Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three good reasons to fear no evil

Just because I cannot reconcile my understanding of the world around me with a belief in any sort of a deity, it doesn't mean I deny the existence of evil. What I see as evil might not be things like particular words or what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms, but I certainly see evil in those actions which cause unnecessary harm to others. Evil exists in a variety of forms, and even with no God to point the way, walking knee-deep in its flood is perhaps the most natural thing in life.

Both we non-believers and believers alike must deal with the various forms of evil. Whether a person responds to it by turning inward and praying or whether a person responds by turning inward and rationalizing, the net result is the same. It's still there. The existence of evil by the hands of others is one of those immutable facts of life. Denial will not make it go away and it feeds on our fear.

There are three reasons I will not live my life in fear of the harm some might wish on others. There may be more, but for now, I'm only able to identify these three. Maybe, just maybe, one of them could prove key in helping a reader cope with something they're going through. I sure hope so. That person – whomever they are – is the reason I share this today.

Reason number one to fear no evil: I give as good as I get, maybe better. I'm not a big guy, compared to what most consider big guys. I try not to be loud. I try not to impose on others. So, win or lose, anyone who tries to hurt me, mine or anyone in my company will – at the very least – be left with a scar they can brag about later. I won't lie and claim to have won every challenge in my life. I've lost plenty of encounters (physical or otherwise) but no enemy has ever forgotten me.

Reason number two to fear no evil: I could be wrong. In cases where dealing with a harmful person isn't so much a case of a direct conflict, it could be nothing more than a case of different perspectives. I used to think my ex was evil. I now realize hers was a case of someone doing what they felt they had to do. I used to use the figure-of-speech in that sometimes what appears to be a demon is just an angel with a job to do. For example; a burglar might “think” of the police as the enemy. But all of the rest of society knows the cops are just protecting lives and property. In this case, it's the burglar who would be wise to seek a new line of work. Having done so, he may find those officers to be some great allies. (This is merely for illustrative purposes. I'm neither a burglar nor a cop. Please keep the rumors to yourself.)

Reason number three to fear no evil: Evil people eat their own. This is my primary reason for living my life boldly, even in the face of the most vicious and unnecessarily harmful. Ultimately, even in cases where I might lose a challenge and even in those cases where it's not so much a matter of perspective, evil eventually destroys itself. The burglar has to, at some point, transport their loot in a suspicious manner and the law-of-averages will eventually catch up to them with an officer on patrol. Perhaps they'll break into the home of a well-armed and protective homeowner.

Those in power who would oppress their subjects eventually accumulate too many enemies. Liars and false accusers over-speak their case, eventually giving away a key detail and trip themselves up. Murderers live with the memories of their victims. This list could go on forever. One day, in some way and at the most inconvenient time, evil people do themselves in. I may not get to witness it myself, but I know it happens this way. I've seen it happen enough times to take confidence in my walk through this world. I hope you do too.
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