You Can Keep the Darkness at Bay
Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
Gandalf, The Hobbit
“One person cannot change the world.”
But one person can be the catalyst that brings about a popular movement that changes the world.
This has happened many times throughout history.
We see evil around us, and it scares us, even makes us angry.
It’s easy to believe that individually we are powerless to fight that evil.
And alone we probably are.
But chances are there are many other individuals who feel the same way and who need permission to stand against the evil.
There are many risks in standing against evil, but the risk of standing by is even greater.
The weapons which are effective against evil are kindness and love.
Anger, condemnation, and loud accusations give evil more power.
The danger is that, in fighting evil this way, we risk becoming evil ourselves.
It is easy to demonize people who do harm to others.
But they aren’t necessarily evil.
They are probably arrogant, ignorant, and self-centered, but likely not evil.
We should assume they are not irredeemably evil.
When people have different ideas than we do, we can easily see them as not just wrong, but as evil.
There is one more possibility: they could be right, and we could be wrong. (We could also both be wrong.)
We must be careful when we believe we have the moral high ground.
It is tempting to resort to questionable tactics because the issue is so important.
While we are fighting evil in the world, we must not forget to battle the evil we are susceptible to.
In fact, the offenses of others that trigger us are often the same as our own failings.
The most effective way to fight evil is also the safest way.
If we use love and kindness as our tools, then we are not likely to add to the total evil in the world.
The world can always use more love and kindness.
We might feel powerless, but we are powerless only if we allow ourselves to be.
We don’t need great power to combat evil.
It’s what we do every day that has an impact on our lives and on our world.
That’s more powerful than we realize.
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