Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Microstory 323: Life Balance

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I’ve never much liked stories of the battle between good and evil because nobody ever really wins. They always throw in this concept that the fight is a perpetual one, and that there’s no way to defeat evil, but that the only goal is maintaining balance. This is a ridiculous suggestion, and one that does more harm than people realize. First off, writers only do this to explain why their God doesn’t just reach down and fix things. If that’s your best explanation, then maybe you ought to rethink your beliefs. Another problem with this is that it gives people justification for making poor choices. Too many people are on the wrong side of an argument because they think there is inherent value in opposition. For a long time, I considered John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath to be my favorite book. The truth is that I remember little of it, and one of my only take-aways was one character’s revelation that bad things happen only as a result of choices. There is no good, and no evil; there is only the constant chain of causality. Life is all about making the right choices, and one should always strive to ensure that the number of good choices outweigh the bad by as much as possible. Please do not mistake the word balance for the word even. This is not about keeping the scales at an equilibrium, despite how you may interpret the title of this story. I suppose I’m really trying to drive home two things here. The first is that evil does not exist. People are just people, and are the result of either their own choices, or the choices of those around them. The second is that there’s always hope for you. Whenever you feel like you’ve dug yourself a hole you can’t get out of, never give up. Every attempt you make will draw you closer to better balanced scales.

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