“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation”. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world we live in is not exactly a beautiful place as some describe it. Sure, it’s adorned with graceful valleys, mountains, rivers, oceans, flowers, birds and a great blue sky, but the humans who inhabit it, has contaminated it from the moment they came into existence. Someone somewhere committed the first evil act and it triggered all other evil acts which were to follow. It seems we are caught up in the never-ending chain of causing others suffering, simply because we suffered.
I never understood the fundamentals of evil. I knew it existed all around. But I never paid that much attention to it, because I thought good always conquered evil, and being good was all you had to do. I was never influenced to contemplate my own values due to someone else being nasty to me. But, alas! I had to learn that lesson the hard way.
Evil works like falling dominoes. When the first domino tile is toppled, it topples the second, which topples the third, and so on, until the entire structure collapses. This doesn’t mean when someone hurts you, you hurt another the same way…..although I have had the misfortune of being the victim of such a painful circumstance. But what it usually means is, when someone treats you badly…you pass it on to another in some form or the other.
You must think this is a simple understanding of evil and how it works, and everyone knew about it. But, I was too naive to even think this was the case. Yeah sure, I knew there were circumstances that made someone’s unpleasant action a direct or indirect cause of another’s unpleasant action. But here’s what I actually believed! I believed when someone is hurt by another, they must make sure not to hurt anyone else the same way. At least I made sure that was the case with me. I often thought your own suffering is the guide to prevent history from repeating itself for another.
Just because you refrain from hurting others when you get hurt, it does not mean its reciprocal.
I always wondered why I got hurt the way I did. Rather than pointing fingers at each individual who caused me suffering beyond comprehension, I decided to take a more understanding approach. I know that the very people who hurt me were hurt before, by others, maybe there was one special occasion that changed them forever. And unleashing that anger, frustration, hatred, doubt and fear on me, completed the act of transferring the sins to another.
This is a standard human thing isn’t it? The reason why Jesus had to die on the cross, the reason why people still fight the wars of their ancestors, the reason why terrorism was born, and the reason why we cant rid the earth of evil.
I never hear people say, ‘we will suffer for our own sins, and we would not dream of anyone else doing that for us’.
What someone somewhere long ago did to us still continues to haunt others, passing from one miserable soul to another.
But I always believe we have a choice. People may have treated me precisely the way they have been treated by others, but that doesn’t mean I should go about causing others to suffer. Perhaps I too would one day change and become a domino piece that knocks out another. But if I can help it, I would never ever become that.
” One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him. – Socrates