Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Quote (and Thoughts) on Fighting Evil

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
-- Friedrich Nietzche

Sometimes, the scariest thing about fighting an undesirable thing is the unspoken, unacknowledged thought that we are that which we are fighting against. One of the funniest (strange, not 'haha') things is that people fight hardest against the very things that they hate about themselves. (Just look at the messes that our politicians get themselves in. 'Nuff said.)

Unfortunately, part of being human is that we cannot be perfect. It appears that we cannot have the good without a corresponding evil; which is terrifying to those who don't do much thinking about what makes them tick.

A difficult thing to do, is to accept ourselves, the good and the not-so-good, and take it from there. Work with it, work to improve it, but don't waste your energy on hating it. It is what it is. Do what you have to do, just don't let your feelings paralyze you into thinking that there is nothing that you can do to change. Lesser people than you do it every day; so can you.

To fight evil, go ahead and hold yourself to that higher standard. You may fail, but simply reaching for a higher level will put you further ahead than if you had simply wallowed in self-hatred and self-pity, "knowing" that you couldn't do better. Work to change. Start now. So what if you fail? As someone once said, the failure is not in falling down. It is in the *staying* down.

Which, I'll admit, is easier said than done. After you've done your best, and been hit with a roundhouse that knocked you down, you feel the coolness of the floor under your cheek and said to yourself, "It's nice down here… and I'll only get hurt again, if I get up…" , you just want to lay there, and maybe catch a nap.

And, if you did that, you'd have lots of company. After all, we all know people who never did anything with their lives at all. When they got knocked down, they *stayed* down. But there is something about you that won't let you stay down. Even after your family and friends have told you that it's not worth it (to them!) to keep trying… you kept plugging on.

And guess what? When (not if) you achieve your goals, whether it is 20 years down the road, or 6 months down the road... everyone will point out how you were one of the 'lucky' ones. That everything 'fell into place' for you, and how 'they couldn't do that', because you are 'special'. Try not to laugh when you hear it. One thing *will* be true. You *are* special! Totally because you had a desire for something, and you went after it, and kept after it until you had what you wanted.

Congratulations!! And you did it without becoming the thing that you hated. By being mindful of your principles and goals, you were able to make good decisions that allowed you to achieve.

This quote is not really about fighting evil, but it made me laugh, so I'm throwing it in:

"The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."
-- George Carlin


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