Before you begin to think critically about the question the title poses, let’s suspend our religious beliefs and values for this particular discourse. Of course, the bible informs us to let God fight our battles. However, let’s remove ourselves from the teachings of the bible for at least this discourse to explore whether getting revenge is useful. Even if you have difficulty with temporarily suspending your religious beliefs and values to enter this discourse, you may find that you would arrive at how you feel about revenge without the teachings you have received in your religious sects. It can be quite beneficial to explore whether or not we gain any true benefits from seeking revenge on those who have wronged us.
Although some may see it as childish for adults to seek revenge, it’s vital to consider that many wars throughout history have been fought to obtain revenge. Therefore, unless you’re prepared to offer a serious argument for why many wars that have been fought throughout history have been childish, then don’t just call an adult childish for desiring to seek revenge. While we have to brush many things off of our shoulders in life, considering we cannot fight every battle, there are times when we need to make people pay for the terrible things they’ve done to us.
If someone just walks up and slaps you in the face, do you let him or her get away with this? If you catch someone in the act of destroying your property, do you simply let him or her get away with this?
Are there times when seeking revenge is justified?
You cannot allow people to do everything to you and not make them suffer some consequences. While you may have been taught to be the better person and not to try to seek revenge on another person, this teaching can cause you to get trampled on by many people. If people are out there attacking you, then you need to defend yourself against their attacks. At some point, you have to respond to serious attacks. Don’t think constant attacks will not have their impact on you—they will.
When you’re engaged in a battle with someone, use all legal things at your disposal to defeat him or her. Never come away from a battle talking about what you could have done to win that battle—do it while you’re in the battle. Don’t feel sorry for those who are out there trying to destroy you. Do you think they are concerned about you? Why be concerned about them?
There may come a time when you have to get revenge on a family member or close friend. You have to be willing to make a family member or close friend who has intentionally sought to harm you pay for intentional wrongs. Don’t concern yourself with taking it easy on a family member or close friend who has not demonstrated a true concern for you through their words and/or actions. Would a true close friend or family member intentionally and maliciously attempt to hurt you? If the answer is yes, then you have to be willing to show him or her that you’re not going to sit around and allow him or her to destroy you. Fight back!
Some people think everything is okay when they are doing the attacking, but they really think you have done them viciously wrong when you strike back at them. When some people are out there doing and saying horrible things about you, they need to think more deeply about what power, talents, influence, and etc. you possess before they intentionally do and say things to hurt you.
If you feel the need to get revenge on someone, don’t let anyone deter you—go for it!
Do you think it’s useful to get revenge on someone who has wronged you?
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison