Always obsessed with concepts, I am. They’re usually not new concepts, they’re concepts that We the People have been struggling with since the dawn of time. I don’t have any answers. I wish I did. I haven’t had any startling insights so far, though. I’ll keep you posted if I figure it all out. I’m just very, very disturbed by the state of society lately. There’s not enough love and fellowship around anymore, it seems. Jeez, Lynne, what are ya, some kinda fuckin’ hippie? Well, um…yeah, actually.
Most recently, I’ve been obsessed with good and evil. That’s such a huge concept, maybe the hugest, probably second only to the nature of existence. I often struggle to see the good in people, to try and put myself in the other fella’s shoes, and I honestly do try, and mostly, it works. Everyone has a motive. The best literary villains are those who believe strongly in something. Only comic book baddies are evil just for the sake of being evil. It’s all about greed, power, or revenge. Does evil really even exist? Or is it just a very aggressive form of selfishness?
We all have desires, I get that, and they’re not all socially acceptable, I get that too. But “your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”. I’m not sure where that quote is from, or I’d source it. Hang on there, I’m googling…okay, the actual quote is:
‘The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.’
~ Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Meaning: the existence of a victim overrides your right to act on your desires.
Most reprehensible of all are crimes against victims who can neither defend themselves nor cry out for help. These are the ultimate acts of cowardice. Crimes against children, the elderly and the physically or mentally challenged make me believe in the existence of evil. Stealing a loaf of bread because you are hungry isn’t an act of evil, it’s an act of desperation and self-preservation; we have to eat, or we will die. Yes, there is a victim. No, I can’t justify the act. But I can understand it, could possibly even picture myself doing it, under dire circumstances. Raping an 80 year old woman, or taking sexually explicit photos of a toddler, though – how can these be anything but acts of pure evil?
So, my conclusion – I guess I do believe in evil. I think it’s rare, but I believe it exists. I cannot “find the good” in these acts or in a “person” who could perpetrate them.
And it’s keeping me up nights, worrying. Forget the monsters under my bed. They’re small potatoes.