Archived Story

Write Again … There is justice — and revenge

Published 8:40pm Monday, February 4, 2013

In what would be an honest assessment, it would be fair to say of me that I am not a “punitive person.”
What, exactly, do I mean by this? Well, the best explanation I might give would be that there isn’t a strong inclination in me to punish or to admire those who advocate strongly for severe punishment.
I recall reading many years ago of someone saying, “Beware of those in whom the desire to punish is strong.”
Do I believe crimes, certain actions, should go unpunished? Of course not.
It means, in my case, that I don’t enjoy seeing or knowing about punishment, as some people seem to. It literally gives them pleasure. Even justified punishment — and of course there is that, and a need for it — gives me no pleasure.
There is justice. And there is revenge. They are not the same. Within each of us there may be, in varying degrees, a wish for the latter. It is an emotion one should be wary of, it seems to me.
A recurring topic in literature throughout the history of the written word has to do with punishment.
Even with just a cursory examination of biblical Scripture one would find examples of what we could call “polar opposites.” You know this. There’s the Old Testament. And there’s the New Testament. Talk about contradictions. Since I am not — definitely not — an expert regarding Scripture, common sense tells me to not dwell on this any longer.
And so. What, you may reasonably ask, is my intent as to the purpose of this monograph? That’s a legitimate question. Truth to tell, as of this writing, I’m not really sure I’ll submit it. We’ll see.
If there is a point, however, it would be the caveat I quoted earlier: “Beware of those in whom the desire to punish is strong.”
There’s justice. And there’s revenge.
APROPOS — “A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green …”
— Francis Bacon (1625)

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