Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Musings of a Vengeful Spirit - Mass Destruction

"Revenge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
I'm sure you've heard this remark before right? If not in this wording probably something more like "Holding a grudge is like drinking..." or "Resentment is like drinking...". The reason I chose the wording with "revenge" in it is because while holding grudges and resentment are feelings, revenge is a matter of acting on those feelings (or at least I think so).

But as I said last time I think there is something still wrong with this quote.

First let me say that as long as we are talking thoughts and feelings I'll agree that grudge and resentment can actually play out as their respective quotes say. Simmering in hatred and fostering those negative feelings does indeed serve the ultimately destructive result of thinking that they other person is going to be destroyed by embracing hate, when in fact the one that is giving into that negativity is the one that will ultimately be destroyed. But when you act on that hate, things change up a bit.

In the last entry in this series I talked about how once a person has given in to hatred and they decide to lash out at others all sorts of counterproductive things happen. Whether they realize it or not, whether they think they are or not, whether they acknowledge it or not. That resentful person is acting on those feelings.

When they go looking for an argument or start shutting other people out from an otherwise civil conversation that's action. That's the decision to act on the hate.

And with those actions come consequences.

Others start to feel unwelcome. They are hurt by your hatred. They are offended by your hatred. They are turned off by your hatred. People begin to lump you in with the worst of the bunch, whether that lumping is justified or not (and not it's not always justified). People stop wanting to talk to you. People stop wanting to work with you. People may duck out of the conversation altogether (not just a particular exchange but drop the subject entirely).

When things like that happen the person that is lashing out is no longer drinking a poison and waiting for others to die. No it's more than that. So when it comes to revenge I think it's not quite poison but more like this.

Revenge is like a suicide bomb. You may hurt the people that hurt you. But you will destroy yourself and hurt innocent people in the process.

That's what it comes down to. Attacking others over your own pain can be (I may dare say "usually is") extremely destructive. Not just to yourself, but to others as well.

Those people that get shut out of the conversation? Hurt.

Those people that have their own experiences denied in some twisted sense of "How do you like it?"? Hurt.

Those people that give up on the subject because of the way they were treated? Hurt.

Those people that would otherwise agree with someone if it wasn't for the aura-like hatred they pushed out to those around them? Hurt.

That's a lot of hurting going on isn't it? Yes it is.

That (to me) is probably the gravest and most long lasting cost of giving in to the negativity and and acting on it in the form of revenge. Not only destroying oneself but taking others with them.

(Honestly I'm not sure if I will be doing more entries in this "Musings of a Vengeful Spirit" series or not. But if I do they will be right here on my blog with the others.)