The NaBloPoMo prompt for Day 15 is:
Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.
When I read today’s prompt, I sat back and thought about what constituted evil for me. And I realised, I couldn’t visualise it. I couldn’t put a face to evil. Heck, I couldn’t even really begin to define it!
Then, I recalled this thought-provoking play that I had read back in high school and again in college. Students of Advanced English may recall the great Renaissance writer, Christopher Marlowe and his vividly captivating play, Dr. Faustus.
I won’t go into the intricate details, but the essence that you take away from the play is that a good angel and an evil angel go through this terrifying battle for a man’s soul. However, what struck me about the story is not the external personification of good and evil, but the fact that both those qualities lie within us.
Evil is just an extension of a negative feeling such as anger, bitterness or jealousy. If we allow any one of those to dominate or get out of control , it can quite easily lead into the realm of evil.
Just as immense goodness can flow out of a positive emotion such as pleasure, generosity and companionship, so too can evil manifest itself. As parents, we experience that everyday, both in ourselves and our children.
We see the good angel when we take pride in our child’s achievement and we see the little devil rear its head when we feel jealous of another child’s success.
The sweet angel triumphs when our child shares her toys willingly and the bitter angel wins when the same child gets into a verbal duel with her best friend.
My point is this: we are not perfect. We are all walking our paths, some faster than others, but the destination is the same. And, yes, we need to guide our kids to make the right choices when it comes to the two voices within.
How we choose to reach that goal is up to us entirely. How much are we going to let the petty jealousies and bitter rivalries hold us up? How much are we going to let the sweetness of life touch our souls?
Remember, the mirror shows you the reflection you want to see; make sure it’s what you and your children would want to see everyday.