Retaliation, Essay Example
Retaliation is a controversial value, as some values are. While some people firmly adhere to the value of retaliation, others believe in turning the other cheek or ignoring an unacceptable situation. The aim of this writer is to convince the readers of this paper to consider adopting the value of retaliation and using it in a responsible manner.
According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary (April 05, 2012), retaliate is defined as “to repay (as an injury) in kind” and an example being that someone “retaliated his neighbour’s destruction of his flower garden by cutting down the man’s prize apple tree.” Retaliation for most people who subscribe to this value is seen as the best way to resolve an unacceptable situation and also makes the retaliator feel better since the hurt and angry emotions have not been bottled up but let out in the process of retaliation. When some members of a group that this writer was leading let down their peers and this student expressed deep disappointment at that, this person received a T-Shirt with “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even” on it, something this writer was in a position to do. However, no retaliation occurred. This student could not find ways to retaliate without also hurting the members who had already had been let down. Retaliation would have to be very selective and accurate with no collateral damage as has occurred fairly often in war in Iraq and Afghanistan where innocent women and children (and men) were maimed or killed during missile strikes and various kinds of bombings. Perhaps, then, if one of the values of an individual is retaliation, it should have limits beyond which the retaliator cannot go. For example, a point to consider is that, although it has been done, if somebody’s child has been murdered, would it be legally, ethically, and morally acceptable for one of the parents to shoot the murderer dead, given the opportunity? This student thinks not. Our society would become a vigilante one and drug wars would not be the only ones in society. And yet, in Deuteronomy 19:21 of the King James version of The Holy Bible it is written, “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deuteronomy19:11). As a judicial rule, it is not unjust. The problem was that the Jews extended it to private individuals and, consequently, it became “the rule by which to take revenge” (Barnes, 1834). Many people, however, quote this saying as the justification for capital punishment, to which this writer does not adhere.
Basically, then, when this writer would like to see the readers subscribe to the value of retaliation, it is not in bodily injuries of any kind to people as well as to animals. However, if neighbors have pretty much trained their dogs to leave presents all over your yard, you could scoop it up and uncovered leave it on their doorsteps for them to step into with their nice clean shoes as they unknowingly go outside. Also, if a certain cheerleader always chooses you last for some team endeavour, when it is your turn to choose, pick her last. If a neighbor does not shovel his driveway, but parks in your shovelled one, make arrangements with another neighbour to park in his driveway (you can even help shovel it) after the next snow storm and leave your lazy neighbour with no place to park. These examples are retaliations but are not carried out with malicious intent, only to alert certain people to their bad behaviour in the hope that they will change it for the better. Retaliations, if carried out properly, can have good results.
Barnes, Albert (1834). Notes on the Bible. Retrieved on April 05, 2012, from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cnt/barnes/index.htm.
Holy Bible, King James Version. Deuteronomony19:21. Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. Print.
Merriam Webster. Retaliate. Retrieved on April 05, 2012, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary, retaliate.
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