When Joseph finally reveals his true identity to his brothers, he immediately tells them not to worry or be afraid. Although his methods of deceiving them, planting the cup in Benjamin’s sack etc. seem to be fuelled by a cruel desire for revenge (greatly mitigated by what was done to him, of course), his immediate concern now to alleviate their fears seem to indicate there was a positive, higher purpose to it all, perhaps to allow them to prove their regret for their past actions.
The reunification of Joseph and his brothers in our Torah portion was seen throughout the ages as laying the groundwork for future reconciliation and coexistence between all different factions of humanity. People will let the past be the past, understand that there is a higher power directing everything for a greater good, and commit to setting aside their differences for the benefit of themselves and their children.
Since Joseph’s time we still await the time when people will learn to see each other as equals. Each step closer is worthwhile in itself. It is our job to remind others – and ourselves – that we cannot simply wait for this time to come; we must make it happen through our own actions.