No normal person wants to be a perpetuator of evil. We all want to be seen as good people, doing good deeds. However, everyone is capable of evil. As long as you have the power of imagination, evil is always a possibility. It is a lingering choice, lying at the doorway of possibilities. And, it all begins with your thoughts.
Evil is usually related with violent psychopaths and incarcerated criminals. But we’ve also seen random persons committing heinous crimes. Come to think of it, most criminals are also normal people who happen to have done something bad. Perhaps, evil is a big word, and we just feel better trimming down the category of people who bear the tag. Nevertheless, we also know that evil can sometimes go unpunished; even unrecognized.
We’ll stick with the word, however. Because it captures a whole array of harmful things that human beings are capable of. And the main point being that evil acts always spring up from our evil thoughts. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in his critically acclaimed book, The Gulag Archipelago: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Apparently, no one’s willing to do that. But, it is important to remain conscious of this reality. The more we allow evil to dwell in our minds, the more susceptible we are to it.
Good and evil is a puzzling dichotomy. It seems as though an outwardly force were behind them. In extreme cases, we wonder how some people can be so cruel, even taking pleasure in their acts. Even more disturbing, though, is how a seemingly good, or normal, person can do something really bad.
Well, we’re rational beings, having forethought, so we think before we do. And even when it seems like we’ve done something on the spur of the moment, it is most likely a product of concealed thoughts. There’s great power in our thoughts. And when we’re continuously given to a thought, we can find ourselves acting on it without careful consideration. Therefore, it is necessary that we guide our thoughts; the same way we tend to watch our speech and actions. It is important that we immediately caution ourselves whenever we have evil thoughts lingering on our minds.
There’s no better way to do this than to meditate on good things. As advised by Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians: “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.