sentence stood out amongst the rest: “someone is hurting your mother”. Five short words forming one simple sentence pulled more emotion out of my body then any other. It placed in my mind the image of an insignificant being harming the one individual who means more to me then life itself. My mother, whom also happens to be my best friend, is the most important person in my life, hands down. I would cross oceans for her if need be so when faced with the idea of another person hurting her my body goes numb.
If I were to wake up to my mother lifeless, laying in a pool of her own blood, I would unravel. Without thought I would drop to my knees while holding her in my arms as tears fell down my face. Rage would consume me, my anger would begin pumping through my veins rather then blood. Without question desires of revenge would fill my insides, but to say I would want to tare the culprit limb from limb, end their life like they ended my mothers, I would be lying. For many that may be hard to believe but, even in my deepest fits of rage, I feel I would understand that my immensely overwhelming pain would not be released by taking the life of the person at fault. I would much rather see to it that the murderer suffers for their crime. In such a situation I would see death as a copout, a reward which replaces the lasting pain of knowing they stole the life of another.
No matter the difficulty level of ignoring my overactive imagination during that immediate rush of emotion, I would turn a murderer in before ever taking the law into my own hands. Knowing they would have no choice but to live behind bars with only their inner thoughts as company brings me more satisfaction then killing him ever would. No matter what I feel I would do at this moment though, I believe a persons true character can only be revealed when under large amounts of pressure, not when everything is fine. For me to accurately say whether I would or wouldn’t harm another individual for revenge without actually being put in those circumstances is difficult, but I have confidence that my ideal actions would remain the same.
I think VIEW, HEART, JUDGMENT are in order.
View is the first idea in our mind because we just provide our thought simply;
Heart is a deeper thought, which hide behind the view; when we have to make a choice, we don't barely just decide by our view, we always ask our heart: should I do this or not.
Judgment is the combination of the view and the heart. After we have our idea and deeply ask our heart if it is right or not, we make the final judgment.
I do trust my view, but I will not hang on it. I prefer to listen to the views of others. When I was a little kid, my mother told me that I was very subjective because I never listen to the others and I have to get what I want. However, due to I am a subjective person, I thought that view is ridiculous. I do listen to the others, I don't have to get everything I want....... DO I? DON'T I? After few years, when I was choosing my clothes for myfriend's party, I thought the white tshirt and the blue jeans were not fit to me, I am a girl, I should wear the pink dress with a cute flower. But my mother said the dress was too short for me, I should wear something simple and decent. Of course I irgonred her, I wore my pink dress to the party, but no one said I am pretty, and no one said I am ugly, they just said it was too short. I admitted that I was not happy because I thought that the dress was very beautiful and my friends will say it was beautiful, or they might ask me where did I buy this dress...... As I am getting older and older, I hate people say that I looks like a twenty-years-old lady! I am seventeen, okay? Once I hanged out with my friends, I could not decide what should I wear. My mother told me to wear a white tshirt and a blue jeans again, and she also asked me to tie up my hair. Well, I tried finally. I was so surprised that my friends said that I looked like a young simplehearted child! Although the clothes do not mean anything at all because everyone have different views of them, but this little thing changed my mind. I started to listen to the others because I knoe that my view is not always right, it was just what I am thinking.
I do trust my heart, although sometimes I will hesitate. For example, I am trying to lose my weight right now, so, EAT, or not is the most hesitating choice to me. If I choose to eat, I will get fatter instead of losing the weight; If I choose no to eat, I don'e have engry to do works, and I will be sick. Then, I always flip the coin, tail is eat, head is not. Usually, if I get tail, I will tell my self , God let me eat; if I get head, I will still eat, and tell myself that I will be sick if I choose not to eat. Anyway, I will eat. Anyway, I will trust my heart.
I do not trust my judgments because I will not know if my decisions are right or not until I see them in the future. One thing I believe is: once I decided my judgments, I will not waste time to regret although I might feel regretful. Because regret cannot slove any problem, it just make us painful.
I think revenge is "bad". As Mr. Feraco said in the blog, revenge is making more pain to response to the previous pain. Why are we alive? In order to be happy every single day. I can choose to live in the pain, and we can choose to live in the happiness. The earth will not change anyways, but i may change our mood to spend our whole life. Is this mean that if someone killed your best lover, then your rest of life is defintely unhappy? Because you have to revenge? If you revenged sucessfully, will the dead person be happy, or you will be happy, or anyone else will be happy?
NO. No one will be happy after you revenged successfully, because the dead person is dead, he will not have any more sences. You will not be happy because you hurted a person anyway, the pain will become more stable in your heart forever and ever. The family of the one be revenged will not be happy because he was also their best love, and you just did the same evil thing to his family like he did to your lover. Revenge will not change the things already happened, but charity will make the passed things easier to be forgot, and then forgive. FORGOT AND FOEGIVE --- you choose to GIVE the charity, you GOT the happiness forever. The best revenge is to live wonderfully.
I would not make them take revenge for me. If they try to take revenge of me and failed, that would be a double lost. Taking revenge would never make the problem better and would not help me recover or revive me. Taking revenge might temporary make me feel relieve and seem like everything is fine, that the person had his punishment; however, it does not worth my love ones to get injured or killed for that. I might feel even worse if they get injured or killed. In additional, if the revenge did work, and that person is killed or injured, it might get my loved ones in jail too. This is not something I want to see. If he or she can drop the weights of vengeance, maybe he or she can be relived and be happier with his or her life. Death is something which is acting like an expiration date, anything has an expiration date, and that includes our life. The cause of our death might not be important, because one day God is going to bring me home, back to where I initially belong to. It is actually the matter of time, when God needs me to be in this word, he got his reasons, and when God wants me to go back home, he will get a reason to bring me home. If a person can understand that, then he or she would not be blaming the person who killed him, instead, he or she will thank that person who brought him or her back to God. If my loved one did not take revenge for me, I would not be mad or feel unloved, because he or she knows my will. I do not want anything happen to him or her, because I love him or her. All I actually wanted was him or her, to carry on with his or her life, happily and forget about me.
If they are hurting my mother and my brother and get away with it, I might as well look at what ways they did it with. I can try and use the same way to do it to them and get away with it. There is always a saying of, “an eye for an eye” I will do the same to them. It is important for them to know that, if they cross the line and went too far, I have to fight back and rather sacrifice myself for the safety of my loved ones. If sacrificing myself for the peace and safety for my family, I will do it, nothing complex but it is just because I love my family. The Americans revolted 300 years ago because the British crossed the line and went too far, and today I am going to fight back if they went too far. If one is getting bullied too much and not fighting back, the bully will start getting more and more ridiculous. The only way to stop that is simply bite back. I am not that kind of person who would just stand there and watch my loved ones get hurt and watch the bully gets away with it peacefully. Sometimes you just need to clear the path and do what you need to do even though the sacrifice might risk your life, and that is the only solution.
Well in my experience, I see in my daily basic is love. I chose love because love is everything in life. Love is a special thing in life because if we didn't have love it will be just sadness, anger, and non-happiness. Every time when you walk down the street you'll see happy couples or parents with their kids all happy, but sometimes there is bad moment about love. When you get into a fight or the relationship is over, but that’s how life go's. We have good times in life and bad times in the moment of our life.
“If you hurt her, I will destroy you,” I say offhandedly, in a light, breezy tone that would have been dismissed by anyone who did not know me well enough. He laughs as if I had cracked a hilariously funny joke, and I join in a beat later. There is no trace of menace in my voice, but the threat is no less real. I mean every word I say.
Typically, I am not someone easily distinguished in the crowd. Perhaps it is my easy demeanor, so willing to conform to others’ needs and desires that I seem to blend into the background wherever I go. My height, however, offers a more logical explanation. Being shorter than most people my age (a characteristic I have never found a hindrance) I can disappear at a moment’s notice. Either way, I have rarely been described as a menace to society, and I believe myself to be quite friendly to strangers and acquaintances alike.
I am, however, fiercely protective of those I love. The only tried and true way to provoke me is to endanger my friends and family. Within seconds, the small, seemingly harmless girl you’ve encountered in the halls once or twice, transforms. I am a snarling, hissing beast. I am a ferocious monster that will devour you whole, or maybe even pieces at a time so I can enjoy watching you writhe in agony. I am the regret that you ever dared to even think about harming my loved ones.
No, it is not a pretty picture I have just painted. In fact, it is so wholly uncharacteristic, so acutely opposite to my persona, that sometimes even I cannot imagine myself to be so cruel.
Even if my friend is in the wrong, despite all the misgiving I have previously had about him or her, my loyalty is an indestructible bond. I will do everything that is in my power to protect them; likewise, I will garner ever ounce of courage and strength that I have to put you through the same amount of pain. In this regard, I can be merciless.
It is no way to create peace, a concept I largely advocate and wished the world could understand. Yet to criticize the world for all its violence would be hypocritical; I can speak no better of myself. Yet I have no wish to.
I could not react in any other way, and live with it.
So I condone Grendma’s actions. I cheer, however sadly and hollowly, when Beowulf slays her, too. I do not see the murder of the men sleeping in the halls as justice; I have no taste for unnecessary bloodshed. But my heart aches for the pain she must feel, and for her inevitable demise.
I feel obligated to defend, sometimes even shelter those I care about. It is because of this innate sense of responsibility that I would willingly hurt anyone who puts them in harm’s way. My inability to carry out what I believe to be a simple task—keep them safe—opens a void so deep I become insensible, inconsolable, cruelly callous to put it lightly. I have failed. Not only my duty, but the person I love. And in the wake of my all-encompassing grief, I am swallowed.
It is an ocean, and I am drowning.
So I do what I must to stay alive, and attempt to find solace in revenge. And I channel my inner pain into someone else’s.
You see, I want to say I am above all the nonsense of revenge. That the portrayals of the very topic in movies is dumb and outdated, and that we humans are far superior to the animal instincts we might have succumbed to years ago. But truth be told, not only would I fall victim to the poisonous embrace of revenge, I would willingly welcome it into my existence.
After all, revenge sure is sweet.
Sometimes I wonder if I am making the right decision when I have to choose between one thing and another. I feel as though that is where family and friends come in. I don’t always have the right judgment on things so if I ask for advice sometimes it helps me to view things from a different perspective. If I really listen to the advice from my peers it can help me to make a better decision but on the other hand it can also not help. Sometimes the heart and mind want two different things. So should I follow my heart or mind?
When it comes to whether or not I feel I made the right decision sometimes it isn’t always what I would have expected to choose. My heart will tell me to do one thing but my mind will tell me that that’s not the right decision. It always will confuse me when that happens but sometimes I feel that choosing what the heart wants isn’t always right. Sometimes things aren’t meant to be but other times it’s good to give things a chance.
I want to be able to trust my judgment but when I’ve messed up a couple times before it’s hard to trust myself judgment completely. I try to not dwell on past situations but I know that ultimately I can trust myself before anyone else. I believe I know what I’m feeling and how I am judging a situation and I feel that I know what would be best for me. There may be some circumstances where I might want to trust the judgment of another but for the most part I just trust myself.
The way I view something and the way another may view the same thing will for the most part be different. So before just assuming that your answer is correct maybe it’s best to converse with peers. I know that what I’m saying may be contradicting and confusing but I just feel that different situations call for different solutions. Sometimes we trust our judgment and other times we don’t. Then there are those times where we want to follow our heart, but that’s not always the best choice and we should listen to what our gut and mind are telling us. Lastly, we sometimes may feel as though our view on things is correct when really we are blinded by something else that is preventing us from seeing something else. That would be when we take advice from loved ones around us who at sometimes need to lead us back into the right direction when we are lost.
Although I understand why Grendma would take revenge for her son. That does not give her any grounds to kill. Killing only begets more killing; it ends up being a cycle of death and pain, until someone decides to stop the bloodshed, or there is no one left to kill. Grendma in my eyes is a villain because her purpose is wrong, her intentions are wrong. Her intentions for revenge are dumb because revenge does not solve anything; it can never bring back Grendel from the dead.
I would not want my son to take revenge for me because it might endanger his life. I would want him to move on and not focus all his energy to seek my murderer. After my death I want my children to live a better life, to enjoy life, and to not be bitter over my death. As for myself, I would do the same. I would try to bring my father’s murderer to justice, but in a legal way. I would not buy a gun and hunt down this man. It would be too troublesome for me and I know my dad would not want me to live that kind of life.
I think humans respond to pain by causing pain because they just want others to feel the same way they are feeling. Life in its basic form is the survival of the fittest. And if one human was in pain, the only way to level the playing field is to cause pain to others. The human heart wants others to feel the same pain it is going through, so others can understand and relate to the pain. This explanation is far-fetched, and probably has a lot of holes, but it makes sense in my mind.
I do trust my heart, judgment, and views. If I don’t believe in myself, what else is there to believe in? I would feel horrible that my child is so wicked, and yet I would come to his/her defense. I would come to their defense because they are my family, they are my blood, and I love them. However, I would not act the same way Grendma did; I would not kill and I would not seek revenge. But this is hard to say because back then, what justice could Grendma seek other than revenge?
I imagine my mother coming to my defense. She says, “He is a good boy! He would never do this! He is innocent! He is my sweet little Joseph!” I would never want to hear those words come from her mouth. It is sickening thinking about it because I would be disappointed with myself if my mom had to say those things to try and prove my innocence.
I view revenge as a way to seek justice. It might not always be honor and fair to everyone else, but to an individual seeking for revenge, nothing is more honorable and reasonable. However, when we look back, we often see the unintelligent side of revenge for the fact the one we revenge for may not want us to risk our lives for someone or something that is already done. Indeed, revenge is pointless.
Although on the realistic side revenge is a meaningless action, when consider emotional facts, the action of revenge is understandable. I remembered once I asked my mom, what would she do if I died? And her answer was “I will die with you.” That is how simple and true a mother’s love can be. Walking in Grendel’s mother’s shoes, I do not think that it is Grendel’s mother’s fault, because the motivation of her revenge is just simply a mother’s love and a mother’s grieve over the lost of her dearest son. Her actions are reasonable. If I were her, I would do the same.
However, if I were Grendel, I would not want my mother to take revenge for me. It is unfair to her that she had to risk her life over a mistake her son had done. I would not want the person I love to make up for my mistakes. If Grendel were there to see this, he will stop her mother and tell her to live on. I don’t trust my views and judgment, but I do trust my heart. I may not have done the right thing at the moment when I am grieve enough to think of revenge, but I would prefer to follow my heart, because if I were a mother, I would rather revenge and die than grieve and live.
I have watched many soap operas that are related to revenge. Most of the characters choose revenge because they want to seek for justice, which they couldn’t seek through laws. Hence, they chose to do it themselves. This also reflects to the society nowadays. People take revenges because there is no other ways that they can think of in order to gain justice for themselves. When people are hunted by hatreds, revenge may bring peace to their heart. Revenge is caused by injustice while the injustice will almost always exist because life is not perfect.
Revenge is meaningless, illogical, and awful. But it is our human nature that tells us to protect ourselves and our love ones even if would cause our own life as the price.
Revenge is best understood as a response to acts of dehumanization. Revenge is the attempt to obtain recognition of one’s personhood from the perpetrator (or perpetrators) through a reversal of roles. However, revenge is self-defeating. We have to become that which we hate to destroy those we hate.
Revenge is bad and good at the same time. It depends on the perspective we see it from. Revenge is “bad” when we see other people taking their vengeance. But it is “good” when we consider it justified for ourselves. So revenge isn’t bad or good, its just both and neither at the same time. Just like we condemn others vengeful actions, we disapprove of Beowulf’s killing of Grendel’s mother, even if it was to avenge Aeschere. And although we understand Grendma’s own vengeance, we still reprimand it.
Revenge is natural in humans. We live in a society of competition, where, in the end, people only car about their own immediate circumstances. So I felt bad for the Danes when Grendma took her revenge, but I felt worse when Grendel died in her arms. A mother’s immediate circumstance is her family. Their happiness is her happiness. I was cheering Grendma on in her battle against Beowulf.
Revenge will never stop in the modern world. It would require us to separate the people from the problems. There are too many people who aren’t willing to do that; who aren’t willing to release their burdens. And they want to keep their burdens. They want vengeance. It feels good. From their perspective.
What would you do if you were in Grendel’s place when someone tears your child apart?
How would you react to this horrible action?
I have one younger sister and I adore her. We sometimes have our moments but at the end of the day I will always love my little sister. I actually always think about her whenever I’m doing a dramatic monologue or scene cause when I think about her and I put her into that mindset of the person I’m supposed to be weeping for I start to bawl. It’s the perfect way for me to get into character.
But If I was in this scene when Grendal’s mother is watching her son get torn up I would be extremely sad but another emotion will rise upon me and that is revenge hate and anger. I can’t even fathom if I put my mind set as my sister playing that character getting torn up to pieces.
Apart of me would want to kill the person who did the deed and another part of me would just want to scream Bloody Mary and cry hysterically. As that character I don’t I would ever be able to forgive the person that would kill my sister in such a no humane way.
As a Christian we are called to forgive everyone because Jesus died for all of our sins. It might be hard to forgive the person. And I’m not just saying if the bad person killed on of your family members be forgiving right away and everything is all honkey dory again. No it really does take time in order to forgive them slowly but surely
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