Revenge Or Forgiveness?

What Makes You Happier? hmmm
What is not often addressed is the effect over time.

We do sometimes see stories about what it's like coming home from war, but very rarely see stories about what it's like decades later.
This is not just a portrait of suffering. It's about relationships ... how that damage interacts with intimate relationships... with Love.

I recently saw a film, based on a true story “THE RAILWAY MAN” that tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II.

Did Eric Lomax really track down his former captor with the intent to kill him?

NO, but Eric's wife Patti says that, until he set eyes on his former Japanese tormentor, Takashi Nagase, he had been threatening to do him harm. However, The Railway Man true story reveals that, unlike the film, the real Eric Lomax's intention was more about finding closure rather than seeking revenge.
The movie depicts Eric meeting with his unsuspecting former captor in order to seek retribution, only to change his mind during the encounter.

Eric later wrote that the reunion gave him "a resolution for which he had been searching for years."

Did Eric Lomax forgive his former tormentor Takashi Nagase?

YES. In his memoir, Eric writes, "Meeting Nagase has turned him from a hated enemy - with whom friendship would have been unthinkable - into a blood-brother.
"If I'd never been able to put a name to the face of one of the men who had harmed me, and never discovered that behind that face there was also a damaged life, the nightmares would always have come from a past without meaning."

This is one dramatic example of someone seeking closure with the choice of forgiveness or revenge.
But there are many examples in everyday life where people can be eaten by their hate and desire for revenge and often the opportunity to achieve this never arises. So they will spend their life poisoned.

The solution really is to see if you can find your own closure by trying to forgive. After all, the other person may be mentally disturbed and/or had a terrible youth and/or upbringing which drove them to the evil deeds they committed.

You cannot change the past but closure must be found somehow. peace

Have you had such experiences? Or, do you know someone who has? daisy

Comments (93)

Tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner?
The Truth & Reconciliation Committee (set up in 1996 by Nelson Mandela) took a lot of flak for being naive and idealistic but also helped a lot of people come to grips with traumas from the apartheid era with over 1000 hearings from across the rainbow nation.

One of the failures was Winnie Mandela, who appeared as ordered but refused to answer questions about the murder of 14 year-old Stompie Sepei, or the other charges made against her. Evil cow. The clip is of no particular interest except to anyone wanting a 3 minute flavour of a very, very long process.

I like the quote from War and Peace..Biff thumbs up
Biff, I always hoped they'd set up a similar system in NI. It may have gone towards healing and giving some closure.
Molly, I think it probably would. Most people just wanted to know WHY someone had felt they could or should do something and although the answers, to those not specifically involved, were often inarticulate or incomplete, any answers at all, any explanation, seemed to really help in some cases. One may not follow the reasoning but just to understand the 'logic' - there was a lot of healing. To be heard, listened to, answered, doesn´t happen a lot in the legal system.
Daniela, didn´t know the quote was from there but I have always liked it.
No it doesn't unfortunately.

And just having someone admit to having done it also helps.

At least the paramilitary groups usually accepted responsibility. Well, accepted is less correct than declared they were responsible. But the military didn't. Plus there are the 'Missing' who were taken, murdered and buried by the IRA and a lot of their families still have no closure.
Something like the T&R could have given closure to all that.
Biff...we learn something new every day...

What you wrote is also very interesting.
I've tried to watch the video..from my phone..but couldn't hear it.
I'll have to wait tomorrow to watch it from my computer.
As you say..."understanding is forgiving" ...but before that it has to be some acceptance.
We can quote the serenity prayer all we want and the 12 steps of AA which speaks much about revenge and forgiveness yet, which is most powerful which stays with us the longest!!! We can easily hold onto the hate and hurt people cause us and often fail to see that we have no one to blame but ourselves. Every time one may obsess or think about how people may have hurt us or unrequited love issues and missed opportunities taken from us is the moments we give it power over us to dictate our thoughts and actions. Yet, how long is enough time to allow the healing to begin? Often time our past regrets and the missed moments for revenge is but, chains that bind us to the very thing we hate about ourselves and other people and often do we project our anger onto everyone in subtle but direct ways.

An example is just read the many profiles of people especially most women sorry to say who project their past experiences of failed relationships by enumerating everything they don't want in a relationship because they already lived it and got the T shirt to show for their scars. Many including myself no matter how happy or silly or neutral we let others see in this arena and the masks we wear so elegantly are they masks of vengeance or forgiveness? If we can't forgive ourselves we can't forgive others. We often cling onto our childhood perceptions of life because in our formative years from birth to about 30 yrs of age we already have shaped our minds and hearts by our understanding of life around us. Now that we are 50 to 70 yrs old time has run out on us and we are now more set in our ways and there is no point in changing or thinking we can ever find love or friendship or a solid connection. I wonder what example are the old fuddy duddies the 50 to 70 something's are setting for the younger crowd who can still get it up or wet? How comfortable are we in our comfort zone today? Are we capable of forgiving ourselves and each other or is it too late? Or is there still a little time left to experience one last shot at love and life we hope to find before we get shoved off in a nursing home or in a pine box?

What will make us happier? That's up to each individual to decide. Happiness comes from within it can't be given by anyone or can't be found in the bottle or in a pipe or needle. It may not even work writing blogs or poems or jokes or intellectual quips. It may be said revenge is a dish best served cold but, the best revenge anyone can do is to forgive and focus on fixing our own lives the best way we know how. When we see the ones who hurt us fall on the wayside as we are on our road to success and improvement that is the best revenge. Often times circumstances in life for others who hurt us have a way to backfire. What goes around comes around!!!!

Once again another profound thought from Daniela who never ceases to amaze!!
Sorry for another blog upon the one but, I felt it necessary to get this off my heart for personal reasons.
Its better than harming others or myself.
> never forgives, never forgets, I ignore, avoid and move on with my life. banana
Hi La Fonda...WHO never forgives and never forgets?confused

Are you referring to someone in particular?
Revenge comes from hate, forgiveness comes from peace.
LAfonda yep my way too, don't even think about either just close the door and move on peace
Exactly Track thumbs up teddybear
@laFonda. @Red...

I think you've missed the concept.

Forgiving is to bring peace within yourself written in the blog...closure!
Not necessary for the benefit of your adversary but...

Then...only then..can you move on without it haunting you for the rest of your life.
Nothing is ever forgotten.
Regarding closure often times it's best to accept the door is closed and cannot ever be opened again. All relationships serve us for a time and season as nothing is forever. No point in revenge and apparently for some they cannot forgive. After getting burned by the stove too many times one has to realize it's just too hot to deal with. Usually when anyone here blocks us is a sign the door is shut. Hence, we can ask where is the forgiveness of past hurts?
Yet, the reasons why people may block others out of their lives is they perhaps are just too tired, too worn out and just don't want to take anymore risks of being hurt by the very fools who they once gave their heart to only to risk being trampled on again.
On this idea then forgiveness of others and self may not always be conducive to one's emotional health.
Some relationships DO last forever and I am living proof of that!
However... it takes two to tango! uh oh

As for "closing doors" after forgiveness has been done - maybe not in person, but energetically - is a sign of CLOSURE!
Regarding Forgiveness, as I said earlier....
This doesn´t mean necessarily doing in person - sometimes the person we want to forgive might not even be in this world anymore!

Since we all are energy, forgiveness can also be done through time... and space... with the right intention, of course!

By doing so, a lot of peace can be felt - by both parties.smitten
And talking about closing doors...
I might be closing my front door but...the other doors are always open for unexpected visitors.
Regarding Prom's comment:

"When anyone here blocks us is a sign that the door is shut.
Hence..we can ask where is the forgiveness of past hurts?"

I think here the point has been missed completely!!!!

If this said person has decided to block you for some reason...This doesn't mean they haven't forgiven you but...
Maybe they've just had enough and want peace.

As I said previously...and I repeat...the forgiving doesn't have to be done in person and face to face!!

There are many techniques available for this. forgiving people...this doesn't mean you want them in your life again!
I do not practice revenge of forgiveness, I just have to accept that things happen
What do you mean Marlin?
You do NOT forgive? wow
Sorry daniela I hug a tree for inner peace. Meditate.

I'm too long in the tooth as they say to not just accept people just as they are.

I think of my brain as computer files. Some never opened and after awhile a complete you might say defrag and proof gone

Nope I know some say TALK get it out your system doh but it's not in my system anymore.

If I can change a feeling or something yep for sure I'll try but in the main it's gone.teddybear
Ok Red...whatever suits you and gives you peace..peace teddybear
I like that horse I bet cuddling that gives you an inner peace teddybear
I have found forgiving people just let them think they could do the same thing over and over. I prefer to not give any energy to those people, so not thinking about them at all works for me. I only forgive those that have hurt me unintentionally.
It sure does Red!

The problem with those horses...when I groom them and give them Reiki..I can also feel their pain.

The one in the pic is in the process of rehabilitation...
Both physically..and mentally.

But...I have a new cat that's adopted me and follows me everywhere.smitten
Marlindap thumbs up I am in agreement with that for myself too
I see your point Marlin.
Forgiving someone doesn't give them permission to do it again and again..and again!! wink
Sorry laugh cats just after food it will be starving if it's a stray just having fun daniela thumbs up teddybear
I've had that cat since fact there were 3 of them But this one chased the others and is now in charge..of the dog too! laugh
I come to learn that forgiveness is much preferable to revenge. Revenge draws on your darkest impulses, it keeps your frame of mind in a hate based state and keeps you wound up to the point where you find no joy in anything else. Forgiveness is about letting go the negative and moving on to the next chapter. Don't forget what happened so you know not to let it happen again but forgiveness is the way to go.
I'm glad to read you on this topic Track.wave

You obviously speak from experience ?
I wasn't a bright kid lol, it took me some time to learn to hold back and make peace with stuff.
Then you've achieved something ?
You don't have to be bright at school to know right from wrong and not to bear grudges ..dunno
It took a while to learn right from wrong, I was too interested in having fun lol. I learned though eventually. My motto is live and let live.
But at least you've learned something Track...eventually? head banger
The desire for revenge is not the gate to a happy life.

Finding your way past the toxicity ... huge
Yes...I agree! smile
CALLMERON: "Do we or don't we"(meet us in the quizzes)

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