An Eye for an Eye (Won’t Get You Anywhere)

They said “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Sometimes, people hurt us so bad that it is truly difficult to forgive and let go. We are no saints, and it’s completely normal to hate others because of what they have done to us.

Some bad things people did to us leave a scar that lasts for life, and we will want to seek revenge because we simply want them to feel what we have felt, we want to make them suffer just like they have made us suffer.

But is it worth it? The Buddha said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Moreover, Mitch Albom expands this quote further to, “Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harms us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.

I am no angel. I hate people and the things they did to hurt me. I want them to also feel the pain, so that they understand what they have done to me and the damage that has been done, but every time I become angry and full of hatred, it tires me a lot. Hatred and anger are tiring, and in the end, I realize that hating anyone only prolongs the pain and the suffering—my pain and suffering.

Every time I want to avenge someone, I always remind myself that taking revenge will only bring me down to the level of those who I want to avenge. They are not necessarily bad people; they just did bad things—and by doing the same thing to anyone, I will do the things that I hate. I don’t want to be a person who hurt others intentionally. I want to be the end of the cycle, and to stop the cycle means learning to forgive and let go.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. If it works, I forgive people and conquer my anger. If it doesn’t, it means I lack of self-control and I usually regret what I did afterwards. Either way, I am trying to be a better person and be more compassionate to others.

Does it make me weak? Does it make me a coward? I don’t know. But as Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind,”—after experiencing the pain, do we want to be the reason that causes other people go through the same kind of agony?

Related post (in Indonesian): Membenci


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