In my Science Fiction class today, we were discussing whether revenge is ever justified. One girl in one of my (two) classes held the position that whereas revenge may be justifiable in some instances, it’s never the best idea since it doesn’t solve problems and since it seldom ever makes the perpetrator of the revenge actually feel better — her opinions stood out to me since they are pretty much my own and since they are pretty wise (I think). But her position was very marginal. Most kids in both classes were proponents of revenge (at least the more vocal kids were), some even going so far as to say that revenge would be preferable to discipline. How did we arrive there? Well, someone brought up how if a parent punished you by grounding you or something, it would have less of an effect than if the parent expressed sincere disappointment. Not everyone agreed with this point, though I liked it myself for the sake of discussion. But then one other girl pointed out that discipline is different from revenge, that the parents would be disciplining you, whereas revenge is more of an eye for an eye type of thing.
Then, a boy in the back of the room (who talks a lot) said that revenge made a lot more sense because then the person who was wronged can deliver the just punishment rather than some third party administering it. I retorted with an example of two toddlers on a playground: “let’s say Kim hits Steve; you’re saying it would be better to let Steve hit back rather than to have a parent scold Kim?” Talkative boy rescinded but claimed that since that examples was with toddlers it wasn’t fair. So I upped the ages: “so let’s say George here hits Corey. Instead of taking George down to the principal, I should just say, ‘okay, Corey, your turn; batter up’?” The number of kids who said yes was astonishing.
In other news, a year ago today I was in Ecuador, excitedly watching the city of Quito ousting the president of the country. Tonight, as I drive to a cooking class with my wife, I’m going to honk the “fuera Lucio” chant just for old times’ sake.