Think of your worst enemy– the person who hurt you the most, the one who destroyed you, the person who bullied you, made you cry, made you question your existence, even made you contemplate suicide. The one who broke your heart, treated you like dirt, kicked you when you were down.
In times of anger or despair we can say things we don’t mean, and wish horrible things to happen to the person we so severely dislike. We may wish that karma swiftly gets involved and punishes the person with pain equal or worse to the pain that they caused you. We may wish something awful to happen to them: unspeakable things, which you feel awful about for thinking in your head yet alone actively wishing for. You may even wish death on that person.
I have recently been trying to describe my illness to my partner as my mental health has declined. I often say to him, “I wish you understood but I hope to God that you never do.” Because although it would be easier if others around me had some experience of my daily struggle I honestly wish that nobody ever experiences this. This revelation led me to discover that I would never wish this illness upon anyone: not even the one who broke my heart, destroyed my life, caused my health to decline as a direct result of their actions, hurt me in indescribable ways. I would never wish this upon anyone.
So what would I wish upon that person? It’s common for people to say, “I wish they’d have a car crash– not a serious one where anyone gets hurt, but just serious enough so that they have to pay a fortune to fix their car and realise that their bad luck is a result of their bad karma,” or “I wish they don’t get that promotion because they don’t deserve the success and money because of what they did to me,” or “I wish that someone takes a really unflattering photo of her and then everyone criticises her on the internet so she can see what bullying feels like!”
In cases of serious hurt, one may wish death upon that person. But really, I believe that wishing death upon someone is an act of gracious kindness, and so should not be wished upon your enemy. Death is peaceful, and is the ultimate form of escapism from a world of increasing trouble and hardship. You may wish death upon your 98 year old grandmother who has crippling pain, chronic illness, depression, debt and Alzheimer’s to boot. You may pray that God relieves her of her pain and takes her away to a better place. Why would I wish this on my enemy? Why would I wish that the one who hurt me so badly gets a “get out of jail free” card and quickly escapes the vagaries of life? Surely you’d want to keep your enemy on this planet as long as possible so that they can live everyday of their life remembering their wrongdoings and trying to become a better person so that they never hurt another soul again. You cannot learn lessons when you are dead.
Call me bitter, but wishing death upon someone is too kind. Wish good things for them: wish them the best of luck in their future relationships, pray to God that they don’t cause anymore pain to others, that they find peace within themselves, that they realise their mistakes and adjust their life accordingly. Wish that they never come across you again, wish that they leave you alone, wish that they stop creeping into your nightmares, wish that they never hurt you again, wish that they disappear from your memory, wish that they disappear, but never wish that they die. As well as tempting fate (always be careful what you wish for because you just might get it), you’d never be able to live with yourself if the person did actually die: even the skeptics among us, who don’t believe in hocus pocus, who would convince themselves that it is pure coincidence that their enemy is dead a week after they wished for it would surely feel a little unconsciously uncomfortable with the fact that death has actually occurred.
What do you wish for your enemy, or the person who hurt you most in the world?