We will get hurt. A lot of times, in a lot of different ways. It could be because of our wrong decisions, it can be because of bad luck, or it could be because of someone else. We always try to find a scape-goat to put the blame on whenever things don’t go our way. And when we do, we cannot help ourselves from doing something about it. We feel angry, we feel frustrated, and whenever we find a direction towards which we can vent out our emotions by which we can harm the individual who had harmed us somehow, we seldom leave a chance to do so.
This is what we call revenge or in a more lay man’s word, tit for tat. Since you did something bad to me, I am going to do something similar to you. Everyone has their own way of seeking revenge from the person who has wronged them somehow. When a guy hits another guy, the guy who has been hit will hit back immediately, and hence a fight can start if they both try to continuously take revenge from one another for being hit. But this is the shortest form of it. The revenge which takes a long time leaves a more permanent effect on people, because they tend to go much beyond just a few physical injuries.
The more badly someone harms you, the more revenge seems to be important to you. Whenever we think about the reason why we want to take revenge, the only thing that comes to our mind is that we want that other person to feel the exact same thing we felt when that person had harmed us. In other words, what we call “teaching a lesson”. We want that person to learn what happens when they do something bad to you, we want to let them know that whoever tries to harm you in any way, would be facing the same consequences. In this way, we want them to be warned and make sure that they can never do anything like that to you a second time.
Moreover, when we succeed in taking revenge from a particular person, and we are sure that we made that person stand exactly what you had to go through, there is a sense of satisfaction. Now that the both of you have suffered the same way (according to you), now there is an amount of fairness. It seems as if the fact that only you were the one who was harmed created a sort of inequality among the two of you, and now after you’ve successfully taken revenge from them, now both of you are on the same page, both of you are equal. Even Newton’s Third Law justifies this purpose of revenge – “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” So whenever someone does something bad, that person automatically deserves something bad in return as well. It’s how it is supposed to be, it is nature.
Nevertheless, after we successfully manage to take revenge from someone, what happens then? Of course, the culprit who has wronged you suffers and you get a mental satisfaction, but what do you really gain from it? At times, you might even go out of your usual way in order to find a way to harm that person, or you might chalk out some sort of a plot to get back at them. It takes a minimum effort for you to figure out how you are going to take your revenge. A little planning, a little concentration. But do we really gain from this? A few moments of satisfaction? And then what? A long bitter relation with the person from whom we took revenge. If you get lucky, you both might be able to forgive each other and become friends, but that happens very rarely. It is impossible to get back the friendship or the positive relation you had with that person. Now, we might say, that that relation would be ruined as soon as that person wronged you, it wouldn’t be your fault, and they were the ones who started it. But you can put an end to it, instead of continuing with what the other person started.
It isn’t necessary that the one who harmed you has to feel exactly what you felt. Instead of sweating over about how to take revenge from that person, we could make them feel even worse by simply moving on with our lives. That’s when they would realize that their intention of harming you couldn’t be fulfilled at all.
It is a common notion that the opposite of love is hatred. But that is not true. The opposite of love is ignorance. If you still hate the person that would mean you still care about them, or at least about hurting them. But if you are completely ignorant about that person, not bothering about them at all, that would mean that they are not worth your time. You have many other things to attend to in your life, rather than waste your time thinking about them.
This is what would bother them the most, when they realize that they have failed to direct your attention towards them. Moreover, when you realize that someone wants to obstruct you or put you off your path, you would feel even more determined to accomplish it. In this case, the perfect idea of revenge would be not to give your opponent any attention at all, and just push forward with your goal. When you succeed, in spite of their efforts to stop you, you would feel your success is far more satisfying than it would have been. So, the best way of taking revenge would be by not taking it all.