Revenge
Revenge or even the desire to avenge is a core element in our culture and world today. As a fan of comic books, I recognize that revenge is a staple – Batman wants to avenge his parents’ killing, etc. It ties into a depth of anger that a lot of people carry because they can’t get vengeance for something that’s happened to them. The loss of a job, the put-down in high school, the shame carried in being dumped or just not receiving a call back, that feeling of being trapped in our situation… there’s a lot of free-floating despair out there and it can be tapped into when someone gives us a target and a promise of vengeance. Like anger… it is a salty, chewy piece we can gnaw on in the back of our minds. This emotional chew-bone we don’t really want to release, even when the salt seems to be dissolving. It keeps coming to mind and coming to mind. What I could have said… what I should have done…
It can be good to ask ourselves, when we stop chewing for a moment, “what will I get from my vengeance?” Because the most likely thing is not even a sense of satisfaction, like “at least they got theirs.” Their what? The payback we can imagine doesn’t really affect the other person as much as it affects us. Revenge damages our souls. I think we can see that in the climate of anger that seems to be increasing now. People aren’t discussing. They’re only shouting. It’s so hard to give up a desire for revenge, but it is the thing that satisfies.