Evil is the chair of the good.

One of you has expressed disbelief about the moment in the subway. I promise, it happened. People do kind things every day, and I actually think in the balance people do more kind things than evil things, but the evil eclipses the good. The most surprising thing about humans, to me, is our goodness, not our selfishness or destructiveness. The struggle is endless for us. I use a quote by the Ba’al Shem Tov, the great 18th century Jewish tzaddik, or holy man, in the front of my new book:

“Evil is the chair of the good”.

Something to think about.

2 Responses to “Evil is the chair of the good.”

  • Cynthia:

    “Evil is the chair of the good.” Has in it the power to revive and to uphold. thank-you

  • God, I hope that’s true. But I wonder. There seem to be a lot of people out there who are not necessarily evil incarnate, but who are selfish or intolerant or myopic or defensive or passive aggressive or downright rude! When I moved to NYC 27 years ago from Texas I thought the relations between the races would be more enlightened, and it’s in many ways worse here… or at least more “in your face.” I’m not totally convinced that people are more good than bad in their basic natures. I want to believe it’s true, but I’m not convinced… yet. I feel that even simple human communication is challenging on any level. The most pure relationship I have is with my 16 year old daughter. I treasure that more than you can imagine, to have someone where there is mutual, unconditional acceptance. She makes me want to be better and gives me hope.

    For some reason I’m reminded of 2 things I observed lately (though not directly), one which made me hate mankind… one which made me love mankind.

    The first is the death of the young girl, Amanda Todd, who committed suicide following incredible bullying. One would think after she killed herself that the people who contributed to that situation would feel some sort of remorse, some sort of, “Oh my God, I never intended for it to lead to that!” moment. But there were these horrible comments on Amanda’s YouTube page even after her death. I found it so amazingly disheartening and shocking that the bullying continued and followed her into her very grave.

    And last night I was privy to something wonderful, a documentary about a 12 year old girl with an unstoppable vision to make a low-budget movie and how she was able to rally her family, her friends, and her community to attain this goal. I mean, it wasn’t exactly an act of human kindness, per se, but it made me feel good to see that sort of passion in one so young. The experience of creating art gave them all purpose and a shared communal experience for a moment in time. The doc was called Zombie Girl. (It was a zombie movie!)

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