Good and Evil. There are so many conflicting opinions on good and evil, some people say evil does not exist. Evil, wickedness, malignancy of thought – it is known by many terms, and it does exist, strongly in fact, and stronger by the day.
Goodness, virtue, love, honesty, these things exist as well, and are our only weapon against the evil that surrounds us, as good is often drowned out by the much louder, more horrifying evil in our world.
My grandmother used to tell me that it is impossible to consort with those who do evil and not become wicked yourself, I see her point, but Jesus himself hung out with sinners and he did okay. If this were true ministers, nuns, people who are essentially good could not minister in prisons, on the streets, there would be no purpose for missionaries, all these people do good every day and remain unscathed. I think it is true that evil can rub off onto good people, if you let it in. The same goes for good rubbing off on people, not everyone who is ministered to sees the light, but we keep spreading the word hoping for the one who does invite the goodness in. Ministry is, in itself, an act of faith. You may never know if your words and actions have a positive effect, but you keep going all the same. Good or evil is still a choice.
If we make a choice once to be hurtful, to cause death, to steal, to lie, it becomes much easier to continue down that road and get lost. There is an old tale of 2 wolves, who live inside each of us, one is good, the other evil, the one that becomes strongest is the one you feed the most. There is also the concept of yin and yang, all goodness has some darkness, all darkness has some light, the 2 cannot exist without each other. Without evil we would never know that goodness is really good. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” from Jeremiah 17:9, the Bible says we all have evil hearts, it is only by grace we are saved, and the constant fight for good.
I know most of us don’t look at ourselves that way, as essentially evil beings, we like to think we radiate goodness and light, then we know we are fighting to keep the good part of us active, and strong. Reserving judgment of other people is a good place to start. Being essentially kind is another one. When you are tempted to speak badly of another person, find the place in yourself that came up with that, looking at another person with bad feelings is a reflection of you, not of them.
In so many ways I am disappointed in myself for some of the choices I make, forgiving myself for past mistakes is very helpful, when we start with a clean slate it is so much easier to find goodness to share. Dwelling on the hurtful things we have done just makes us want to perpetuate bad, because we are carrying a lot of hurt, and hurt makes everything worse.
We are human beings, which makes us prone to mistakes. We lose our temper. We tend to see other people and their actions as wrong if they do not make the same choices we would make in the same situation, we think, we can’t possibly know how we would react in someone else’s shoes, so its better to err on the side of caution and try to react from a place of love, understanding, and compassion whenever we can.
None of us are too bad to be denied forgiveness, and not a single one of us is so good that we cannot learn, so good there is no bad. Keep practicing goodness, every day, in every decision, and hopefully, someday, we will all make choices with more love, more good. Do good deeds. Say kind things. Love, peace & hugs…