“No man chooses evil because it is evil; He only mistakes it for happiness, the good He seeks.” ~ Mary Wollstonecraft
I came across this quote from Mary Wollstonecraft (the social philosopher mother of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly) and it struck quite the chord in me. Considering the current headlines, especially those of a political nature, it just seems apt and it may just be one of the keys to understanding and dealing with the ignorant and vitriol filled individuals who are peopling it. Think about it…”No man chooses evil because it is evil; He only mistakes it for happiness, the good He seeks.”
If no one chooses evil because it is evil but more because they are mistaking it for what they think will supply the happiness and goodness that is missing in their life, well that actually makes a lot of sense. Is it a misguided thought process, hell yes. Does it end up causing a lot of hurt and pain for those who are affected by the displays of evil ignorance brought about by this mistake? YES! Does it mean those of us who know the difference between what is ultimately evil and what is not have to just sit back and accept it? NO! But it does point out that those who are doing this, who are misguidedly choosing evil (even if willfully) are human. And since they are human, they are not all powerful or unstoppable.
As a meliorist, I refuse to believe that hatred, willful ignorance, and bulling will win out. Will they run things for awhile, yes, but only because they are screaming the loudest and fighting the dirtiest. However, those things have limits and they tend to burn out because there is nothing solid or lasting about them. Those who are acting in ways that are evil, harmful, hateful will be stopped. They will burn out and limp off. Maybe some of them will see the errors of their ways, maybe some never will. It doesn’t matter on the whole because goodness will eventually prevail.
I’m choosing to find ways to create that goodness for myself and for the world around me. It’s one of the very best ways to fight back against the evil. I refuse to sink down into a woe-is-me and woe-is-the-world mentality. It is not the end of times, it is simply right now. There have been many dark, evil driven times, but they always ended, and lives were still lead, light still existed. The good that prevailed during those times is what insured that the evil didn’t and couldn’t last. So long as there is goodness and those willing to act with that goodness the world will continue on and be better for it.
So the next time you’re reading upsetting news created by infuriating people, stop for a minute and think of this quote “No man chooses evil because it is evil; He only mistakes it for happiness, the good He seeks.” and just breathe. Those hateful people who are in power right now are really just misguided fools who think that by doing the evil that they’re doing they will somehow discover fulfillment and happiness. Well they never will, not the way they are going.
Choose a different path for yourself and let them fester. It’s truly amazing what a little bit of positivity and kindness can bring about – even the end of those who seek to tear apart the world we know for reasons they refuse to grasp. Help yourself, those around you, your community; fill them all with kindness, generosity and gratitude and discover the happiness that seems to evade that sorry lot.
Namaste ~ Ella
~ Affirmation Mondays are positive words of wisdom, insight and joy to add a bit of cheer to the start of your week and any day you need a bit of a pick-me-up! For even more inspiration please check out my Affirmation Mondays Pinterest Board and my Quote-spirational Board!
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