The Field in a Storm

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“Good” is a clear mountain field on a sunny day. It is a place where you feel safe and at home, an emotion that makes you feel at peace. But “evil”, that is the storm that puts the field in tumult, the cloud that covers the sun. Some lives are placed in a sunny field, but others are put into a storm, and just where you are determines if you are considered “good” by the world, or “evil”. But the people themselves, they are a clean slate influenced by their surroundings. They might have “evil” tendencies, but deep down everyone is good.

When a baby is born, small and innocent, it hasn’t had any actions to define who it is. They’ve not had a chance to be selfish or a chance to give. A baby hasn’t been able to hurt another being or to make a friend. They haven’t had a chance to experience that field, or that storm. So, when a human is born they are a clean slate, without smudges of evil or marks of good. As they grow older that can change. The slate marked up with deeds of good and bad. It all depends on the circumstances. You can look at two young people, both with very different backgrounds. Let’s start with an inner-city gang member. He grew up around drugs and violence. He belonged to a low income family and had a rough time at school. The desperation that made it seem like he had to kill, had to steal, was brought on by his circumstances. Hunger, the people around him, the need to cover a hurt pushed him to join that gang, to commit that crime. He was stuck in the middle of a storm. Let’s look at another person, an honors college student. He grew up, not in the inner-city or the ghetto, but in a suburb with both parents. No violence or drugs clouded his field. Living without violence, he isn’t violently inclined. Living without drugs, he isn’t interested in them. His parents were always telling him right and wrong. He got a field and that pushed him to be successful. Could both of these men have made different choices? Of course, but these circumstances and these settings pushed both of these men to be “good” or “bad” and made it more difficult to become something other than they became. Because they acted the way that they did, the world saw them as good or bad. In the words of Rachel Dawes, “It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.” They both started the same way, a baby in that hospital bassinet, doing no right and no wrong. It is hard to write over something that has been engraved on your slate by your life and footing, to bring on a storm or to banish one, but you can add in your own choices and send the clouds in another direction. While people start out a clean slate there are certain tendencies that control their writing, both good and evil.

What is the basis of evil? I t’s selfishness, not caring for others or following the “Golden Rule”. It’s, “I want it and I want it now!” Now look at who is the most selfish. You don’t see many adults going around saying, “Mine, Mine, Mine!” It’s that little kid on Christmas morning digging into his presents, barely even noting what he is getting, just that he is getting it. His only thoughts are, “ What else is mine?!” Older people consider the gifts and thank those who gave them to them. They aren’t thinking just about themselves. That is because they were taught not to, and have learned that way. Think about the “Terrible Two’s”. Children are the most selfish of all. You always had your parents telling you, “Be good.” So if people are truly good, would we need to be told to do so? But really, in essence, are people really “evil”? Is every desire, every action truly the worst it could be? I believe that people just have evil tendencies. Even the most well behaved child has stolen from the cookie jar or pulled his sister’s pigtails. That’s why my mom tells me, “Mind your ripples,” because your behavior illustrates who you are. People are naturally inclined to take for their own benefit, to steal that cookie or trip a friend, just for a laugh. And that is just it. It’s all for our own pleasure. That’s why we do most of what we do, for ourselves. More often than not, people’s tendencies are more “evil” than good. What about their hearts? What are people like deep down?

In the Bible it states that man was created, “…in the likeness of God.” If we are so like God, how could we really be evil? I think that deep down, everyone is good. How many evil babies do you see? What about those soldiers across the world, away from everything they have ever known, risking their very lives for people they have never even met. How could they be evil? Everyday, hundreds of missionaries travel the globe, trying to make the world a better place. They give up the comforts that they are used to go tell the world what they believe. They sacrifice all they have to go and make a little boy’s in Africa life a little bit better. With all of this good, how could mankind be evil? Evil is not caring about others or the consequences of your actions. It’s knowing what you are doing is bad and continuing to do it. But good, that is a sleeping baby, the pride on a parent’s face when their child receives their diploma, a soldier saluting their flag, and a couple saying, “I Do”. Even though the world may seem hard or full of evil, there is always a little good that can be found, inside every person.

People are born a clean slate and then placed into their field or their storm and that influences the way that they act. Their tendencies are selfish and “evil”. But in the heart of every person there is a glimmer of good. You can see this in the virtue people show and the smiles that adorn the faces of the world. Good or evil; what is written on your slate?





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jOjOsfreakingCIRCUS said...
Feb. 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm
Incredible. Really made me think
I like how you addressed both sides of the argument and then elaborated with all the rhetorical questions. That's a difficult skill many people can't do effectively
 
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