On Monday morning, I received one of the most tragic news of my life. My cousin, who I loved, and grew up with as a child, shot himself to death. I was devastated by this tragic loss, but interestingly enough, I was not too shocked.
Though I experienced him in our childhood, as a kind and loving playmate. With age, he unfortunately seemed to become visibly bitter and consumed with vengeance and anger.
He was in the U.S. Army, and I remember him saying that ‘he could not wait to be deployed, because he would get to kill people.’ The comment made me uncomfortable, but I chose to believe it was just his ‘dark’ attempt at humour. I could never have thought that if he were not in a legitimate war, where he could easily pull the trigger of his gun to release his vengeance and anger, he would turn the gun on himself.
This reminds me of part 3 of the movie, Ong-Bak. At the end of this film, A Thai warrior named Ting prepares to fight an evil leader and his army. Ting burns with vengeance and hate for this leader. Before the battle begins, Ting has a vision of the battle. In the vision, I could see the vengeance and anger on his face, as he virtually obliterates the opposing army. However, the evil leader throws a spear, which pierces Ting’s heart through to the other side of his body. As he comes to terms with his impending demise, Ting hears the message:
‘I feed off the vengeance in your heart. You can never overcome me.‘
At that moment, he reverts from his vision. He rids himself of the hateful emotions that consumed him, and begins fighting. The look on his face is calm, un-emotional and focused on ridding the world of the evil enemy. Vengeance and anger is replaced by the strategy and skill that would lead to the ultimate defeat of his enemy.
My cousin, it seemed, could never get rid of his enemy, his anger. He vengeance fed off the anger in his heart. He never overcame it. It overcome him. I will forever miss him, still I thank him for a most powerful lesson. I just wish he didn’t have to give his life to teach it.