Good vs. Evil

Edmund Burke, the 18th century Irish philosopher, famously once wrote, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." We might substitute the word men for "men and women," or just "people" these days.

Good people have an allowing tendency. They offer flexibility and forgiveness to others, even in the face of perpetration and wrongdoing. It is precisely this tendency, amongst others, that makes them good.

When faced with bad faith actors, dirty tricks, and all the other deceptive ways evil attempts to get its way, good people tend to throw their hands up in disbelief and mostly fail to defend the virtue under assault. They can't understand how somebody can be so mistaken, cruel, and/or punishing and find it difficult to effectively respond.

Seizing on this vulnerability, evil pushes forward, taking territory it has no right to, for itself.

Evil relies on dirty tricks and politicking because it is inherently weak. It is inherently weak because it is afraid—of being found out. So it operates in the shadows, lies, and makes you believe it's on your side. All to keep you in the dark and oblivious.

Evil, in a fair fight, stands no chance against good, no more than an invading bacteria stands a chance against your white blood cells and immune system.

Good people must learn to get fierce. There is beauty in defending virtue, even if force is required.

Am I Worthy?

We look to others to feel okay about ourselves.

A lot of this happens unconsciously — without thought, without intent — and is driven by attraction.

The internal reasoning goes, "I am not okay but if I can find somebody willing to partner with or like me, then I can feel okay because, if somebody is willing to partner with or like me, then I must not be as bad as I think I am."

Such reasoning is found at the foundation of many, many relationships, which turns them into more of a quid pro quo arrangement than anything else. You make me feel okay, I'll make you feel okay.

As understandable as this arrangement is, it is inherently unstable and unsustainable. Nobody can ever deliver in this way for you, even with the noblest intent and most sincere effort. People are fickle and don't stick around forever. At best, they will temporarily scratch our itch.

The setup is an excellent recipe for drama, demands, and co-dependency, which you might be surprised to read, is not necessarily a "bad" thing. If you want drama, demands, and co-dependency, by all means, you will receive it, which would be a "good" thing.

While seeking a sense of basic okayness through others is not a bad thing, it is a powerfully inefficient route that does not ultimately get you where you really want to go. Taking it a few times and suffering the inevitable bruises and heartache, causes you to wonder, "Is there another way?"

Is there another way to feel okay without needing somebody else to make it so? It is a question worth spending an extended amount of time considering, as the answer is key to your personal evolution and freedom from struggle.

Can I be okay as I am? Faults included. Poor self-esteem included. Mistakes included. Guilt included. Transgressions included.

That is the challenge. To include all our parts we wrap a layer of shame around and so remove the shame. By no means is this easy work. It takes a great deal of practice. And it takes an understanding, seasoned by experience, that knows through and through, "I am worthy."

Once we are convinced of our worth simply for being our multi-faceted selves, we are well on our way to healing a deep wound found in the heart of humanity that causes all types of external seeking and not finding.

Convinced our worth, we no longer need others to convince us. We know.

The Disappearing Question

There are times when we are convinced we need to ask a certain question of a certain somebody.

The question seems important, meaningful, and, if answered, that we would be better off, more enlightened, or more capable of making an important decision.

What happens though when the opportunity arises to ask it? Many times, the importance of the question mysteriously evaporates. Just moments before, it seemed like the whole world hinged on the answer but now that we are face-to-face with that somebody, we don't feel we need to ask the question anymore.

This is all mind stuff. This is a desire to be free of an entanglement of one kind or another, without realising that either there really is no entanglement (it's imagined) or that it's not meant to be resolved just yet.

We might still ask the question despite not feeling its presence or relative importance in the moment.

Like a sugar high, we get a sense of satisfaction that is soon followed by a sense of regret. And you can be sure that whatever information is offered, if any, to you as a result, will miss the mark, not be good enough, or create further questions and confusion.

By in large, questions are not designed to be answered immediately. They are designed to get your attention and point your consciousness to something in need of correcting. Questions are intimately connected with evolution. Did Einstein's Theory of Relativity come out of nowhere? Yes. But it also came from a mind and heart deeply curious about the nature of reality. 

By holding the question, investigating it, and respecting it, Einstein was eventually given a breakthrough that fundamentally changed the way we understand how space and time works.

Questions similarly mature us. It takes courage to investigate their answer, especially when there is no known map to follow. As we fit the puzzle pieces together — as we inevitably will with enough time and patience — we grow and get a sense of accomplishment that boosts both self-esteem and confidence, propelling us to the next level of our evolution where new, more difficult questions will be met.

No doubt, there is a time and place for sitting down with somebody who is a few metres ahead of you on the path and picking their brain or sharing your most closely-held concerns.

We do not want to make this our go-to strategy but something that is used sparingly, when all other avenues of investigation have led to dead ends. Then such interactions take on a more heartfelt and balanced tone where your innocence is maintained.

The question's job is to produce an answer. It happens effortlessly, and it also happens in ways we least expect.