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Blaming the Devil

08 Apr

The Story

Tonight I walk alone through an empty city.

Everywhere there are signs of man’s excess, the occasional splat of vomit on the sidewalk an indication of more than just the over consumption of alcohol: buried beneath the putrid mess is the weakness of man’s will.

A man stands outside of a closing bar smoking a cigarette; fresh bruises mar the side of his face. I take a break from my bag of chips to ask him about his face. He relates to me a somewhat confusing account of a bartender and a bouncer. I assume he got himself beat up for being an asshole.

He asks me where I’m from. “Here,” I say gesturing to the city around me.

“No offense, but you people talk a lot of shit that you can’t back up,” he replies.

I laugh. “The trick is to not talk shit.”

He incoherently mumbles something about talking shit. I smile, returning to my stroll and my bag of chips, bidding the unfortunate man a good night.

The Thought

If there’s any one thing that we’ve all learned from the rest of humanity, it’s mankind’s inability to be truly kind to one another. I find it rather funny that naivete, natural innocence, is punished and destroyed not out of any ignorance that leads one to self destruction, but out of the natural born greed of other men that leads them to abuse and take advantage of one another. I find it even more funny that these sorts of men then complain about the injustice of men when they find themselves on the opposite side of the table. Whatever anyone says, it is not the Devil that causes men to do evil, it is men that cause men to do evil.

People come up with many plans and schemes to obtain that which they most desire, and often they find themselves thwarted by their own inability to control those desires. They lie, trick, and confuse their way into the hearts and wallets and beds of others. And when their own schemes fail them, they shrug and await another, more naive victim who they may educate in the ways of deceit. We do evil because we blame the evil of others. We blame the Devil in other men, but fail to see the Devil in our own hearts.

What no one realizes, or perhaps it is not that they don’t realize but that they fail to believe, is that the solution to this problem is extremely simple: all we need to do is be sincere and kind to one another. What we encounter everyday is the Prisoner’s Dilemma broadened out over the entire scope of human existence, the natural born instinct to protect oneself overcoming our instinct to protect one another, to protect the very institution of goodness. People today have no real sense of honor or sincerity or kindness, and whatever anyone says, this is the real root of all evil. When a person cannot get what he wants, rather than admitting his own insufficiency, rather than cursing and rising above his own weakness, he climbs over the heads of others, and soon there is a cascade of men pushing each other’s heads under the water for just a gulp of fresh air. Pathetic.

The human race is drowning itself: we are stuck in a never ending cycle of trying to drown those who we believe to be worthy of drowning, those drowning in turn trying to drown those who are drowning them. There is an obvious idiocy involved here, and an even greater idiocy in not recognizing it.

The real trick to this problem, my friends, is to teach each other how to swim. The real trick is to stop talking shit.

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