"He deserved it," is usually the explanation we hear for behavior that strikes us as unproductive, inhumane or counter-productive. The bully is always happy to point a finger at the person he hurt, to cast blame for his inexcusable actions.
Retribution is a habit, usually a learned one. It's tit for tat, the instinct to punish.
That's a very different posture than the one the productive professional takes. She says, "I choose to take actions that are effective." She chooses a response designed to produce the outcome she seeks, actions that work.
We can react or respond, as my friend Zig used to say. When we react to a medicine, that's a bad thing. When we respond, it's working.
When the world dumps something at our door, we can take the shortcut and allow ourselves to react. We can point out that whatever we do is happening because the other side deserved it. Tantrums are okay, in this analysis, because the other guy made us.
Or we can respond. With something that works. With an approach we're proud of, proud of even after the moment has passed. It's not easy, it's often not fun, but it's the professional's choice.