17 April 2017

A Root of Evil

I wonder if one root of evil isn't as simple as believing that our own lives don't make a difference. Once you believe that, it doesn't really matter what you do, what battles you walk away from, what innocents you fail to stand up for, what effort you do or don't make.

By contrast, believing that your life makes a difference makes you responsible for making an effort, for doing good, for finding meaning. That may not be the fruit of all that is good but it could be a root.

[It's been rightfully pointed out to me that this assumes a measure of compassion or empathy for other people. That is, it assumes that you're not a Hitler or inspired to be like him, making a difference by extracting revenge, real or imagined, on the French or the Jews or Muslims or women ... It turns out that some people are quite convinced that their lives make a difference only the difference to which they're committed isn't exactly a positive one.]

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