I had a dream in which I was helping two warring sides deal with a cycle of vengeance, in which one side always felt satisfied after inflicting violence on the other. At the root of the violence was an idea that each side had a duty to avenge an age-old offense.
As I heard them take turns speaking, underneath their disdain for each other, I heard a pained desire to end the life of hate and violence. They were trapped by this thought of duty.
I then began to speak to them and acknowledged the duty they felt. Then I pointed out that while we invent duties to perpetuate cycles of violence, we are all given a greater duty from our Creator to end these cycles through peace, forgiving, and repentance. We all felt something spiritual stir within us, and began discussing again. This time, it was no more the pains of the past, but the tentative and tender hopes for the future.