I do not consider myself to be a vengeful person. I disagree wholly with the whole ‘an eye for an eye’ premise, and I think ‘getting even’ is a waste of energy because you never really feel quite satisfied that the end result is indeed ‘even’. That said, I occasionally find it hard to turn the other cheek.
Between Covid and looming war in Europe too many in society have lost sight of simple kindness. I get that we’re all tired; fed up with restrictions, and scared to death that the lunatics running some of the worlds’ nations will employ chemical weapons, annihilating masses of innocent people (Because having to flee their homeland isn’t bad enough….Have we learned nothing from past wars?) We all want justice, equality, freedom of choice, and the right to live a peaceful existence, and when these rights are threatened, as they have been of late, we cave, giving way to road rage, bully tactics, and downright ugly behaviour. And rather than blame our own weak character, we blame Covid, or world events, or the economy, because we’ve reached the end of our rope, and God forbid we should look at our own coping skills.
Covid has been blamed for bad service, bad manners, bad attitudes and bad behaviour, and rather than work to correct these behaviours, we instead look to deflect the blame, or worse, we lash out to ‘even the score’.
I read recently, a story about a grandmother who’d been wheeled out of a hospital to await the arrival of her grandson, who’d been summoned. It was a bitterly cold winter day and she was left outdoors in nothing but a hospital gown. Now one might ask, ‘what kind of nurse/orderly in their right mind could do such a thing?’ Where is the respect for our fellow man? Where is their conscience? Doesn’t that breach any number of hippocratic oaths taken when they joined the healing profession?
This particular story resonated with me because just days before, my elderly father was victim to a similar inhumane treatment. He’d been taken to hospital by ambulance the night of a winter storm. Despite instructions to call a family member when he was to be discharged so they could arrange transportation, he was unceremoniously dumped into a taxi at 5am and sent on his way with no contact to the family. He is visibly unable to walk without assistance, i.e. he needs a walker, which he didn’t have. And because he’d been taken by ambulance he had no boots on, no gloves, nothing to protect him from the bitter temperatures. In addition the snow plows had not yet managed the sidewalks near his building so the taxi left him a block from his home to navigate the icy streets in the dark, without his walker or boots or gloves. Isn’t that a lovely way to treat our elderly? So I ask again, where is the conscience of these people, the nurse and the taxi driver? Are they to blame, or is it Covid? Talk to any client facing professional now and they’ll blame these very behaviours on the pandemic.
I have a problem with that. Exhaustion and fatigue can be responsible for many things but unconscionable behaviour is the responsibility of the individual, and there is no justification for it. It all comes down to character, and as difficult as it is to maintain our composure under challenging circumstances, how we ultimately choose to behave is just that, choice.
That these individuals made the poor choices they did speaks to their character…or rather lack of it. And as much as it might satisfy our frustration to ‘make them pay’ or ‘even the score’, it wouldn’t change the outcome. In fact, it would just render the rest of us as inhuman as them, and we don’t need more of that in society. Pity them. Pray for them. Do what you need to do to help them see the error of their ways but don’t look to revenge because that’ll just prolong the ugliness. The best revenge is just about doing it better.
That said, I wouldn’t mind watching these individuals slide bare-assed down a razor blade and land in a pool of iodine…….but I’m not vengeful……