I've Never Met an Evil Person

· 1 min read

From a young age, I believe that all people are driven by good intentions. I'd go as far as to say that I've never met an evil person. In movies as in real life, villains have an elaborate explanation of why they must do what they do. The most destructive leaders in history had complex articulate rationale structures capable of justifying their actions.

I meet people sometimes who tell me about evil others. It can take many forms: evil politicians, evil rich people, evil democrats and evil republicans, and even evil magical beings. They often proceed to explain that we should shield ourselves from them, or ideally attack first to destroy them if at all possible. Sounds like something a villain would say, doesn't it? When I object they tell me that I haven't seen the world, I am privileged, spoiled, and lucky. In fact, it is because of those like me that the evil is allowed to continue. Which makes me... evil?

There's one category of people I fear most. Hiding behind their rationalizations they can justify anything because they either can't or don't want to feel the impact of their actions. I believe it's rarely all or nothing as we are all on a continuous scale of available empathy. But even in extreme cases of diagnosable sociopathy, a Psychology Today article describes it well:

... the reality is that sociopaths don't necessarily have malicious feelings toward others. The problem is that they have very little true feeling at all for others, which allows them to treat others as objects.

Some say: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". On your crusade against the evil others, how do you know you are not one?