If some natural calamity happens and we suffer from it, then we do not feel so much anguish as when somebody else hurts us.

I mean, for example: If you lose one of your parents in an earthquake, you feel sad. But you are filled with sense of injustice, a burning thirst for revenge, and overall all sorts of psychological issues, if your enemy kills your parents.

If a tree falls on a person dear to you and s/he dies, then you sorrow and grieve; but if the same person is killed by a drunk junvenile driver, you feel animosity towards the culprit driver. And it is even worse if the killing is intentional.

Why is this? Why does it hurt so so so so so much more when another human being do bad things to us, than when bad things happen to us automatically?

And how to get over the feelings of being lost, being helpless, and how to get over the sense of betrayal and the burning thirst for revenge? Why none of this comes about, if the event was natural instead of being simply man-made?

asked 05 Jun '10, 17:57

A%20G's gravatar image


Excellent question

(05 Jun '10, 22:49) Stingray

Life is the most precious thing on Earth. Losing a life is the worst tragedy on Earth, anything else can be replaced even if you lost all your money it can be replaced but life once it is gone can not be replaced. This is a reason why cloning is so important to continue research with, it can someday save life and give second chances.

When you lose someone close to you you feel that earthly loss you know you will not be seeing this person alive again, that creates a sense of great loss, worse than a relationship ending there is no chance for a return. This can go farther if you had an argument over something stupid and feel like now you will never get to say sorry to this person alive again. You can say it now but you can not hear the person responding and you are not even sure that person is there hearing you.

That is a huge burden to carry with you and if it happens naturally there is no outlet if an earthquake you can go out and punch the earth but all you will do it hurt your hand. So you take all of the weight all of the responsibility on your own shoulders, some people find an outlet by blaming God or the Devil that lets them have some relief until that can heal. In fact it is better blaming the devil and turning to God for comfort that heals faster actually. Unfortunately there are those that do the reverse, or give up their faith to no faith at all.

Now when someone else purposely takes the life of someone dear then all this hurt you feel has a direct deliberate creator that you can feel and see whom is just as alive and present as was the one close to you. This is someone you can not only shout at and ask why like the first scenario but can actually hit, hurt and cause to feel the pain that the one close to you had felt.

Now the hard part comes the choice do I want to be like this person and hurt this person and thus experience now and later what this person experiences as a result of his choice of action? You have no idea what this person goes through as a result of his choice of actions, but you can find out easily enough by choosing the same path (through vengeance) and being no better than him. You have another choice that leads to healing and freedom that is the Christian path of forgiving your enemies, this in no way lets him off the hook from his consequences. He'll still have to live with what he did, he'll still have his nightmares, he'll still have to worry about when his turn comes to face his punishment in prison or worse. What this forgiving does do is lets you off the hook it helps you heal from this pain of loss. This is why Jesus said to forgive our enemies, not because it releases them but it releases us, one more thing the forgiveness may change them because they want your hate but you offer love, this can stop and transform even a murderer.

Here is a story that can be found on the web someplace I read this so I am going to pass it on.

There was a guy who had a daughter that was brutally raped and murdered, he was in court along with his family and the murderer was siting in the chair being sentenced. The case was over and one by one people came up to him and said things like "I hope you fry in hell!" "You sick scum you got what you deserved!" "You didn't get what you deserved, people like you should be shot!" he was angry and mean and tough like "Bring it on I hear this all my life!" The last man to go up to him was the father. The father told him, "that was my daughter, I do not know why you did that to her. I do not know what made you do that to her but I want you to know I forgive you." This murderer was shocked even horrified he said "WHAT you can't forgive me, what do you mean you forgive me? How can you forgive me!" "I don't want your forgiveness, hate me, hate me, hate me!!!!!!!!!!" He said "No I forgive you." This murderer broke down crying saying "please I hate myself, hate me!" "Why do you forgive me I am a bad man, look what I did to your daughter I deserve hate and what I have coming to me.". They took him away and in prison this man changed and decided to find Jesus he became a pastor to the inmates and had his own testimony to tell how one man's love changed him that when he was not worthy of any love at all someone showed him love anyway and it was the one he hurt most!


answered 05 Jun '10, 22:49

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 06 Jun '10, 05:39

Still you are depending on the government or the society to take revenge on that person. You satisfy yourself saying that someone else will take revenge for you. And you feel animosity towards the government also if the culprit goes free. If the perpetrator does not feel any remorse at all, what is the point of loving or not loving or forgiving or not forgiving or whatever?

(06 Jun '10, 08:36) A G

Revenge is what starts wars, no side ever says well I guess I had that coming to me, both sides feel a constant injustice and that they were wronged. So before you know it a hurts person b then person b gets revenge, than person a feels hurt and gets revenge the person a is hurt again and gets revenge to person b back and forth. This is why the middle east is always at war for something thousands of years old long forgotten but yesterday's bombing is remembered today and today's bombing will be remembered tomorrow. Back and forth and no one is happy or ever satisfied.

(08 Jun '10, 04:53) Wade Casaldi

Because the suffering at the hands of someone else could have been prevented.

Natural calamities do not generally make us feel resentful, since they did not occur as a result of people making choices. We therefore do not perceive ourselves to be, in a sense, attacked by another, but rather, at the mercy of uncontrollable forces. We therefore might feel helpless, but not resentful.

Let's take two examples. Hurricanes in Louisiana do not generally make people feel resentful, unless they perceive that their government did not take adequate steps to protect the people by shoring up the levees. But almost everyone in the gulf area feels resentment towards British Petroleum, because there is widespread belief that BP was negligent, and that the whole accident could have been avoided if proper precautions were observed.

In all cases, the person feeling the resentment has chosen to feel that way. Don't get me wrong; the feelings may be justified. But if you stay with those feelings longer than is necessary, you victimize yourself. The proper use for those feelings is to channel them into something productive. If you cannot do that, it's best to let them go.


answered 05 Jun '10, 19:24

Vesuvius's gravatar image


You cannot always prevent the shitty things other people intend to do. It is not possible to influence everyone else's thoughts and actions. I was talking more of the subsequent thirst for revenge. One feels the extreme need for revenge towards a perpetrator of crime of which you were the victim. But one has no feelings of betrayal or a burning need for revenge, if nature is the perpetrator. We submit to nature more willingly.

(06 Jun '10, 08:40) A G

I agree with all of the other very good comments and can think of any one factor to add----which is that of disappointment. We are not only sad but disappointed and hurt when someone does not live up to our ideals and does the wrong thing. We take this personally if they hurt us or someone we care about.


answered 06 Jun '10, 02:30

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

What can we do if another person is a bad person? If a snake bites us, we can curse the snake all we want. But what is the point? If a snake bites and kills a dear person, do we get disappointed with the snake and chasten it? I would imagine not.

(06 Jun '10, 08:44) A G

I am disappointed when another person is a bad person. That's just the emotion I feel. Does it change anything? No. But that is what I feel. Same with the person being snake bitten....upset and disappointed. Perhaps we just have a different definition of disappointment.

(06 Jun '10, 19:07) LeeAnn 1

When it is a natural disaster or calamity like an earthquake or tornado that causes suffering, we don't grieve in the same way because it is not something that we have any control over. So although we may not like what happened we accept it much easier because it is something we could not have prevented.

However, when something happens at the hands of another human being we suffer more and often for longer because the disaster is sometimes preventable. We often beat up on ourselves for not having the foresight to prevent it and we hold on to feelings of resentment toward the perpetrator which when held on to only causes a neverending loop of suffering for ourselves.

It sometimes hurts even more when the perpetrator is someone we trust. However, until we forgive or let go of the feelings of resentment or revenge, we will never get over it or move on with our lives. By forgiving or letting go we actually free ourselves.


answered 06 Jun '10, 02:32

Michaela's gravatar image


Well .. I am trying to assimilate this lesson of forgiveness. It is so Christian. Therefore I have asked a biblical question on this matter here. Please have a look at http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/6283

(06 Jun '10, 08:42) A G

Think about this: which feels worse, when you accidentally bump into a person with your car, or when you do it intentionally? even if the victim died, but yet it was an accident, the family of that family could be more understanding and more inclined to forgive you if it was accidental, but if it was intentionally of course it would be another case. You see, the person who kills another person intentionally had a raging fire and passion when they did it, and thus this sort of negative energy involved was present. Whilst such rage and passionate feeling was absent in a state of a person who accidentally did the same act, keep in mind accidentally, not intended. There are some emotions that Allah(God) made part of our natural composition inorder that when we see oppression we reject and condemn to it, totally resist it, as well as call for justice. if such feelings weren't present, really, this earth would have been a reckless mess, and there will be no sense of variation between that which is good and accepted, and that which is wrong and rejected.

Yet we have been given so little knowledge, May Allah enlighten us all In The Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful: (( And they ask you regarding the soul, say: the soul is from the command of my Lord and you have been given of knowledge only few )) - The Glorious Qura'n


answered 03 Aug '11, 14:26

springflower's gravatar image


edited 03 Aug '11, 14:33

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