Many of my blog posts are consumed with the focus of making the most out of life, living idealistically, and advice on being contentment. But each of those concepts face an immediate and overwhelming threat that is difficult to understand and even more difficult to stop. Evil. Evil exists in the world, and it directly contradicts my nature as a person who fights for what is good and peaceful and right. I am an optimist in the absolute sense of the word, so when I see the evil subterfuge of so many people, I cringe. It makes me wonder if the faith I’ve placed in people is unfounded, and the limited number of people who seek good in the world are just mutants seeking to achieve an unachievable goal.
It’s just that it manifests itself in so many different ways. In the top of the largest tower in the city, a man in a $5,000 suit is exploiting the tax code to line his pockets with a little more cash. A few floors down, a worker is lying to her boss about another employee because she feels he is a threat to her career. Out on the street, gang violence has just caused an innocent teen to lose his life. The next block over, a slow traffic day has caused a raging driver to yell a thousand expletives at a person who has done nothing wrong. It’s a collision of evil acts all within the space of one square mile.
Evil is the best defense mechanism. A shield of self-interest that protects you from having to care about other. From having to love. It can be painful, sacrificial, complicated to love others. It takes effort to surrender your nature and desires for the sake of others. But love is the only medicine for the heart. Without it, the heart slowly decays to the point where it can never be healed. A heart that goes from burning love to burning hated.
And then… an explosion of critical mass.
It’s just another day in the life of the human race, where the good are looking for a peace that will never come and the evil are doing what they have conditioned themselves to do. And the worst part is, on the worst even I cannot completely break free of my evil. I still sometimes withhold giving because I want something for myself. I sometimes will not stop to help a person in need. I could always serve more. I could always be less selfish. I could always be just a little bit better than the Matt I am right now.
In fact, maybe that should be the goal of each and every one of us, from the most violent rapist to the most distant medical missionary. Perhaps we should make it our objective to be a little better today than we were yesterday. Maybe the journey back to love, kindness, and peace and away from evil is filled with those small steps. The little things that we’re tasked with on a daily basis may in fact turn into big things.
A smile. A donation. Recycling that water bottle. Picking up the pencil of the person beside you who dropped it. Holding the door open for someone. Paying for that person’s coffee. Planting flowers. Volunteering at the humane shelter. Volunteering at the food bank. Adopting.
Step by step suddenly we’re all the path away from evil and into a society where there is love available for all people. Maybe no matter how far down that evil path you’ve gone, there’s always a clearly marked way back. And if that’s the case, maybe there still is hope for world, that one day it can be known for its acts of peace and not for its acts of evil.
About the photo: “All In How You Look At It” I am still having trouble deciding if this photo, with its barren trees and amber skies, is scary or not. You almost feel as if you walk down that road, though, you may not being coming back. Actullay, there’s a good chance of that since Georgia is well-known for its menacing wild boars. Killing one fetches a nice reward.
I did exactly what the Daily Post prompt told me to do, and I didn’t include any witches. I’m not ready for Halloween yet, sorry.