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Leonard l Brunk

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Necessary Evil
By Leonard l Brunk
Saturday, April 09, 2011

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Without evil, or an idea of all that is evil, freedom and thankfulness could not exist.


I will attempt to explain to you, and convince you of the necessity of hate, despair; evil in general. Hopefully you will be able to see that to love, or have hope is always the wiser choice in any situation.

Without evil, or an idea of all that is evil, freedom and thankfulness could not exist. I believe the reason for this is because opposites define each other. Death can define life, despair can define hope, desire defines hatred, destiny defines freedom, and yes darkness defines light.

As a credible example on how opposites define each other let us look at how despair defines hope. This is noticeable in the life of the holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal who wrote The Sunflower. When reading this moving and at times disturbing account, we see how Simon’s clear perception of hope and forgiveness was defined by the misery that he endured in the Nazi prison camps. The key event in The Sun Flower is when an SS Member Nazi was on his deathbed, and he asked his nurse to bring a Jew to him. Simon was the one who came. To Simon's surprise the Nazi confessed all his horrible crimes to him and begged for forgiveness. The reason this was so surprising, is that the SS members were trained to believe that a Jews spirit was less than an animal, that they were subhuman, while the SS member was part of the ultimate race; in the same vein as comparing a Greek god to a subhuman. When asking for forgiveness from a Jew he was showing that he did not believe what he was trained to believe, and that the Jew was as human as he, and certainly not less than an animal.

Simon was on the brink of losing all hope and this Nazi gave him a new hope. Through out the tortures that Simon still endures after this event, his hope grows as his despair increases, because he realizes that the Nazi’s weren’t just monsters as they appeared, but they were brainwashed humans who had lost all hope. And hope in eventual peace was all Simon had to hold on to, and without his feeling of despair for the Jew and Nazi alike, his new hope would be unattainable.

You too could choose to be hopeful when in despair, instead of hateful towards those who bring despair. Hate is what such perpetrators of despair feel empowered by, and hate is what we must avoid.

Now you will hear how other opposites define each other, and lastly you will see what these truths lead to, the summed up explanation on how evil or an idea of evil is necessary.

When thinking of human beings that have been classified as evil, Adolph Hitler comes to mind. When studying the life of Adolph Hitler you see the obvious and that is that he desired power and prosperity for his nation, his people the Germans. The reason his passion, and wants for his people turned to a strong hate towards the other races of the world is because of what happened after WWI in the Versailles Treaty; where all the nations were to come to an agreement on how everything would be summed up, so that there would never be another World War. Now I am not going to give you a detailed history lesson on how WWI begot WWII, but I will say that it was evident Germany got the bad deal at this treaty, in fact there nation was raped, and they were blamed for much of the First World War. They were left ruined while the other nations ganged up on them, and offered little if any help. The nation with the most fatherless children was in Germany during this time, and the young men grew up desperate for a Father figure. Adolph Hitler grew up angry and bitter towards the nations of the world, especially the Jews who were the wealthiest. He became the Father figure that his nation felt they needed, for he had determination and his desire was truly fueled by his hate, and what the people saw was a desire for justice. If you allow your desires to be fueled by hate then you may meet the same fate as Hitler.

What about the destiny of the person who was repressed, or was treated unjustly and decides that hate is not what should fuel their desire for justice, and freedom? Could they still inspire a nation, through love, instead of anger and hate? Allow me to speak briefly of the Dr Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Let us see how his destiny defined freedom, and how his death defined life.

I can’t imagine being a young African American Man growing up in the time that Mr. King grew. I can’t imagine not being allowed to use the same restroom as someone else because of the color of my skin, or not being allowed in some stores, or restaurants because of the color of my skin. I cannot imagine being despised simply because of the color of my skin, and I’m sorry but I can’t imagine being forgiving, loving or even hopeful towards someone that hated me so. I can’t imagine growing up as Dr. King.

What exactly inspired the love and greatness in this man, perhaps it was spiritual, and perhaps it was God. I don’t know, but I do know that he lived his destiny, and he changed the world. He did what he felt he must do, and he was bold, and determined. He had a dream and that dream defined the reality that we live, or aspire to live today. His destiny, as I’m sure you see, defined freedom for the generations that followed his legacy. He knew that he risked his life by standing for what was good and true , but that was a risk he was willing to take, because he understood that if he was willing to die for justice, truth, or love then his death would define his life.

You see how at times despair defines hope, desire defines hatred, destiny defines freedom and death can define life. So does the darkness define the light? Is an idea of evil the reason for why we perceive freedom and thankfulness the way we do?

According to psychologists Nevitt Sanford and Craig Comstock in their 1971 anthology, “Evil is an actuality, whether or not we choose to deny it.” What ever leads to people suffering or social destructiveness is evil. In a sense evil is synonymous with “senseless violence.” Importantly though that tendency which -- whether in oneself or others -- would inhibit personal growth and expansion, destroy or limit natural potentialities, restrict freedom, fragment or disintegrate the personality, and diminish the quality of interpersonal relationships is defined as evil. The point in mentioning this is that psychologically the concept of evil exists, not just religiously.

You’ve heard of Ying and Yang, the need for right and wrong, and light and dark. If you understand these-then you understand the need for balance. Without total opposites there could not be choice, and without choices there could not be freedom, so without freedom how could we perceive peace? The light without the darkness is an unbalanced and unrealistic perception, for how could beauty exist if there was no complete opposite to compare it to? Allow me to rephrase; Freedom and peace is what every human seeks, and desires more than anything. What is important for you to understand, when it comes to the freedom of choice is that if a person did not have the freedom to do what they are told not to do, or cannot do, then true freedom would be impossible to grasp. In addition to this, without freedom a lasting peace would be improbable. Thus the necessity of what is wrong or evil is required, because freedom could not be if you did not have the choice to do what is wrong. Am I going to have an affair, or be faithful? Am I going to lie, or tell the truth? Forgive, or hold a grudge? Love or hate? Right and wrong is choice.

Thankfulness would not exist without evil. I am thankful that I have a home and warm bed to sleep in, but if there was no possibility of me sleeping in the street, in the cold winter air, then I would not be thankful. I am thankful that I have the freedom to be a light in the darkness that is all around, if I so desire to be, but I as well as you need the darkness to shine through. I am thankful that I can have pride in myself when I choose to do what is right instead of what is wrong. I am thankful that history has proven time and time again that the way of hate brings chaos, while the way of love brings peace.

I hope I have swayed you into respecting the concept of hate, or evil and to understanding why love and hope is the wiser choice.

The philosopher Allen Moore was contemplating the importance of evil when he said; “Perhaps evil is the humus formed by virtues decay and perhaps it is from that dark, sinister loam that virtue grows strongest.”

Written by L.L Brunk


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