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Evil: Such a loaded word!

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.

This post is part of my ongoing contribution to :

Blog Her’s and Yeahwrite’s 

Today is Day 15
Linking this up with Yeahwrite Moonshine grid #145


Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Michelle Longo · November 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I think you make an interesting point that doing the right thing is often a choice. We need to teach our children how to make the right choices and even remind ourselves daily to think through our actions. Nice take on the prompt.

Shailaja V · November 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm

The “remind ourselves daily ” is what needs work. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

archonline · November 20, 2013 at 7:18 am

yes evil is the one which grows into devil… good to see the blogathon… i so wish to jump into it, but my mind is not responding to any writing prompts.. can you lead me to the prompt page??

Shailaja V · November 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

Here you go :

Aparna · November 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Lately I find that when I hear about evil, I think in terms of how unbalanced a mind must be to reach that level of hurting someone or something else.

Shailaja V · November 22, 2013 at 9:51 am

I hear you. Especially when you read the papers and each day exposes a new crime wave.

Natalie DeYoung · January 25, 2014 at 4:55 am

Hey, I read Dr. Faustus! I think he's an interesting character, particularly because he lets his most “evil” desires take over, and what we have is a very real, very ugly person. What you say here is as good a definition of evil as any I've seen.

psychochef · January 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm

“Evil is just an extension of a negative feeling such as anger, bitterness or jealousy. If we allow any of those feelings to dominate or get out of control, it can quite easily lead to the realm of evil.” I completely agree. Also, fear and greed. Evil does not live outside of us, tempting or “possessing” us. Every human being has the potential for great good or great evil. The holocaust is just one example of great evil that could never have come to fruition without the complicity of thousands of people (not just Hitler and his soldiers, but thousands of average citizens who turned a blind eye).


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