Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In Defense of Goodness

I am trying to understand why people do the terrible things they do.

A few people have gone out of their way to hurt my sister, and by proxy, hurt me. They betrayed the trust she gave so freely and willingly.

I'm tired of trying to understand it. I'm tired of thinking of ways their life should rust, decay and fade away. There is this great feeling of anger and sorrow rising up in me and venting it just isn't working. I've said what I wanted and yet, here I am...still upset. My hatred only begets more hatred.

I just want to think of all the sweetness, goodness and loveliness in this world and banish the thought of the terrible actions people have taken against the only person in the whole world who will know me like my she does.

I'm not religious. I believe bad things happen to good people and bad people are sometimes rewarded for their questionable actions. But, no matter how hard I try, I can't bring it upon myself to deliver justice that is so rightly hers. I can not feign to understand the rottenness in others, nor can I comprehend the apathy they hold to their own evil.

I can only Hope that one day they realize that they can be so much better then they are. There is reason to believe that they can change, improve themselves. That their selfishness and despicable behavior will soon be a distant memory to my sister.

Should we go through life expecting the worst? Should we be paranoid and question every action, every word, every look. Should I tell my sister to abolish all faith in people's actions?

I simply cannot. Perhaps it is naive. Perhaps only the good can expect the good from others. And we'll be forced to live with the temporary shock and dismay when we find that people are dishonest, disgusting and dishonorable. But better to live life in search of Goodness where only decay resides.

Better to see the fertile soil where others only see dirt. Perhaps we should not invest in the possibility of goodness before it has come of age and come to fruition. It is too hard to tell what path a person may take. Whether they will decide to live rightly and justly or if they will be weak and give into the darkness and in the shadows in themselves.

Perhaps it is a flaw of mine to hold people up the expectations few could reach. I am not looking for purity and flawlessness. Only the strength to be true to themselves and those around them. The brute courage it takes to admit your weakness and deny yourself the chance to give in to it. A person of substance and fortitude.

All I ask is that people give the goodness in them a chance before they find themselves on "a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind."*

*Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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