Retribution is something given or demanded in repayment, especially punishment.

The anger that causes us to seek retribution can so quickly become a cancer of bitterness.

If we dispense or exact punishment from someone for doing something we consider wrong, are we not as diseased as we assume them to be?

The topic Retribution was brought to the LBC table this week at the suggestion of  Maria/Gaelikaa, for our consideration. I look forward to reading what she has to say on the subject!

27 thoughts on “Retribution

  1. nick

    I agree. I’ve never gone in for retribution, it usually makes things worse by creating more bitterness and resentment and hatred. I’m a very forgiving person and I prefer to find a more sophisticated way of righting a perceived wrong.

  2. Cathy

    Getting your own back is something kids get up to – does more harm than good.
    No matter how ‘angry/put out/ aggrieved what ever else it’s not something I’d entertain
    Take care

  3. Three Well Beings

    What an interesting topic for discussion. I’d be interested in what gets said! The headlines are peppered with stories of tragic stories of what happens when someone lets bitterness sit and thoughts turn to retribution. It’s frightening to see what happens when the mind is poisoned by these thoughts. I want to run in the other direction. What a good topic, GM! I don’t even hear this word used very often, yet I think it’s the ogre in the room we all need to shun!

  4. Celia

    It’s not good, I think those thoughts poison people from the inside out. There’s a program here in the US called “Revenge” based apparently on just that. Never watched it, A critic called it a “beguiling and entirely chilling study in revenge lust.” Beguiling, kind of creepy.

  5. blackwatertown

    I didn’t feel inspired by this topic, but a bit more so now having read your post.
    I remember talking to the head of the Howard league for prison reform. Lots of sensible stuff, but I found it odd that she could not accept that one aspect of prison was that it meets the desire for retribution – or vengeance – felt by victims. Seems straightforward and natural to me – though not a higher priority than public protection and offender rehabilitation.

    1. Grannymar

      Now you are making me think, BWT. How to manage and rehabilitate offenders who put the public at risk, without incarcerating them in in prison? Not an easy one.

  6. wisewebwoman

    I prefer restorative justice for victims. Retribution is poisonous. I indulge in fantasies sometimes of unknowns who cut me off or someone jumping a queue, but they stay in my mind. Acting out is a no-no 😀


  7. Delirious

    One story I read was about a man who was bit by a rattlesnake so spent his energy trying to kill it. He wasted precious time trying to kill it, instead of seeking medical help. Our anger is often dangerous to us as the initial offense.

  8. colonialist

    I’m afraid there are occasions when I feel dishing out a spot of just retribution is called for. Harming of animals is one such. There, the perpetrator and I have a lot of good done to us by him/her/it becoming a bit damaged. It stops the behaviour far faster than if left to the fates to sort out, too.

      1. colonialist

        My feeling in such cases is that moral high ground is of no importance compared with stopping the person – in need by using the language they best understand,

        1. Grannymar

          The moral high ground does not come into it. My physical health is a cause for concern as it is, so I need to look after number 1 and not cause unnecessary worry for my family.


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