“Some justice, though did not deal with kindheartedness or good feeling toward others. No, justice had a darker side, a gray area where it mingled alongside vengeance, and only the wise and pure of heart were able to tell the two apart. That kind of justice was swift. It was only called upon after mercy and morals fail. It was the darkest form of goodness known to anyone, even the gods, and required only the strongest, most daring men to bring about.” ― Evan Meekins, The Black Banner
The problem is when I’m hurt, especially publicly hurt, there is pressure, both inside and out to exact revenge and “take care of your business”, and generally, the quicker, the better. To the regular guy, this is real, but to those whose mental condition, or whose social position, puts them at more precarious odds with vengeance, it is crucial to examine the actions considered before acting them out. It is expected by both violent subcultures and societal inputs, movies and books, that with great aggression and extreme guile a man should strike back at that evil which caused the hurt. To not strike back causes a loss of credibility within those cultures as well as a strike against the ego. The names that are given to those who do not strike back with the same or more violence than what is done to them, are not pleasant nor easy to bear. But wait! There is an element in warfare that waiting is part of the plan. It indicates wisdom and provides opportunity for an element of surprise to those who refuse to be provoked by the poking and prodding of careless violent predators. If I am easily provoked, then I am easily controlled. To ruin me only requires irritation, and the rest I’ll do on my own. There is a time and a place, to hold back a temper, put that gun down, knowing that the triggers of violence are controlled by the one waiting. More can be served by waiting and letting the violators of my life turn on themselves than by acting on an out of control violent spree that may end up hurting people other than the intended perpetrator(s), and may hurt the vigilante by the confinement of jail, institutions, or death, or the burden of never being able to speak of that which is done. There is a better way than to be violent immediately. Know myself, then my enemy. Hold my peace, the opportunity will come. When my defense is sure, then my victory is absolute.