The unending cycle of revenge

 Not everyone is capable of apologizing or at least, not everyone is willing to do so. But it proves to be helpful in business and social relationship as well as in close-knit ones because sometimes it’s just a matter of admitting your fault and taking responsibility for your actions.

I can relate to the examples given in the book about feeling better after receiving an apology even when we were wronged, that sometimes all we need is just that and not a rude reply. Hostility only brings about anger and maybe tons of hate mail or videos. The cyberworld is a powerful space where people could air their concerns and views about a certain product or service and gain floods of sentiments. A lot of companies nowadays take that into account and create a service group that would watch the reviews and comments of the people, because in the end these do matter in the image of a company. If a product or service experience proved to be really bad, chances are the person who had knowledge of the incident would tell his or her relatives, the brand is tarnished and the degree of trust declines. But if the company or the agent is willing to step down a bit to say a simple sorry and that could make a lot of difference. The person who was offended will feel better, probably could even ease the temper.

We need humility in acknowledging our mistakes. I like the part where the author talked about how the cycle of revenge never ends, that’s exactly what is meant by the Chinese saying: Yuan Yuan xiang bao, he shi liao? Though the Chinese saying was usually used in the old times where the person takes revenge and another one gets back at him, so it becomes endless; this is still true today, if we try to hit back on others hoping that they would feel the same pain we experienced, the counterpart might feel the same thing and strike back too.

Writings about revenge tell us that it’s not really a good habit to acquire, actually what happens is the opposite, that we submerge in pain in the process and even after taking vengeance.

“Therein lies the defect of revenge: it’s all in the anticipation; the thing itself is a pain, not a pleasure; at least the pain is the biggest end of it.” – Mark Twain

“Revenge has no more quenching effect on emotions than salt water has on thirst.” – Walter Weckler

I’ve just finished watching the series entitled 我和我的兄弟,恩(I, My Brother). A character here called Jia Hao was blinded by his anger to the extent of harming people. But in the end, it showed us that taking revenge doesn’t do us any good, it actually destroys us in the process and won’t feel like we gained anything. It’s more of losing something or eventually losing ourselves. We might be given a second chance but it’s up to us if we are willing to take that step like Jia Hao did, going to the police to surrender.

There are also success stories from revenge. So we could turn that strong feeling of wanting to get back on others by improving ourselves, but almost always just knowing our limitations and bear in mind not to hurt people in the process.

*inspired by the upside of irrationality by dan ariely: the case of revenge chapter 🙂


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