When we look at the evil deeds of other men, we work hard to distance ourselves from them. The most vile and evil individuals in our history lose their humanity, at least in our eyes, and become monsters, demons or worse.

It’s very convenient that, the minute someone commits a heinous crime or an unspeakable act, that we cast them aside as a monster, forever tossing their humanity to the wind. It makes it easy for us as insecure souls to write them off and distance ourselves from them without giving our own demons a second look.

But truth is never written in black and white and it is seldom convenient. Though we call people monsters or push them aside as animals, the truth is that they are human, the same as you and I are and, as difficult as it is to face, we are all capable of the same unspeakable deeds.

Yes, the lack of humanity some of mankind’s worst has displayed is frightening and even terrifying. We all shudder to imagine what it would be like to be at the mercy of a remorseless killer or under the thumb of a ruthless dictator, but have we ever stopped to wonder that, in a different world, we could actually be that person.

We’re a society of people perpetually on edge, never more than a few steps away from madness and not as far removed from our animal roots as we’d like to think. Our instincts and desires lay there, repressed, waiting to creep up, often in perverted and twisted forms.

That’s why, as much as we love to cast aside societies villains, all it does is toss more sand on our inner demons and shorten the fuse just a hair. The longer we turn a blind eye to what we’re capable of, the easier it becomes for our own sinister side to creep to the surface and make monsters out of ourselves.

The only way we, as a species, can hope to control our demons is by first facing them and understanding them. That, of course, means accepting them as part of our nature and that’s something that, as we’ve gotten more and more “civilized”, has grown harder and harder to do.

And that’s why, even as we’ve prided ourselves on being more peaceful and more humane, hideous “monsters” have continued to rise up among our ranks. Naive thinking such as “Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel” has made us all blind to the nature humans and the evil that often lurks right underneath our nose.

We can no longer afford to fool ourselves. We cannot let our civility blind us to what lurks within all of us. The world is too dangerous for naivete to be our policy. We must see evil where it lies, not just in the deeds of other men and women, but within our own hearts.

Where it has laid this entire time.

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12 Responses to Atrocity

  1. Matt says:

    Han Feizi's philosophy. Men are inherently evil. Remember, though, Confucius is quoted more than Han Feizi. But to those to… Remember that all doctrines are heresy, including this one, think for youself. Hm… Don't know why I wrote all that, I was just posting to say this seems more like a shoot or a ravenspeak than a rant.

  2. Matt says:

    Ahem, two, rather… not to.

  3. Robyn S. says:

    I love you. I can't think of more to say…you simply amaze me. So beautiful, so thoughtful…

  4. StarZ says:

    funny, i was just thinking about all this last week. its good to have it written out 🙂

  5. Hugh says:

    As we are all evil in nature we tend to supress that side. When it seeps to the surface and makes a turn for the worst ppl try to change that about you. But one of the most important things to remember is that we do not change something about our selves we just supress that side that humanity dose not like. Some ppl supress it to the point where it lurks out with no warning at all and they then pay the price and continue in the same cycel where they say they changed and then they become that horrid person once again. If only ppl would relize that they need to supress that side so they can remeber it is still there and keep a watch on it so they can stay from walking into the darkness.

  6. jeralyn says:

    beautiful… its all i can say

  7. Creston says:

    Oh so turthful you have been Raven.

  8. Lady Ravana says:

    We as humans cannot deny our true natures. Brutality, cruelty, ruthlessness; it lies within even the best of us. For to deny our true natures would be akin to asking a wolf or a tiger not to kill even though such a thing is not only impossible; it's ridiculous. They do it to survive; they don't have a choice. Even though we as humans have a choice to commit good or evil deeds doesn't mean we will always choose good. There is the capability for good and evil in all of us. We as humans are just too blind-or too stupid to see it.

  9. Jaunty pill says:

    You have spoken beautifully , But I'm afraid it's not enough to change humanity…Time and time a gain people like you have tried to overcome that sound barrier is us all…And failed.

    As a species we're just to ignorant to listen. Which always , When we turn that cheek , Forces us to hinder the ties that should bind our souls.

    Nicely written. But I feel that it will forever be in vain.

    Peace goes forth ,
    The moth of endothelioma

  10. Karl says:

    There is but one flaw in all of this reasoning.
    You believe that there is good and evil. There is no good or evil. only human emotions and societies whims to say which is which

  11. Virginia says:

    Interesting to say the least… The outer evil ones and the perhaps inner ones. Here's a sane idea by Hafiz..Let your intelligence begin to rule whenever you sit with others;leave all your cocked guns in a field far from us. One of those damm things might go off.

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