Counter Proverb to “An eye for an eye”

Text: “Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”


The informant learned this saying when he was 6, overhearing his father’s conversation with another adult. He later learned that the “eye for an eye” part came from the Hammurabi Code. To him the quote meant that retaliation against someone who’s wronged you doesn’t make your own situation any better. 


Proverbs are used to give advice, and this phrase is an example of that. It subverts the well-known saying “an eye for an eye”, which prioritizes absolute justice. This Proverb says that mentality and idea of how to respond to someone wronging you is ultimately harmful to everyone even if it makes things just in an individual instance. It uses the vernacular authority of the saying and expands its scope while presenting an opposite perspective and worldview.