Man is innately good, but has the ability to be evil. I believe that a majority of people do what they believe to be right. Whether they are correct or not is another matter. In order to be truly evil, I believe that one has to purposely, consciously, try to hurt others. Be it physically or mentally, a conscious effort to injure others is for no obvious benifit to the human race is evil. I also think that good and evil are on totally different planes than right and wrong. They do not go hand in hand. I believe this because good and evil in my mind are concrete, they do not change. Right and wrong, however, are more of an individual thing, which can not be confined to guidelines. As I said before, I believe that people try to do good most of the time. As in every rule, however, there is an exception. There are certain circumstances in life which can change the way a person acts. There is a definite duality within me. I am usually a good person. I open doors, push in chairs, listen to people, and help little kids. But, occasionally I catch myself thinking about how I could make someone feel bad. I automatically feel my face turn red, and that would be the end of the thought.
But I think once in a while everyone thinks something like, ‘He would really be embarrassed if I told everyone about that time at camp. Plus I could get him back,’ or something like, ‘She doesn’t deserve that. What if they found out what she did last year.’ This is not exactly evil thoughts, but it can quite possibly lead to evil actions. Prejudice is another form of evil that produces alienation and war. I have certain prejudices that I carry and I am not very proud of them, though often my instinct about a person is right. My major prejudice is against people who cannot grasp new concepts at a relatively quick rate, or those who cannot understand quickly. Somebody put it best by saying, ‘Oh, you mean the stupid people.’ I truly do hate calling them that, because often what they don’t succeed at academically, they make it up through artistic talents, athletic, or mechanical talents. But the people I have no respect for are those who I know can think for themselves, and understand things, but choose not to. I sometimes have trouble understanding if a person just absolutely cannot get it.
I have a couple of friends who are that way, and they just cannot figure out trig. or chemistry. I just get frustrated and want to yell, ‘Why don’t you get this? Why can’t you understand that the thirty-sixty triangle always has a 1-2- 3 ratio!?’ But I can’t because one, I would seem like a total jerk, which I probably would be, and two, they are my friends. Then there are those people who dress and act, and are in fact, ‘druggies’. This prejudice kind of ties in with the first one because if the person is intelligent, than I have absolutely no problem with them dressing etc. like they do. But if they are one of the people who think that the cranium is a type of juice, then I seriously get so stressed out that I want to grab them by their lapels and shake them to jump start the brain I know they have.
How does this effect my life? I know that it puts a great amount of extra stress on me that I could definitely live with out. But it also really makes me fell bad that I feel this way. I think that I am pretty open minded when it comes to the types of prejudice that are usually discussed, such as racism and sexism. I also am not homophobic and usually do not discriminate on the basis of age. In fact, I am very much biased against the people that are such. However, I believe that my prejudices are not something which contribute to hate crimes, the deaths of minorities or the dreams of a young girl. I feel that my biases are very much benign. A Shaker saying is something which if all men lived by, the world would be a ahppy place. Mary Whitcher said,’Be slow to anger, slow to blame, and slow to plead thy cause. but swift to speak of any gain that gives thy friend applause.