I’m not proud of this one.
It’s sort of a companion quote to one I shared not long ago in an article I wrote about a friend in an abusive relationship. We worked together, and a lot of co-workers knew about the way his girlfriend treated him. This sometimes led to conversations – okay, gossip – about his situation. For the most part, I didn’t participate, but on one of the occasions I did, the person I was talking to made quite the statement.
Those who hit give up the right not to be hit.
Now, I’ve always been a ‘violence never solves anything’ kind of person. But I’m not going to pretend I never thought about how nice it would be for my friend’s girlfriend to get a taste of her own medicine. Hell, once in a while, I even envisioned being the one to give it to her. I didn’t mean it, though. The brief daydreams were just a way for my brain to relieve the pressure I felt from seeing someone suffer and not being able to help.
This person, however, clearly meant it. And I was pretty sickened, not only by his sincerity, but also by my own visceral reaction to it. As soon as someone else said what I’d been thinking, what had been passive thoughts randomly flickering on occasion through my brain suddenly turned into an overwhelming desire to see them come true.
Suddenly I had a far better understanding of mob mentality.
I still don’t like violence, and I still don’t think it solves anything. But man, can it ever be easy to give in to that animalistic part of ourselves that lurks in the background. This quote is in the book to remind me not to lose sight of that.
I guess you could say it’s my own personal cautionary tale.
To see previous posts in my Quotes series, click here.
My personal cautionary tale is this saying: “Hurt people hurt people.”
I agree that those who hurt others have themselves been hurt.
But many, maybe most people who’ve been hurt DON’T pass it on.
The earlier expression is “Those to whom evil is done do evil in return.”
Still incomplete and misleading.
On another note, let’s chat sometime about “proportional violence.”
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I look forward to it. 🙂