So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’ – Patton Oswalt
Again, the American people are struck with tragedy. And unlike devastating storms or raging earthquakes, this latest trauma was inflicted by a human. A reasoning, critical thinking, community-raised person.
One of us.
It’s difficult to watch videos of the explosion at the Boston Marathon. It’s difficult to watch human suffering. An innate repulsion, sickening, swells within us, within most people, at the sight of such horror done to others.
And we naturally wonder, “How could someone do such a thing? What kind of evil must reside in him?”
When we look across the globe, we see similar acts of villainy, acts of corruption, of slavery, of routine unforgivable violence. And as our vision colors crimson, we understandably begin to ask, “How good can humans really be?”
It only takes one moment to make a cynic out of anyone. It takes a lifetime of perspective to be a believer.
I once wrote a short story where God and the Devil play chess, and during this game, the Devil is obsessed with learning why God gave humans moral free will: “Look at the evil, the depravity in man. Why not create a being whose goodness was self-evident, simply the nature of the creature?”
Because without the choice to refrain from evil, “good acts” would be nothing more than rote programming. We need the darkness, only to show how bright our fires can burn. We need the cold, only to show how warm our love can truly feel.
Yes, there are bad people. Yes, bad people do bad things. But we mustn’t give them attention. Don’t waste your energy hating them when there are so many others you can spend your energy loving.
For if evil were truly a part of man’s nature, why hasn’t the world crashed into shambles, toppled down in broken boards and shattered concrete? Because the good of the mass, the majority, of you, of us, will always be there, hammer in hand, nail in mouth, working to repair it.
And because the good will always outnumber them.