The world is full of heinous crimes. Some of them we hear about every so often, others are too disturbing to repeat. Often times when we hear about the act, the criminal is exiled from society and written off completely. They are seen as monsters. “Well, I could never do that, so there must be something inherently evil about this person.”
When I hear about something I don’t understand or can’t relate to, I want to understand it. I want to understand why this person did what they did. I want to know if they have a conscience; if they regret what they did.
No matter how outrageous the crime is, it’s hard for me to write someone off. I can’t help it. Perhaps this is a fault with me, as in the past I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve made excuses for people’s behavior, even when it had a directly negative affect on me. In the end though, I think it’s better to try to understand people.
If we as a society hear a horrible thing that someone has done, we should approach the subject with understanding and an open mind. Obviously the person needs to be punished for their wrong doings, but how will we prevent crimes from happening if we can’t understand the individual who committed it? We need to make these people aware that there are resources for them; that they won’t be written off as monsters if they choose to seek help.
I personally believe that nobody is evil. I think the actions of people can be explained either through a deep investigation of their past or a chemical imbalance of the brain. I do believe people should be held accountable for their actions, but not demonized for them. Emotions can be used to bring issues to light, but they cannot be used to solve problems. You must let go of your ego and start by looking at the person as what they are; a person. From there, you have to understand that people often act on things that could be prevented with the right help.
To summarize, I don’t believe there is such a thing as true evil. I believe everything can be explained, and more often than not, the explanation will lead you to the truth, which ultimately leads to compassion.