I am writing for the April A to Z challenge under the Category of Other and Miscellaneous and my Theme is Negative personalities and what’s more important is that today V is for vindictive. Vindictive people have or show a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge. Overly sensitive people have a tendency to overreact and hold grudges, but if they don’t react to these feelings and try to get back at someone, then they are not being vindictive. Being vindictive is wrong, but having vindictive feelings or the desire to get even with another for a wrong or injury that they caused you is just being human. Being vengeful, and actually seeking vengeance by instituting retaliating actions does not always work out for the best. There is a famous saying, “before seeking revenge, first dig two graves.” When you seek vengeance, you hurt yourself as well, if not more. You are not going to feel good about hurting someone regardless if it is warranted or not. Your anger toward this person will only increase if you preoccupy yourself with revenge.
A vindictive person is spiteful and they will want to cause severe harm and they will display no remorse, because they are trying to ruin someone’s life. They will toy with someone until they think this person thinks that they have gone mad. They will try to discover their enemy’s darkest secrets so they can display them for the whole world to see. They will seek out that irreplaceable treasure that someone has so they can destroy it in front of their enemy. Nothing will prevent them from acting like the animal that they are. Vindictive people often say, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”, meaning that vengeance is more satisfying when it is exacted some time after the harm that instigated it.
People developed feelings as survival instincts and when someone cheats on you or betrays you, your normal instinct is to get even. All people are inclined to react when they encounter certain feelings such as grief and when a person feels that they have been wronged, it is not always easy to cancel out those feelings. It is not always easy to stand up to a bully, but if you don’t strike or answer back, this bullying will probably never cease. Loosing self control and lashing out in anger, will likely cause you regret, because without knowing yourself and recognizing your feelings the battle will never end. In order for us to flourish as human beings, we need to help other people and stop being vindictive.
Both Aristotle and Aquinas held that there are three species of wrath, those being “the acuti who are the actively wrathful, the amari are those who are sullen because they keep their wrath locked within themselves and the difficles, the vindictive.” Alexander Hamilton wrote that, “Men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious”, in an attempt to defend the union of the thirteen independent states into a single country under a national government. Hamilton argued that if the states were to be independent and completely sovereign, they would inevitably go to war with one another, just as all other neighboring countries throughout the world have done throughout history.
The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Dante’s Fifth Circle of Hell is where the wrathful and sullen are punished for their sins. Dante and Virgil see the wrathful fighting each other on the surface of the river Styx and the sullen are gurgling beneath the surface of the water. Wrath and sullenness are basically two forms of the same sin that being anger, while wrath is anger that is expressed and anger that is repressed is sullenness.
In the story of mankind’s fall from Eden, wrath is the seventh deadly sin that John Milton wrote about in his epic poem Paradise Lost. Satan’s wants revenge for getting kicked out of heaven, but this backfires, as all his malice does exactly the opposite of what he wanted because it ended up bringing forth Infinite goodness. “And enraged might see how all his malice served but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shown on Man by him seduced, but on himself Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance poured.” “Of anger shall remain, but peace assured And reconcilement: wrath shall be no more.”