"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
Another, related, quote is:
"'He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me.' Those who think such thoughts will not be free from hate.This latter quote is from the Dhammapada (verses 3-5), a classic text of the Buddhist canon. It represents an oral tradition going back to the 4th or 5th century BCE, and has been written down for at least 2,000 years.
'He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me.' Those who think not such thoughts will be free from hate.
For hate is not conquered by hate: hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal."
It seems almost ludicrous in these times, no darker than ever -- but no lighter either, to imagine that human beings could actually take these ancient words to heart. It's amazing just how little human nature has changed in two and a half millenia.
So I'm reminded of one last quote, of more recent vintage:
"Sitting in a park in Paris, France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad
They won't give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had."