“Evil is boring. Cynicism is idiotic. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Joy is fascinating. Love is an act of heroic genius. Pleasure is our birthright. Receptivity is a superpower.” -Rob Brezsny
In the movies, evil is consistently presented as if it’s a contaminating force. Goodness is portrayed as the clean glass of water and evil is presented as the tiny droplet of ink that turns the whole glass black. Things could be moving along perfectly fine for 50 consecutive years and it could all fall apart because of one little instance in which someone introduces a bit of evil into the situation.
It’s as if goodness is so fragile that it can be undermined simply by being within a 10 mile vicinity of anything that remotely smells evil.
What if we saw it the other way around? What if we saw goodness as the contaminating force? What if we saw evil as this flimsy little thing that’s always one act of good away from being on a downhill slope towards doom?
Jesus taught that people could move mountains with faith the size of a “mustard seed.”
One of the main obstacles to personal motivation is that we fear the possibilities of evil and we’re overwhelmed by the demands of goodness.
It only takes a little bit of evil to destroy the world, we think, but it takes several lifetimes of good to make the slightest dent in the system.
With that perspective, no wonder we feel uninspired.
I disagree with that perspective. I think goodness is the ultimate contaminating force. I agree with Jesus. I don’t think it takes a mountain’s supply of faith to achieve massive results. I think we can move mountains of impossibility with small acts of creativity by ordinary people.
Evil is rarely ever as powerful as it looks. In fact, evil depends on its ability to create illusions that intimidate people into believing that their acts of good are not worth investing in. Show me an evil person or an evil institution and I will show you someone who invests a lot of time and energy into convincing others that they have no power. This is how evil thrives. It gets its life from all the advocates of goodness who stop believing in their ability to make a difference.
Evil is the emperor with no clothes and it’s time we called him out on his nakedness. Evil isn’t powerful. It’s just really good at creating illusions that deceive good people into thinking of themselves as powerless.
I think it’s time to turn that all around. It’s time to put evil on the defense. It’s time to pollute that clear glass of evil water with one drop of colorful, brilliant, beautiful ink. It’s time to contaminate the world for good. All it takes is a willingness to start, a willingness to consider the possible, a willingness to take one small step forward. And that’s within all of our reach.
The next time you feel like your acts of good won’t be enough, fear not. You don’t have to conquer evil. All you need to do is contaminate the system by doing your part. If we all work together, we can transform this world into a glass full of good.