Good vs. Evil

Mary - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on January 26, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Good: Having the qualities that are desirable or distinguishing in a particular thing; Evil: Morally bad or wrong; wicked. These two words may seem as if polar opposites when defined together, impossible for them to even be related. Despite how completely different these two words may seem, I believe that every single person on Earth is capable of good and evil.

Everyday, people witness the good or ill acts of humans, but we have become so accustomed to seeing this that rarely do we stop to think about those acts. The acts of kindness or harshness that get noticed most by us happen to be the stories on the news, the stories about serious acts of either side. I know personally that sometimes humans can’t help but think: “How could that person possibly be good (or evil)?” Times such as this are the root of my beliefs.

At a younger age, I believed in karma, even though I did not know its name; I thought that if I did something right that something good would come to me, and I assumed that everyone thought the same. That is why elementary school came as such a surprise. Due to my shy nature, I had trouble making friends and usually waited for people to approach me, rather than go out on a limb on what seemed a futile attempt. At this point I had no strong friendships, to say the least, but I had a friend that I assumed to be kind, someone I could turn to. I never expected to witness them doing anything with ill intention.

That is why one day in third grade something took me by surprise when I witnessed an act I thought to be inexcusable, or even impossible. Standing on the playground, my ‘friend’ bullied another student, also another friend of mine. I did not believe what I saw, or maybe I did, but didn’t want to. Despite that, I tried to remain distant acquaintances with that person until moving at the end of the year.

Now, I have moved on from that experience and have matured greatly. I have seen that people can do evil and good. Most people, I believe, have been in similar situations as me, situations where they thought that they could trust a person and had their thoughts proven wrong. Despite my previous experience, I still try as hard as I can to trust people, and knowing how it feels when a friend witnesses your acts of selfishness, I think before I act. But everyday people do acts of unkindness, and I always can’t help but wonder why they do it.

I watch the news everyday before school. Tales of criminals, thieves, and murderers cover the majority of every story that is told on the news. For every single one of them, I believe that they could have stopped; they could have chosen differently. With the stories of heroes, and saviors, I know that they, too, could have chosen the wrong path, the selfish path. This is how I know, no single person has only good or evil in them.