My understanding of good and evil has evolved over the years. I have been looking for the meaning of life for quite some time. I have heard sermons on evil as a literal devil who stalks the good people of the world to cause them to stumble and mistakenly partake in his evil doings. I have heard the theory espoused that there is no right or wrong, only what is socially acceptable. Both of those extremes come up short for me. They dismiss the responsibility each and every one of us bear as citizens of the world.
If we do not put out intentional effort to do good, than we perpetuate evil. Selfishness, oppression, lechery, deceit, war, greed, apathy, indifference, bitterness, resentment, wastefulness, lack of compassion for the needy, for the marginalized, for the different… it goes on and on. And some who will read that list and it will bring to their minds some other person or group who displays some kind of evil…. that evil within us when we look to the speck in the eyes of others rather than our own log, that is the evil that makes all other evil continue.
It seems a bit harsh, branding all that as evil, but the world is a messed up place, and mincing words hasn’t helped so far. How did we end up like this? This is not the world I signed up for. We are all culpable.
I have said before that I don’t feel it is fair to blame someone for the prejudices and misaligned values that they were fed as a child. What gets me is the lack of personal examination and evolution of conscience that we must go through as adults. We cannot go though the world proclaiming “I is what I is, I ain’t changing” as Paula Deen put it so succinctly. Too often that is an excuse for not taking responsibility for our place in the world, for our influence.
The world will not get better until good people decide to to good for others, until each of us realize that the world and its people are worth our effort.
We cannot be the wicked witch, always wishing for what we could have had, what we feel is our right; nor the cowardly lion, all talk but no action. Glinda doesn’t seem right either, she is a little too quick to blame others, and tell Dorothy to do what it is in her power to make happen. Dorothy seems good hearted but her plight supersedes all others. I want to be the tinman and scarecrow. They helped others, using brains and heart, they did not stop pursuing their own goals to help Dorothy, but understood that they all must get there together.
In response to the Daily Prompt: Wicked Witch, how do I understand evil.