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Pulse Blogger The high cost of getting even

'O great spirit, keep me from ever judging and criticizing a man until I have walked in his moccasins for two weeks' Sioux Indian prayer.

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High cost of getting even. play

High cost of getting even.


Historically, there are two schools of thought on revenge. The Bible, in Exodus 21:23, instructs us to "give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" to punish an offender.

But more than 2,000 years later, Martin Luther King Jr., responded, "The old law of 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind."

What getting even is

Audio-english.com defined GET EVEN as (1) compensate, make the score equal, (2) take revenge or even out a score. Going by these definitions, one can literally deduce that to get even is to avenge or revenge a cause of action earlier done or committed. Getting even is to punish someone who did wrong to you; Instead of forgiving and letting go.

Dangers of revenge

Man in his natural state was created to get an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but the fact remains that there is always a price for trying to get even. When we try to revenge or pay people back in their own coin, we do more damage to ourselves than we really can imagine. Instead of helping you move on with your life, it can leave you dwelling on the situation and remaining unhappy, psychologists' research finds.  Douglas Harton best capture this when he said ‘’ while seeking a revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself’’.

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We do more damage to ourselves than we really can imagine. play

We do more damage to ourselves than we really can imagine.

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Negative of effects of getting even 

How will trying to get even hurt you? In many ways, Rather than providing closure, it does the opposite: It keeps the wound open and fresh., it may wreak your health, one of the personality characteristics of persons with high blood pressure (hypertension) is resentment, when resentment is chronic, chronic hypertension and heart trouble follow.

So, when Jesus said ‘’love your enemies’’, he was not only preaching sound ethics, he was also preaching twenty-first century medicine. When he said ‘’forgive seventy times seven’’ Jesus was telling you and me how to keep from having high blood pressure, heart troubles, sleepless nights, bitterness, anger, headache and many other ailments.  When you hate, the only one that suffers is you because most of the people you hate, don't know, and the others don't care" –

Hating others and or trying to get revenge is really exhausting, making us tired and nervous, ruing our looks, giving us heart troubles and probably shortening our lives. Even if we can’t love our enemies, let us at least love ourselves, let us love ourselves so much that we will not permit our enemies to control our happiness, our health and our looks.

As Shakespeare put it, ‘’heat no furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself’’. The smart thing to do, ‘’ to be robbed or wronged’’ said Confucius ‘’is nothing unless you continue to remember it’’, nothing can be truer than that, because man is never as hurt by what happened as of his opinion of what happened.

Way out

One sure way to forgive and forget our enemies is to become absorbed in some causes infinitely bigger than ourselves. Then the insults and enmity we encounter will not matter because we will be oblivious of everything but ourselves. If you and I had inherited some physical and mental characteristics that our enemies have inherited, and if life had done to us what he did to them, we could act exactly as they do.

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Forgiveness play


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We couldn’t probably do anything else. Let us not forget the prayer of Sioux Indians, ‘’ O great spirit, keep me from ever judging and criticizing a man until I have walked in his moccasins for two weeks’’. So instead of criticizing our enemies, let’s pity them and thank God that life has not made us what they are.

Instead of heaping condemnation and revenge upon them, let’s give them our understanding, our sympathy, our help, our forgiveness and our prayers.

Justice and revenge; what getting even is not

Lastly, justice shouldn’t be mistaken for revenge. Justice is generally understood to mean what is right, fair, appropriate, deserved. Justice is achieved when an unjust act is redressed and the victim feels whole again. Justice also means the offender is held accountable for his behaviour.

While on the contrary, revenge is a harmful action against a person in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance. When we have resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel, forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and be free.


Young, smart and quite unassuming; D.P.O is a Tourism and Recreation Planner. He can be reached at damilolapaulowoyemi@gmail.com

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