This I Believe

Beth - Westfield, Massachusetts
Entered on September 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: good & evil
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An evil dwells within each human- destined to break free. The level of goodness within the being is based upon how often the evil escapes the mind and into action. Goodness is based on the control of vices, but also on the discipline of the soul. Those who believe in good are easily manipulated by the power of this discipline and the ability to call oneself complete and moral. But those who live their life by the creed of evil are seduced by the vices humans so mercilessly crave.

The evil either escapes or it lies dormant. Like energy, there is no abolition of evil. It is carefully preserved in time-recorded history. Humans will never eradicate the ignorant bliss that sadism brings to the mind. And so they work, tirelessly, without end, to protect the things they hold dear. When humans are fortunate, the darkness that manipulates the world is comprised of their fellow humans. Yet sometimes, the evil is theirs. It is their darkness that plagues us. There is nothing worse than failing to reach one’s own ethical standards… and knowing it is happening. Yet some people manage to avoid this sense of ethics by the in which they live.

The man very closest to my heart has taught me that there are three ways to live. All of them have different effects on the way we view good and evil.

The first is through observation. The act of hiding from life is the easiest to master and the hardest to overcome. Its utter simplicity is seductive, and its consequences seem remote. However, there is one fatal flaw to observation- it yields no recompense. It is the epitome of detachment from one’s emotions. The second way is coward’s childplay. Humans who abide by this creed are low in morals and wretched in being- for it is they who run from what they fear. They will run from everything than is unknown to them. They dart through the tribulations of life, never stopping to discover something new. Their lives are utterly meaningless and a compilation of evil as they flow through time, stealing from others what it is they are too selfish to reap for themselves.

A third option is nearly unbeknownst to man. It is the path of participation. He who seeks this path will spend most of his life in pain. But he will find truth. Within this knowledge of truth is an understanding of good and evil. The man who understands truth knows that good is good and evil is necessary. He takes a stand, and he discovers who he is in relation to the mess of the cosmos and good and evil. He takes a stand, and does not falter when he fails. If the evil slips through, he merely regains himself and rejoins the fight. Time wears on and the battle grows in intensity, but the satisfaction of brave righteousness lies within his heart. And it overshadows the dormant evil that sleeps there.

Despite the cynicism that this theory proposes, mankind has one redeeming virtue: what it spends in preserving the evil in the world, it counters with constant striving towards moral excellence and the preservation of good.

I believe in the evil of mankind. I believe in the good. I believe that life is shorter than the consequences we receive for allowing ourselves to be overcome. I believe that which you are and the way you live matter. And I believe that taking a stand defines who you are.