We are very confused about good and evil. We have been brainwashed by extremists to believe that anyone who disagrees with us is evil. And this isn’t just a liberal problem, or a conservative problem. This is an everyone problem. Both sides do it in equal measure.
Here is the truth: NOT EVERYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU IS EVIL.
Yes, there is evil in the world. But a truly EVIL person is very rare (thank God!). Most of us are varying degrees of broken. Some are really, really shattered from years of abuse – abuse from others, from ourselves, from society and cultural systems beyond their control.
The more broken a person is, the more they act out in hurtful ways. But the real litmus test for evil is made up of two prongs: regret and accountability .
There is a very simple test to tell whether someone is truly evil: Are they sorry?
And I don’t mean sarcastically sorry. I don’t mean conveniently sorry. I don’t mean temporarily sorry.
I mean deeply, meaningfully, painfully, obviously, regretfully, forever, it-will-never-happen again sorry. I mean life-changing sorry. I mean are they backing their regret up with action.
Are they accountable for their mistakes?
A person who is constantly blaming everyone else, a person who is constantly making excuses, a person who is constantly pointing fingers, a person who is forever changing the subject, or shifting the reality to make themselves look more in the positive light, a person who vilifies others without ever taking any responsibility for their own actions…
This is a person of grave concern. This is a person to walk away from. This person is not your friend. This person will not be a good lover, spouse, employer, mentor, teacher, coworker, pastor, guru, confidant, or leader. This person is a bully.
This person does not deserve your loyalty, your time and attention, and certainly not your VOTE.
Don’t waste your time hating this person. When we hate someone, we hand all our power over to the hated. We give the other person exactly what they want – all our energy, all our time, all our focus, all of our ourselves.
Instead, give them what will infuriate them. Give them patience. Give them love. Give them the grace they do not deserve. But give it from a safe distance.
Never, EVER give them your identity.
Keep being you. Keep fighting for what you believe. Keep standing up for what you know is right. No matter what they say against you.
The greatest gift we can give our children is to teach accountability. The only way to teach it is to live it. Learn to say you’re sorry, but only for your own mistakes. Never apologize for the mistakes of others. Learn to be accountable, and to hold others accountable as well.
Don’t be a bully, and don’t be bullied.
Remember that not everyone is going to agree with us. Not everyone who disagrees with us is bad. They just experience life through a different lens. They’ve lived a different life, and thus came to different conclusions.
Differences are okay. Using those differences as an excuse to abuse others is not. Learn to recognize the difference. Stand up against the abusers.
Let’s change the world. Redefine Love.
Published February 12, 2019