Judgment and Revenge


These words have been on my mind for a while now.

Judgment seems to be the main motivator behind a lot of articles in magazines and papers, on television shows and social media, where the lives of the famous and wannabe famous are in the picture to be judged good or bad, with the latter most prominent…
Revenge seems to be a common thread through most movies where the hero has to seek revenge in order to get justice…

Do you ever feel like repaying someone a negative “favor”?

A good internal question to ask is: What benefit can be gained from this?
When I truly look inside, the answer I find is “none whatsoever”!

Recently I found out that a few neighbors had some issues with a new family that moved in not long ago, a single mum with several kids and pets. I was unaware of this for some time and have so far only had good interactions with them, besides having to ask them to keep their cats indoors at night. They were posing a nuisance keeping me up all night by upsetting my dog as well as leaving some not so nice surprises in my garden, but then again, it could have been someone else’s cat too… This problem settled and all neighbors appear to oblige to my friendly request now.

The kids were curious about the plants on my veranda, that are for sale. I gave the young girls a little cactus each from my stock plants out the back (with soft furry needles, not the nasty prickly variety) to treasure at home.

Every time they saw me down the street I got a big smile and a few friendly words from them. A few days later they knocked on my door with hand drawn “postcards”, filled with lovely messages. After that I decided to give their mum a bag of lemons from my tree as I had to many to use for myself. I knew she had health problems after we talked and got to know each other a little on a walk back from the local shops some time ago. I knew it would do her good. Another few days later one of the girls knocked on my door with a cupcake that she had made herself! .

How can it be that my experiences with this family were all so sweet and lovely, while my other friendly neighbors had the total opposite happen?

I guess as a result from earlier experiences with this family, that my other normally friendly neighbors had experienced, was at least an annoyed feeling towards them. When dealing with people our emotions play an important part in nonverbal communication. Most people do not take conscious notion of this, but it is just as, if not more, important than words. It shines through in our facial expressions and body language. Along with habitual judgment about this family, while not really knowing a lot about them besides what was observed, comes a vibration of expecting the worst from them.

Especially children are very sensitive to vibration. Had they decided to take revenge for whatever they felt wronged by through vandalism? Have these young children already been corrupted by the brainwashing effects of movies and tv, that revenge is a desirable action that makes you feel better? Had they witnessed bad behavior in the family, before it broke up, and accepted this as normal? Is there something else playing out as well that goes both ways?

There is a saying going around the social media these days that loosely goes as follows:

“Whether you believe something to be true or not, either way you are right”

This hints at “Ask and it is given”, also mentioned in the bible, which is in my opinion telling us about our mental and emotional influence on our experiences. (Why and how I have become convinced of this is described in detail in my book)
The thoughts and feelings, of in this case annoyance and suspicion, which are the conductors of the “ask” , do not support good odds for “being given” a lovely experience or encounter and neither are judgment or revenge!

Maybe it is important to discern more and judge less?
Ask yourself the question regularly: “What benefit can be gained from this?”
Most of all, when did revenge ever have something good come out of it? Do not ever seek revenge!

“Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”
Wayne W. Dyer

I am glad about my life’s experiences, for they give me inspiration to share what I feel passionate about!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below 😉

1000 voices speak for compassion


“Compassion is the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.” is what Wikipedia tells us. While it is easy to find compassion for victims of brutality, finding it for the perpetrators is another matter as is evidenced in the blog post by Jo Robinson I came across that alerted me to the cause of “1000 voices speak for compassion”. (https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/does-everyone-deserve-compassion/)

I am normally not too religiously inclined, but that post brought a quote to mind that made me think about this some more from a perspective that could help create more compassion. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23-34. It seems that Jesus felt compassion for the people that put him on the cross. A more current example is the Dalai Lama, who is today’s main advocator for compassion. Despite all the violence committed against him and his beloved country of Tibet, he is able to find compassion for the perpetrators! How is it that there are actually people out there that firmly believe that forgiveness and compassion is the right response to combat violence? Our “normal” response would generally at least be a good beating or jail to punish the person that is committing the violence. After all they had a choice of not doing it, or did they?

From psychological research it appears that humans form most of their beliefs, habits and understanding of the world and society they grow up in during the first 6 years of their lives. They do this by absorbing habits and ideas of those closest to them, like immediate family. This immediate family mostly acts on their beliefs formed in their childhood with a few added more current ones they have taken on board deliberately by “free” choices colored by their society and culture’s ideas of moral and justice. Thinking about this I cannot help but question how free our choices really are? How much of what we believe is really our very own opinion? How much is absorbed from the media, friends and family?

It is not until we truly question those beliefs within, that we can realize how wrong some of them can be. There are many games and movies based on the subject of justice and revenge and who doesn’t have a little feel good moment when the bad guy gets his serve? But really think about it, if you were a bad guy getting your serve, wouldn’t you feel even more hatred towards this underdog? Who does he think he is, that he can do that to you? He needs to be punished some more! Can you see where this is going?

In my own life this “justified” retaliation has been evident in a lingering undercurrent of hatred towards the Germans in Europe. Even now there are people that feel it justified to double charge a German tourist or break the antenna of a car with German license plates parked in a country that was occupied by previous generations seventy years ago! Those actions seem insignificant compared to what the Germans did, right?

We now know that the majority of Germans at that time had no idea about what happened in those camps that their rulers conveniently covered up as work camps. They allowed Hitler to rise on promises for a more prosperous future during a time of recession and poverty, unaware of the hidden agenda until it was too late. They acted in favor of him, believing he would fix their dire situation. By the time some started waking up to the evil that was happening, it was too late to speak up or they too would have become victims.

From this we can conclude that we all have the potential of serious violence in us, if we are directly threatened or brainwashed (as in taken on false beliefs), but the majority of us is mostly peace loving with a few minor flaws. There is a real danger in most modern societies now, with movies, games and even the news subtly influencing our sense of justice and need for revenge, increasing their violence ever more to keep the audience entertained, that this need for revenge will bite us on the bum one day.

We need to question what revenge actually achieves and makes us into. Would empathy and compassion not create a better understanding of the real reason behind violent actions that are committed, based upon the false belief that they will relieve a threat in some perverted way? Do they REALLY KNOW what they are doing?