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Good and Evil

Seeing through the forest

 

It’s funny how the truths of life sometimes reveal themselves.

Case in point; I was sitting in church last week listening to the kids' choir, my young son was one of the singers. They were singing about following God and doing what’s right, it was adorable and as a parent I was proud of him.

There are lots of things kids can do. Singing in the church choir is one of the good things. I was listening and enjoying the sounds as they began singing a song that included lyrics along the line of “God give me a clean heart.

It was then that one of those truths snuck up on me. The comparison between these kids, these absolutely innocent little children and the words of the song: asking God to give them a good and clean heart, that it hit me like a shovel across the forehead.

There was nothing more angelic and decent than these kids. Hearing the words and their voices struggling to stay in tune, their cute little smiles directed to the parents and grandparents in the audience revealed the essence of all that is right in the world. At 7, 8 and 9 years old they have never done anything bad or evil. Theirs is a world of good to be cherished.  

The biggest problems these kids have are arguments with a sister or brother, dealing with the injustices of the “T” ball field or the fear of movie monsters and imagined creatures that live under the bed. And that’s the way it should be.

This wonderful scene got me thinking and made me realize that the safe world of childhood I was watching is not the reality that all children are blessed with. Many kids in our society have to deal with real flesh and blood monsters. The ones that beat them, burn them, abuse them and rob their innocence; monsters that sometimes go by the name of mom, dad, uncle, and boyfriend.

We see stories everyday of the three-month old baby that’s shaken to death by someone who was supposed to care for them, the parents that starve their children or the most vile of all, the parents that kill their own kids. Seeing and hearing the children’s choir pointed out a distinct picture of the two different realities, one good, one evil and both painted on a canvas of innocence.

This moment of clarity pushed me to look at the larger societal view of good and evil. In recent weeks the news networks have been abuzz about some of the presidential candidates and their comments about good and evil.

Listening to some of the coverage one could get the impression that anyone who believes that good and evil are real must be a soft-headed fool, naïve, or just plain stupid.

The way this topic was reported, it would seem that accepting as fact the existence of good and evil indicates you must be disconnected from reality, that in truth there is no such thing and everyone, no matter what terrible things they do, are really only misunderstood, deprived in some way, or their actions were the logical and appropriate response to an unfair life situation.

I found this point of view surprising. Life experience has shown me over and over again that evil is not some made-up concept to keep the masses in line, it lives and breathes and can be found doing its business all around us. 

Ask any police officer if good and evil are real. They will tell you there is no question about it. We have all seen the face and deeds of real evil in the actions of robbers, killers, drug dealers, abusers, mindless haters and those who disrespect anyone.

The truth is some people are evil and their actions reveal that very clearly, all we have to do is look at what they do without an excuse filter. By looking at what a person does, it is obvious that evil is not based on a person’s: race, gender, orientation or religion, it is based on their actions; plain and simple. Where the motivation and drive to do evil comes from is up for debate, but evil is real.

Likewise, real good can be found all around us too and is demonstrated in the care we take for our neighbors and friends, in the acceptance of someone else’s decision to love who they love, in the act of kindness we pay a stranger in need, no matter who they are, in the sacrifices made by countless numbers of people who donate their time and energy to help the less fortunate among us, and in the voices of angels in a children’s choir.

The real danger in losing sight of the fact that good and evil are real aspects of our human condition, lies not in the theoretical world of modern thought, but in the consequences that follow.  

Good must be heralded, appreciated, and valued. Evil must be acknowledged, ostracized and banished from our hearts and the world we inhabit. It is only then that we, as a people, can achieve our potential.

Let me know what you think.       

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patricia Florio February 22, 2013 at 02:06 PM
I agree 100 %. Evil has been in this world since Cain & Able. Cain was the first human born and the first murderer, and Abel was the first human to die. Cain committed the first murder by killing his brother. Jesus Christ Said.. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Socrates said.... False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. Martin Luther King, Jr. said... He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Albert Einstein said... The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Just to quote a few. Let's all start doing the right thing. It's not easy but it is worth it. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Martin Vavra February 23, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Seems hardly a relelavation. Only the clueless can even for a moment not see the evil and the good all around us. Who would debate such a thing?
KC March 02, 2013 at 06:42 AM
"Revelation" spell police here lol --------------------- Re: Good and Evil Even more complicated perhaps is the fact that the two co-exist, intermingle, and battle in our minds and hearts. With some notable exceptions, I believe most of us are comprised of some combination of the two; few are purely good or purely evil. Instances of pure evil are of course horrific and make me question why a deity would allow such. I am fascinated by the idea that one mistake can forever alter a life. One moment of weakness or poor judgment can make a criminal of any one of us. Many of us are fortunate that our circumstances have not lead us to a tragic flawed mistake. Others seem almost pre-destined to play the part of villain in the classic battle of good vs. evil. The devil sometimes wears a smile and we cannot discern the two.

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