Why Payback Doesn’t Pay
“That old law about an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.”
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
On the surface, payback seems like justice: “You hurt me? Okay, I’ll hurt you. There…we’re even.”
But here’s how it always plays out:
- “You steal from me? Fine. I’ll steal my stuff back, plus something more to pay you back for stealing mine in the first place.”
- “Oh yeah? Well, you actually stole from us first when you claimed this was yours. So, to be totally even, we’ll claim this piece is ours.”
- “This is just like you, always playing the victim. The reality is you hurt me a long time ago, and I never was able to do enough about it. So now, I’m gonna hurt you again—and we still won’t even be close to even!!”
And on it goes. Doesn’t take long before neither party really remembers how it started. All they know is their long-term pain, and their short-lived moments of vengeance, masked as justice.
This is why wars without mercy rarely end, and grudges without forgiveness only grow.
Forgive someone. Today. I dare you. Not because they need it, but because you do.
Peace begins with pause,