Can Morally Repulsive Behavior Lead to Good?

Technology that permits everyone to talk to everyone provides the opportunity to witness close up and personal details of morally repulsive behavior that is shocking and despicable. In the game of life, evil has constantly danced in the darkness; always lurking to attach to the most beautiful performance and use deception to debase humanity. Many times we are caught in the clutches of evil at the moment of our highest calling.

We witness this when a teacher is caught having sex with a student, a priest is in the spotlight with victims of sexual abuse, a child murders their family or innocent school children or worshipers, or even when a nation's leader commits genocide or some other atrocity. We are repelled. Is there any value in our ability to witness this?

Our instinctive response is shock, and then to avert our eyes. We are uncomfortable looking closely at the images of carnage that has occurred in a world we imagined to be safe from such barbarism. Where is the good in these experiences that seem to be occurring with greater frequency? It forces us to look at the dark side of humanity; to examine our own dark side and come to terms with it. Humans are capable of being caught in the claws of evil even when they exist in utter innocence.

Perhaps that which is foremost and crucial to all of our hearts is the place where evil lurks to trap us. It is here where we hold our closest dreams that we are most vulnerable to the fall from grace. When we are so deeply committed to a cause that we are willing to cross forbidden boundaries or use power or influence against another person to achieve the dream, we are already clutched firmly in the talons of evil. We have become the partner in the dance of darkness. Just as the line between love and hate is a fine line, good and evil are always sparring partners. The line blurs by the fire that dwells within us.

We have to guard against becoming a zealot to any cause; to never allow the fire to burn so deeply in us that we imagine our cause is worth any price. Any extremist behavior lurks close to evil; it is a dangerous place to stand. Acceptance of others right to embrace their own philosophies, to follow their own dreams without judging them to be immoral or wrong is the dividing line we draw to keep evil at bay.

Averting our eyes or refusing to examine closely the details of the carnage empowers evil to continue to conquer unsuspecting people. Good emerges when we are willing to witness the pain and scrutinize the path that led to the actions we find so repulsive. It is necessary to do this to find a better response that prevents them from ever occurring again. We have to see it, believe it and then conceive a feasible plan to prevent it.

It is to you to decide if it is occurring more frequently or if we are simply able to see at a greater distance. It is to all of us to be courageous enough to call it as it really is and embrace a solution we can count on in the future. Good emerges from evil when we are willing to do so.


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