I recently watched Gerard Butler’s movie ‘Law Abiding Citizen’. His character watches his wife being slashed to death & his little daughter being taken away to be killed, by two robbers who force themselves into his house one night. The murderer, the main accused, escapes with just 5 years in prison & his accomplice, who was only a witness to the gory crime, gets death row. It’s the deal struck by Butler’s lawyer with the murderer.
10 years later.
Butler butchers him by hacking him to death, limb by limb. He kills the judge who presided over the case; he kills the lawyer’s assistant who worked on the case. He kills each & everyone connected with the case, one at a time. The best part? He carries out all the murders while being kept captive in a prison cell!!
Hypothetically speaking, if I were to witness such gruesome murder or violence, my family being slaughtered to death in front of my eyes; what would I do? I’d no doubt hate the man with every cell in my body. I would want to kill him too. I would pray he suffers in hell. But would I wait for TEN years to get back at him? Would I be able to put my life on hold to get justice? To teach my lawyer not cut any deals with the accused? They say revenge is best served cold. Could I wait that long – 10 years to avenge my pain & grief? Would I have it in me?
It’s not a spur of the moment reaction. For any delayed vengeance, the anger has to be kept alive. The sorrow needs to be relived. The pain needs to be felt like it was still fresh. The instinct that drives such passion needs to be raw. And at the same time, one needs to plan the entire revenge. Strategize on tools, methods, dates & means of achieving that perfect murder. A well-executed plan of revenge demands great intellect with extreme unbridled passion coupled with a love that knows no boundaries. The agony has to be stroked & justice pursued with a single minded devotion & an all encompassing purpose.
Would I have it in me?
This is not a question of right or wrong. Hatred & love do not always lend themselves to the norms of morality. All I know is extreme love can give way to extreme hatred. One emotion can easily sustain the other. Hypothetically again, do I love my husband & daughter enough to want to avenge their deaths, if ever? Would I have it in me to see their tormentor being scorched to death?
Would I want to do it? YES. But more importantly, would I be able to do it? I am not really sure. Losing a loved one is an extremely traumatic experience. What one does at such situations no one really knows.