Anger, frustration, disappointment, rage, etc. I heard it said recently in a song, “Anger is a gift.” This perspective was being shared be a revolutionary, someone calling for massive social change.
I think the idea was / is, if you’re so mad, so furious that you are willing to go to extremes, and push on past established limits, challenge power, and the rage inside you fuels your energy to persevere through struggle and hardship to a noble end, that’s…a gift.
Certainly I get the idea, certainly know there’s plenty of injustice in the world, plenty of systems and circumstances where it seems that logic and mercy and justice are needed, where perseverance and extreme actions might apply to facilitate change.
But what of the emotions themselves? All human emotions are natural; it’s part of what we are, who we are, we’re “feeling” beings. And those feelings can be powerful, overwhelming, difficult to understand, even difficult to control.
And that’s at the heart of this humble piece. If negative emotions, those that can swallow us up, if they grow and take over and otherwise go unchecked, I think those emotions can lead to evil.
I speak from experience.
I’ve felt it creeping in, evil trying, ever so sly, ever so slow, to seep into my soul, to make me someone I don’t want to be.
Mind you, it wasn’t anything major that occurred, nothing too earth-shattering that caused this process to begin. And maybe that’s the point.
The circumstance was, is, basically a conflict with someone I’m close to; the conflict comes from a fundamental difference of approach and opinion on what’s appropriate, what’s the “right thing to do.”
And because this person is close to me, I assume this person will have the same perspective, and actually that we won’t have conflict, that we’re on the same page with a decision that has to be made.
And yet we miss.
We are not on the same page.
And in fact it seems like we are fundamentally seeing the situation from two different places. And this situation is frustrating to me. It causes me to be angry. It causes me to be critical and judgmental. I causes me a slow and quite rage deep in my craw.
How do I know? I’ve woken up repeatedly thinking about it. It’s festering. Right now, it’s festering. And until the situation is resolved, it will bother me.
So how does this relate to evil?
I’ve imagined of late how these feelings, if not checked, could otherwise slowly push you over to attitudes and actions that you might not think were in your DNA otherwise. Mind you, I am aware and in control (as much as I can be) of these negative feelings and process through them each time the come to the surface.
But I can easily see how evil could take hold, if I let it. I can see how negative attitude could become the foundation of the relationship, evil pushing aside the history and the relations I have with this person otherwise.
I can see how it might become resident evil within. I can see how evil could destroy my relationship, destroy my life, make me someone I don’t want to be. But I won’t let it.
No. No I won’t.
Evil might visit, but it will take no residence in me.