Understand suffering through empathy, not through vengeance

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” — Marcus Aurelius.

Vengeance is nothing more than forcing others to understand how you felt about a negative situation. When someone does you wrong, you might want to perform the same evil on that person, defending it with a wrong understanding of justice. This “eye for an eye” system creates a cycle of hatred, which transcends generations, friendships, and communities.

It could be we have corrupted the idea of justice, and adapted it according to our wrong sense of satisfaction. However, justice is not an act of retaliation, but a demonstration of kindness and fairness. It should be a path for bringing, no matter how small, harmony to humanity. Therefore, justice has no place where anger is present.

Every act of evil carries an injury, which is acquired by those who carry out the deed. The more suffering we hold, the more hate we feel against our “enemy,” and the more we seek to do him harm, wounding ourselves in the process. We find no peace until our thirst for vengeance is satisfied, sacrificing our happiness along the way. Why do we seek vengeance then? It takes too much but gives almost nothing in exchange.

When we feel attacked or injured, we seek comfort in family and friends. It is rare, however, when the one who caused us suffering understands what we are going through. Hence, the cycle of hatred begins: if the person is not emotionally rational, he will seek the injurer to make him understand how he feels, not through comfort and harmony, but rather through vengeance and retaliation. But the cycle does not end here. Even if the individual achieves his revenge, the other person might not stand idly by without doing anything. Thus, forging one more link to the chain.

Nevertheless, the chain of hate can be broken without harming more people as it grows. Each time we refuse to comprehend how someone is feeling, we, with our bare hands, forge the next link to the chain. But if we understand and share the feelings of others, the cycle of hatred stops, and a new cycle of empathy rises.

Ending with hate and suffering depends entirely on our empathy towards others. We can heal the injures of those who were bruised in the past, and prevent it from happening in the future. And even if we cannot end suffering and hate in the world, which is an impossible task to achieve, we can end the hatred around the people we hold most dear.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store