Brittle Skillet

Sparks of passion and items of interest.

Posts Tagged ‘Continuum

The Expansion of Evil . . . and Good

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Is the world becoming a crueler more heinous place? As humans, are we becoming more violent and defensive? Is the divide between us and “the other” becoming greater? Or have we as a species made strides in the other direction?

I was having this conversation with a friend over dinner the other night, and I was shocked to learn that she is rather fearful that indeed we are becoming more barbaric and abominable. In my friend’s observations of the world through history, ancient and recent, she’s noticed a trend toward worse behavior; evil is on the rise. She’s sure that we are treating each other more brutally than ever. Have we learned nothing from the past?

While I agree with my friend that we can easily find many examples of sad scenarios and inhumanity throughout  the world around us, I was quick to point out that perhaps the world is expanding in both directions: toward evil and toward good at the same time. Also, it might be useful to remember that good and evil are often a matter of perspective.

I imagine that we are standing on a continuum that is continually moving out in two directions — directions of opposites — at any given time and in any given aspect. It’s a very basic idea that we know of one quality by distinction from its opposite. For example, there is no understanding up without the inherent understanding of down.

With this in mind, it might be useful for us to focus on the good side of the continuum. I like to believe that the good is expanding in balance with the evil; while the human race becomes more despicable, it also becomes more virtuous at once.

To help me keep my focus on the growing good, I read Ode Magazine and try to bring in something positive to every conversation I have. Some days I’m better at this than others. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a consistently balanced view of reality such that we aren’t bogged down in the gloom and doom, nor are we annoyingly Panglossian with our heads in the clouds?

Graphic by Zeusandhera

© Julie Pierce and Brittle Skillet, 2009-2011.

Written by Julie Pierce

July 20, 2009 at 6:07 pm