See No Evil

It is easy to be loved – all you have to do is whatever people approve of and you’re the life of the party. It’s far more difficult to hold your ground because it is for the greater good, especially if it is not ‘popular’ or easy, or quick or snappy.

There are people in this country, some of them elected officials in the service of the public, who would rather forward the notion that our President is an idiot, evil, genius manipulator than to confront the fact that there is evil in this world. In particular, evil that seeks to destroy all that does not resemble it or will not submit to it.

I believe that most people have good hearts, mean well, don’t do things to intentionally hurt others. But I also know that there are people who are not good, do not have good hearts, do not mean well and do things to intentionally hurt people. If that weren’t true, we never would have heard of Hitler, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, or any of the others who live in infamy throughout history. Past and present.

So, I have to ask myself – why can’t people see it? Is it just that they don’t want to? Is it too inconvenient? Do they have better things to do? Is it just too much trouble? Is it unawareness, stupidity, dullness, lack of intelligence, lack of rationale, arrogance? What? Why?

Why is it so damned hard to acknowledge that evil exists. And sometimes it descends into our lives?

Not long ago, I was involved in a project called simply 2996. It had the lofty goal of paying tribute to the 2996 Americans who were killed on Sept 11th 200l. 2996 bloggers would each pay tribute to one of the 2996 victims. I was proud to be involved and honored to pay tribute to a New York City Firefighter, Steve Mercado. I was flabberghasted that even some of Steve’s family came and read the tribute and made very kind comments about it.

But I must say that the whole experience was hard on me and I believe on all the others involved. We re-live the pain, the destruction, the sorrow on each anniversary and that day is hard on us. Well most of us, anyway – because, I am sorry to say that there are those who believe that we somehow deserved that event in our country. That we did something to make it happen. That by virtue of being us we deserved a national, tragic come-uppance.

My response to this is either that is the height of arrogance, because to believe that, you must also believe that the world revolves around you. Or the height of denial – because you have to believe that there is no such thing as evil in the world. Or that they didn’t mean it.

To me, this is the most dangerous thing we face in our current lives. The predisposition to believe that all people are good. That all people are sorry for the bad acts they commit. That you have only to talk, or negotiate, or convince people of the errors of their ways.

If this were true, there would be no need for laws, for prisons, for military forces, for police, for anything that would seek to blunt bad actions. We’d all live in harmony and co-exist in peaceful evolution.

I think it is a fine dream that we someday come to this place. But we’re not there. Far from it. Despite all our technology, advanced philosophies and access to the world, cultures, sciences and knowledge we aren’t the evolved beings we believe ourselves to be.

We can’t even face the fact that we all have evil in ourselves. We fight it each day. We do good deeds to make it go away, so we don’t have to look at it. See it. But it is there. And if we can’t face and correct our own bad acts as individuals, we are destined to be the victims of it.

The world is a dangerous place and while I don’t think anyone should live their lives in fear, I do think we need to acknowledge that and be willing and ready to face and fight that danger whenever it rears its ugly head. If you want something beautiful to exist in this world you must be willing to fight for it. My question is, are we? Will we?

I’m betting on us. I’m praying for us. I hope you are too.

WC

7 thoughts on “See No Evil

  1. A sad and true post.
    You’ve touched on something here, AMR.
    I think that humanity in general seems almost pre-programmed to foster a sense of detachment.
    Is it an oversaturation of negativity by the media?
    Possibly.
    I’m praying for all of us as well.

    ~m

    Yes, you’re right about the detachment – the cause, well I guess we could debate that for a few days – I’d have to agree though, the media is certainly a contributing factor.

    WC

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  2. btw-

    like the new header, you blogging wildthang…

    ~m

    Hmmm….blogging wildthang – good name for a blog. Glad you like the header, it is a picture of my neighborhood, which I took with one of those throwaway cameras. Sometimes, even with the worst tools, you get good results.

    WC

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  3. Nobody wants to see evil, or believe in it. And thats because we are all capable of it. There is no hard and fast rule about who will be evil and who won’t. The neighbours of serial killers hate the fact that not only didn’t they see it, but they could also relate to them. By being able to relate, you make the internal assumption that you are also capable of it, just because you could talk to them. Given the right circumstances we are ALL capable of being and doing evil. The majority of us choose not to. Kind of like being able to kill. EVERYONE is capable of killing someone else given the right circumstances…as any parent will attest to.
    Great post…
    Cheers, Kelly

    Good point about the neighbors and acquaintances of serial killers, many are flabberghasted to learn about them. And you may be right – about the relating to them part. I do believe though, there is justifiable homicide – defending yourself, a loved one or innocent – but killing for the sake of it, because of hatred, that is another matter.

    WC

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  4. My thoughts were right about the header.
    I had an inkling it might be the skyline you see everyday. Interesting…

    ~m

    Yep, that is my beautiful skyline – makes it worth putting up with a lot of other stuff around here. LOL.

    WC

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  5. There is truth in karma– what goes around does come around, but there are also those who have fallen over to the dark side–those who see evil all around them and truly fear that the mission of anyone powerful must certainly be to do them in. The evil is ever present and they have lost all sense of time and it’s all “now”. Yes, we all have the dark side. Those of us with empathy can tap into the emotions of a Ted Bundy or Saddam Hussein. We see the reflections in ourselves, but what separates us from them is we do not think “everyone is out to get us”. We differentiate between what’s past and present. We’re not fanatically focused on “wiping out all evil”. We see the good in others, step back and marvel at the sunsets, and plan for a bright tomorrow helping our fellow man.
    The Ugly American? Well of course we are sometimes a little ugly. But when someone else is psychotic,
    it doesn’t mean we caused it. And our well intended actions to give food and help to the poor, to bring freedom to the oppressed, and generously rebuild nations wiped out by wars speaks for the good in us.
    ~PG

    Good points, all, PG!
    WC

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  6. Oh…and to acknowledge your point, absolutely, wearing the evil blinders won’t do much for our viligence, which is the price of freedom, or have we forgotten? How right you are. The liberals need a wake up call because they think a Ted Bundy or Saddam Hussein will sit down with you and listen to reason. Ha! Were you able to do so, they wouldn’t even SEE you, much less be able to carry on a rational conversation. And for daring to communicate, oh my… you would be ohhhh soooo dead.
    ~ PG

    Yeah, this is the thing that never ceases to amaze me – the thought that all we have to do is sit down and talk to these nutjobs. If that were possible there would be no war, no mental institutions and no prisons. Also, people tend to overlook the sometimes, years and years of ‘talks’ ‘truces’ ‘inspections’ that failed. I mean, realistically how many decades have been spent ‘talking’? People like this don’t admire you when you want to talk to them ‘to make peace’ they think you are weak and therefore can be easily crushed and will go about doing so without batting an eye.

    Luckily, there are those who are vigilant and see what is happening.
    WC

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