- For Teachers
Hello everyone, this is my first time on the site so I am seeing what kind of reception I get. Im sure after looking around, it will be a positive one :]
Anyway, I wrote this essay at work today, I dont think it came out too bad but I just wanted other peoples thoughts. Thanks.
*portions with this are from the TV show heroes (season 3 episode 13)
“On the sixth day, God created Man in his own image. Now it’s up to us to figure it all out. Right... wrong… good… evil. In each of us is the capacity to decide what drives our actions. So what is it, then, that makes some choose selflessness, the need to devote themselves to something greater, while others know only self-interest, isolating themselves in a world of their own making? Some seek love, even if unrequited, while others are driven by fear and betrayal. There are those who see their choices as dark proof of God’s absence while others follow a path of noble destiny. But in the end, good, evil, right or wrong… what we choose is never what we really need. For that is the ultimate cosmic joke. The real gift that God has left behind.”*
Humans, since the point where we evolved the capacity to regard things with empathy, have always wondered what makes right or wrong. Who is the one to decide when something is permissible, what makes good and evil. This is the duality of life that all sentient beings face. Some people turn to deities. A divine mystical and ever present force is responsible for guiding you toward salvation. While you are taught that ideas that go against this code is the spawn of some chaotic being that will only lead you into darkness. Some don’t see things in such a fine line of black and white. In situations where blind faith is not enough, people rely on instinct, wisdom, and guidance to mold their lives. The first law of human nature is self preservation, and this is the key that determines our survival. But what are we to do when we have to make a choice. Kill one to save a thousand, sacrifice ones beliefs in order to stay alive, or even for the greater good. Regardless of how you see the world, thru the looking glass, everyone must make a choice at some point that goes against what they believe in.
Growing up, I have always looked towards the heroes and villains of fictitious stories for guidance. People that look, sound, and act like any one of us, are given overwhelming power and are burdened with the responsibility of being gods amongst men. This is what the majority of us look for in life. A calling, destiny, fate. We all want something to call our own, and use it to shape the world, make a difference, or become a part of history. Sometimes others want more for us than we want for ourselves, and we never reach our full potential. Skating by on the wings of ‘what if’ and delusions of grandeur. Some people are content with second best, elated that someone is making a difference. They choose to sit in the gallery and watch as life and people progress. Some do not take this lightly. Anger, fear, hate, and self loathing. Second best will never be good enough and they harden their heart and give into self satisfying interest and endeavors in order to achieve the greatness they yearn for. Blind to the fact that they are actually becoming something different then they intended.
What is one to do when they are born into a chaotic environment? Evil is not birthed, it is created and anyone born into these circumstances knows this all to well. When all that stands around you are famine, violence or prejudice, how does someone cope with no standard moral foundation. To survive in such surroundings once must become part of the status quo. Since the times of hunter gatherers we as a species have needed group mentality to survive.
But there is still chance for redemption. Empathy, although it has not fully evolved to a point that is outside of arms reach, is still one of the biggest mechanisms when a choice must be made. Like a phoenix being reborn from ashes, even the most hard pressed man who has seen the worst life has to offer can become more than his environment allows. Can become what we all look to as a shining example of what anyone should strive for. The evil in anyone’s heart can be overcome by the goodness in their head.
“There is good and there is evil… right and wrong… heroes and villains. And if we’re blessed with wisdom, then there are glimpses between the cracks of each where light streams through. We wait in silence for these times when sense can be made… when meaningless existence comes into focus, and our purpose presents itself. And if we have the strength to be honest, then what we find there staring back at us is our own reflection, bearing witness to the duality of life. That each of us is capable of both the dark and the light… of good and evil… of either, of all. And destiny, while marching ever in our direction, can be rerouted by the choices we make. By the love we hold onto and the promises we keep.”*