To get even with everybody

One of the temptations we suffer from at times is to get even with everyone. I have seen it happen with some simple, uneducated parents who, to pacify the child who is crying, beat the ground or the object that hurt the child to make it stop crying. It does, but unconsciously the simple parent has taught the child to take revenge. What good does it do to oneself to take revenge? But the hurt feeling rankles inside and we would like to have it out with that person or persons who wronged us rightly or wrongly but we have been hurt deeply.

That is what it matters for the time being. Somehow, I feel the account must be cleared. Why should I not allow God to settle the accounts in his own time and manner? But the good person would even pray for the person(s) who hurt him and hope that God would pardon them and give them the good sense to see the right path and be emended for
their eternal good.

This kind of attitude gives lasting peace rather than the one of getting even by trying to get it out of our system by taking revenge. It only adds to the problem.One thing leads to the next and the chain of vengeance goes on. In Mediaeval Europe, we read of family feuds or vendetta continuing for generations together.

The killing goes on. Sometimes, we could see similar things happen even in modern times. The chain of violence continues. They say violence begets violence and it can be broken only by generously granting pardon.

Let bygones be bygones and away from our minds and hearts.St Paul in one of his letters says in very simple words: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Rom12.14). This is but an echo of what Jesus also taught and what Mahatma Gandhi repeatedly taught.

Way back in 1908, when he was in South Africa, a compatriot had assaulted him severely and his reaction to it was one of patience and acceptance of the suffering it involved.
He says in his newspaper ‘Indian Opinion’ on February 22, 1908: “…as in the way of the world, people will persist in the method of violence… the duty of the wiseman is only to bear the sufferings in patience” (The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol VIII 46).

Can I add anything more to enhance this wise and practical advice? Our society urgently needs to recapture this spirit of the Mahatma in order to find the right direction. It is no doubt difficult, but indeed this is the path to find peace. It is not by hurting that our hurts are healed.

It is not by cursing we are blessed. Even in our domestic life we should learn constantly to forgive and forget so that we get on with our life. There is no use in trying to get even with anyone.

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