Forgiveness or Revenge ?

How beautiful is this- All you can see are demonstrators- Everywhere
India protests at Ghandi Memorial

I am a sensitive person. There, I said it. I admit it proudly. I didn’t always. When I was younger, people used to say, “You’re so sensitive,” as if it were a curse. Years later, when I mentioned it to a group of people, a woman said, “You weren’t too sensitive. Maybe they just weren’t sensitive enough.” That has stayed with me. I began to look at it as a gift.

I know when to throw a veil over it to sift out most hurtful or negative words. What seems to accompany the sensitivity trait, is compassion, perception, great instincts, intuition and empathy. It has honestly given me the ability to be kinder, softer and always stand up for the underdog, or those less fortunate.

I can barely tolerate injustice, let alone torture, suffering, neglect or abuse of any kind. It keeps me awake nights. It wraps around my psyche and I have a hard time letting go of the visions. Many don’t want to get involved. None of your business, they will say.

But I am here to say, it is our business. Believe me, the world is one big ripple effect, much like the butterfly effect. When a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, we are affected. For those who aren’t familiar with that expression, it means that a small gesture on one side of the world, can trigger a chain of events, that could lead to larger alterations of the outcome.

But still…. I cannot stop thinking of that woman med student, brutally beaten, tortured and raped in India. I am almost obsessed with it. Everyday, I look for the names of the boys and men- wait too dignified, the savages, who did this. How sick in the soul, does one have to be, to have none of the sensitivity, even a drop of it, to do this ? Are these the people I hear about who are born missing the empathy gene ?

Everytime I read something new about this, I become enraged. This woman was fighting for her life, so she kicked and bit and that got them angry. One man inserted a metal rod into her, doing grave internal damage. The youngest of them, 17, then reached in, and pulled out a portion of her intestines, Then her and her fiance, were stripped naked and thrown from a moving bus. The driver was related to one of the beasts. Someone thought it would be a good idea to run her over, so the driver headed for her, but her fiance, badly beaten himself, moved her out of the way.

So, this is the part where I struggle, If I could have them in front of me, lined up and someone gave me a gun, which I don’t believe in and have argued for reform, would I shoot ? Right now, my initial reaction is yes. I hate to admit it, but I would feel as though I’d be doing the world a great service to be rid of them. Or, maybe they should just rot in some miserable jail for the rest of their lives. Somewhere, in dirty, filthy squalor, with lots of rats, terrible sanitation and horrific food. Those are the nastiest things I can think of, off the top of my head.

I want them to suffer terribly. I don’t think the courts should waste their time or energy on a trial. I am proud of their attorneys. Not one of the 2500, will represent them. Isn’t that fantastic ? Could you even imagine such a concept in this country ?

I have a good solution.  Someone should just open the door to the courthouse or jail or wherever they are being kept. Let them walk out into the crowds. It will take care of itself. I’d like to be there. Right now, I want to stand with the women and men of India that have had huge demonstrations everyday, since this has happened. I applaud you. 

The only way to get noticed, is to make a loud enough of a noise. You have, by the masses and if i were there, I would be with you. Even here, on the other side of the world, I am with you and your outrage, as so many of us are. You will create change as long as you are vigilant.

So do I lose all perspective when faced with such heinous crimes against humanity ? Probably. Within a few days of this happening, a 10 year old was fished out of the river there. She had been gang raped, beaten and dumped. It is difficult to have compassion or forgiveness towards people who have such hate and no regard for the body or spirit of a woman or girl.

I had a good friend in the late great Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a world renown lecturer, author and psychiatrist, who brought to light the 5 stages of dying. She wrote the book on death and dying and taught us all a great deal, about the process. She used to say, “Everyone has a Mother Theresa in them and a Hitler in them.” It makes me feel more human to know that..  

I am sorry to say, that today, “I feel like a Hitler.”



About aboomersvoice

First and foremost, I'm a baby boomer and damn proud of it. The ones reading this post survived. Some didn't..We are the generation that crashed through barriers, broke through the norm and made our own rules. We paved the way for others to follow their bliss. One of the largest breakthroughs was probably equal rights and opportunities for women. Thank you Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. We burned our bras, well, most of us did. We marched against politics we didn't believe in, staged protests not knowing we could easily be silenced by a bullet, experimented with drugs, meditation and guru's. We traveled with backpacks across the country and throughout the world..We had a voice. We had a choice. We had a mission. We had freedom and we were united. I am a writer, traveler, explorer, observer and participant in life. I am part of the expansion of baby boomers who still believe in the original message of peace and love. Take this journey.with me. Who knows where it will take us next ?
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18 Responses to Forgiveness or Revenge ?

  1. I feel sad that I read this, I had managed to avoid the details of this story but had no where to avert my eyes when it was laid bare here.


  2. Clanmother says:

    We all make choices on how we should respond. I grieve for a lost life and a family who will never have the joy of seeing her take her place in the world. I pray for a nation that must address reforms. I hope for a world that will see that respect and goodwill will bring peace. My response is to live in a way that embraces all possibilities. I reject anger but am determined to stand for what is noble and just.


    • Thank you for your response. As said, I knew you would have the right words. I agree with all. Fortunately and unfortunately, I am empathic and that often puts me immediately into the feelings of a situation, rather than the logic. I can always count on time, though, to balance that out.


      • Clanmother says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. Our first emotional reaction is overwhelming – we really don’t have the ability to access or implement remedial steps. Discussion and collective thought is essential to forge our response. We must all be a positive influence. And posts like yours brings us together to seek a solution with discernment and compassion. Well done!! I look forward to our ongoing dialogue.


  3. Pingback: Forgiveness or Revenge ? | aboomersvoice

  4. iamforchange says:

    Hitler? I have to say that the part of you I see is the Mother Theresa part! We may and indeed do have a Hitler part yet those of true inner knowledge know that the Mother Theresa part is our true essence. You know your inner truth and could never truly be dark. Your love shows and I thank you for sharing your light on such a dark matter! Keep shining and sharing your heart my friend, I am honored to read your words and feel your love.


    • Iamforchange,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. They help me feel more human at times like this, when I am more consumed with rage. We all have a dark side, but it’s what we do with the darker part of ourselves, that is relevant. I try to be kind, caring and understanding. Yes, I falter. But.. I never remember intentionally, hurting a person or animal in my entire life. I would be the one foolish enough to jump in and help, without thinking of safety first or the consequences. I believe some people have that natural instinct.
      So, tell me, what do we do with this anger ? This vile case of injustice, that was brought upon an innocent woman, (and man) destined to make the world a better place. How do you reconcile such feelings ? I have difficulty getting the visions of what she must have gone through out of my head. She is the last thing I see before sleep. I know her death has awakened India. I only hope she was sacrificed, to bring change. I hope your love and caring bring you many blessings.


  5. hilal achmar says:

    I am sorry for my bad English.
    1. Revenge or forgiveness? I choose forgiveness. My reason: Revenge will bear grudges that will never end. The world is a gathering place for all that is good and bad. The world is a place to filter the good and bad, in order to achieve nirvana / heaven.

    2. Injustice and occupation. I believe, that the crime, (including injustices, crimes against humanity and occupation), should not be confronted with the crime. We must fight to be a part of pressure group, like you, to the government and the world, to make a fair law enforcement, for the people and the government officials themselves.

    3. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Ask her why people applying double standards in his life? Why should we be a Hitler in a condition, and we forbid anyone to be a Hitler? Why do we always look for justification of the evil that we make? And why, in other circumstances, we find no justification to be Mother Theresa?.

    4. Definitely True Knowledge: Now, parents, in family-based, are too busy to teach their children behavioral science. Unfortunately, if the parents are less educated and behave bad behavior! I realized this, I did not have the power to change human behavior, I’m just trying, to make behavioral science more simple, and pass it through my blog.

    5. About you: You are a great lady, sensitive, and highly helper. If there are no more people like you in the family, what will become of the country and the world? 🙂


    • Dear Hilal,
      Thank you for your well thought out response. Your English is better than you think.I agree with every point you made. When you’re in the middle of an emotional upheaval, sometimes, logic seems miles away. Forgiveness is always better.
      I don’t intellectually believe in fighting a crime with a crime. We had a terrible shooting in the U.S. of 20 children and 6 teachers, a week before Christmas. You probably heard about it. It was one of many, over the past 6 months.
      The gun organizations tell us to get more guns to defend ourselves. I say that is craziness and will only make matters worse. And yes, the best way to bring justice, is to have a loud voice to make change.
      Elisabeth died several years ago, but what she meant was that people are flawed. And although we have that dark side, rage, like a Hitler, we do not have to be a Hitler or act on our rage or irrational injustice.. So, I ask you, what do you do with all the anger towards anyone, who has inflicted such pain and torture ?
      Thank you for your last statement. it is easy to forget the light, the caring, the compassionate heart, most of us carry, when hearing of such horrific torture.
      You have reminded me, that although I am outraged, we need laws, reform and awareness to bring change. God Bless. I welcome your response. Thank you and please come back. Your kind words have helped.


      • hilal achmar says:

        Dear Aboomersvoice.
        1. I believe, that you are in a little group of good people, who have a clean spirit, and Witnessed the crime with heart devastated.

        2. Weapons. There is no valid research, whether in the country whose people are free to have guns and who does not, crime in that country more or less. In my country, people who have guns, can be punished. However, crimes against humanity, is still there.

        3. A loud voice to make change. People think only of their generation. In fact, generations ago, better than our generation and future generations after us, will be the generation that is worse than our generation. A loud voice to make change, can only hamper acceleration and the collapse of the world’s. Religion says: armageddon. I honor you for the awareness you have.

        4. Crime. If we are talking about a crime, certainly not independent of motive. This is roughly motif:
        a. Human crimes against humanity.
        Various motives. Victim: a little. For example, when we talk about students. Few in number of victims, but very large in size of crimes.
        b. Group crimes against humanity.
        Motive more specific. The victim: a bit much. For example, a criminal group.
        c. State crimes against the people.
        Victim: a lot. As in the Killing Fields movie .
        d. Super Power State crimes against humanity.
        Previously, political motives. For example, when we talk about Hitler, Germany Uber Alles. Now, the economic motive. Citizens in countries rich in natural resources, gold, platinum, nuclear minerals, and especially oil, will become an arena of violence and war, even sadder unrest and civil war!. You know, the oil producing countries, people will not be able to live in peace and love. Thousands of women were crying every day, lost children and husbands, due to bombings and shootings, to the point they do not know! You know, who’s taking advantage!

        5 Anger.
        The way I deal with anger is: there should be no danger! If I get angry in a standing position, I would sit down, if still angry, I would be lying, if still angry too, I will pray. Why pray will extinguish the anger? Because when I pray, will create awareness, that many of the mistakes and evil that I made , and God forgives. I would be embarrassed if I do not forgive someone …..

        6. You.
        People like you will feel lonely, because few only people have that one idea with you. People around you will see you as a strange person. Do not be discouraged. Actually you are very blessed!

        7. God Bless You….. 🙂


  6. Zahra Batool says: do read it! you will find it relevant ! n that i s what i think will sooner or later happen!


    • That poem was quite profound. And well written. Thank you. Now that I have had a few comments from others, it would be better to bring awareness and change laws, than get revenge. I keep thinking of what Ghandi did. He remained peaceful throughout. Thoughts ?


      • Zahra Batool says:

        yes, i do believe that an awareness can create a more permanent change than a revengeful approach but my question is how to create tht awareness???
        just for setting the example of what happens to those who commit such brutal acts, these criminals should be brutally punished publicly! so tht no one dares to repeat what they did!


  7. Zahra Batool says:

    you are justified in urself to feel tht outrageous! every tym this topic is brought up, it gives me goose bumps! this world is full of such atrocious beings (i wont say “human” beacuse they are simply not) we need to get rid of them! they should be punished! in the most brutal ways!


  8. I read your poem. How do these minds think ? I only wish men with your perspective, could teach men in these areas, what a real man looks and feels like. One who respects, honors and treats others with dignity. I saw a demonstration in India with men- one was holding a sign that said,
    “Real Men don’t Rape.” I think that said it. Thank you for your comment. I hope many see it.


  9. arjun bagga says:

    My heart chokes, mind numbs when I hear cases of rape and child abuse. I am personally of the view, we can pardon a thief, a murderer but not a rapist. The only justice he deserves is to be shot dead but the devil in me thinks death is an easy way out. Don’t they deserve a third degree torture every single day and night till we can keep them alive?
    What drives a man to rape. How can forced sex give man, a sense of pleasure?. It is but a reflection of a diseased mind, a male-dominated impaired society and a crooked government that needs to equally share the blame for such heinous crime against weaker sex.
    My very first post, is a poem based on a true incident though only a handful people know about it.


    • I think I left you a response last night, but if not, I did read your poem. Hard to believe there are such sick people in the world. I don’t remember it being like this when I was growing up. I have asked many people and they agree. Do you ?


      • arjun bagga says:

        It did happen then too, not so rampant, only in the extreme band of society. Rich and the poor. Middle class lived a straight forward life, god-fearing life.


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