Vengeance is a common theme in fantasy fiction, and it is striking to me how well certain FF authors tell the truth about what a messy business it is. Are there parallels one could draw to life in America today? I think so. We live in a time when (in my view, anyways) the demands for retribution far outnumber the calls for mercy.
It's quite simple, really: A public pension, encouragement to keep going, and assurance that not all the stories worth telling have been told.