Why the Evil Still Matters

AURORA, CO - JULY 22: People pray during a mem...

AURORA, CO – JULY 22: People pray during a memorial service outside the Aurora Municipal Center (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

We are evil people we human beings. We are nasty and unkind and murderous and cruel. We do things to each other that should never be done to anyone and we are dastardly in our unapologetic carrying on of our lives despite the evil we know to be out there. We watch it on the news, we gasp at it over there and worry that it will come closer than it already has. We gather our children close and we thank God, quietly but surely, that it wasn’t us this time.
But it was someone.
Someone who hurt like we do; who loved and was loved; who through happenstance or circumstance was born at a time or in a place where evil has taken over.
Time and time again I’ve realized how much more alike we are than different from the rest of the world. We are no different than the people fleeing the terror in Syria or the Americans who opted to see a movie one fateful night.
We are just like those that try to live their lives out in places we would rather not go to, for rights we already take for granted.
We aren’t evil all the time. There are times when we are good, kind, sweet. As we traveled we saw that too and more of it than we had imagined.
It’s easy to forget the evil in those moments; to bask, as we did, in the kindness of strangers and the easygoing accommodations of one family to another.

sand artist egypt

The infinite patience of an artisan sharing his story with Cameron in Egypt.

It’s a relief to remember that the good is there.
But it makes it easy to forget the evil.
I was thinking about all of this the other morning. I was sipping my coffee at once grateful and guilty with the ease at which I’d begun the process of fitting back into my life.
I was sipping and browsing the web and reading blogs and conference sites and that’s when it happened: Karen Green made me cry.
It is an old post of this phenomenal writer but it tells a story so incredibly poignant and true that it left me heartbroken.
I dare you to read it here or better still hear her read it below and not weep too.

When you’re done maybe you’ll question as I did what we can do to help make sure good triumphs over evil. I think travel helps. It’s harder to dismiss a war or uprising when you’ve met a shopkeeper there or  shared a meal with a local family. And it’s one of the reasons I try to share the stories of our trips and lessons here with you. It’s my hope that if we get to know the people over there, we’ll be better people over here.

What do you think? Does travel make a difference?
Thank You Karen for that powerful reminder of a shared shameful history  and how much power the stories of those who suffered most still hold.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

Nolie August 20, 2012, 9:16 AM

I can never even imagine nor would I pretend to. Just as my husband knows I can never understand what he saw when deployed. All we can do is be thankful and do our part to make the world a better place.

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Heather August 20, 2012, 11:18 AM

Well said Nolie. I completely agree that there are lessons in other people’s experiences for all of us.

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LifeInPleasantville September 7, 2012, 9:22 PM

Yup. Crying. Hard.

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Heather September 8, 2012, 7:05 AM

Right there with you.

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