Do you ever have horrible thoughts? Thoughts that you’re really ashamed of, that you would never want anyone else to know you ever thought?
I know I do. I have deep-seated prejudices that shock me. I’ve wished ill upon people, some of whom may deserve misfortune, but most of whom really don’t. I have a very active mind, one that won’t turn off at night. It’s always busy examining motivations and excuses, guilt and revenge. Meditation is a great tool for clearing the mind. I hope one day to be able to train myself to just switch it off at will. But meanwhile, the evil thoughts poke through.
I don’t think it’s any use in claiming that you’ve never had these kind of thoughts, because I think everyone has. Yes, even Mr. Rogers and the Dalai Lama. Even Elmo, even The Friendly Giant.
What separates the good from the evil among us isn’t the having of thoughts, it’s the controlling of them. It’s confronting them and recognizing that they’re wrong; holding them up to a mirror and placing yourself in another’s shoes. It’s really a matter of imagination. A lot of the evil in the world is caused by people who just don’t have the imagination to put themselves in another’s place.
I think that’s why artists are often such pleasant, laid-back people. Creativity = imagination = compassion.
I was listening on YouTube to the last interview given by Johnny Ramone before his death. He was an odd cat, not well-liked by his bandmates, but if Dee Dee was the soul, and Joey was the heart, Johnny was the brain behind the Ramones. His words at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were “God bless America and God bless President Bush”. He was a lifelong Republican, in an industry that he described as 99% Democrat. The only other rocker I can think of who’s right-wing is Ted Nugent, and he’s a lil bit crazy.
Am I saying the right wing is evil? No, I’m saying that by and large, they lack imagination; the imagination to include the whole of society in its governance, not just the strong and the wealthy.
Why, I think that’s a song.
P.S. Sadly, today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Dee Dee Ramone.