Do we? Really? We two, the two of us, are the good people and the rest is to be treated with care and suspicion? As a social worker, I had the privilege of meeting quite a few people that were considered bad. People that were in jail, that did others or themselves very wrong. But I never meet a bad person. I never meet anybody that had no good side, no positive quality.
I think being a writer gives me a different perspective on good and bad. Every story needs a villain, and if it´s just the mind of a character that turns against them, something or somebody has to. But, let´s face it, the meanest villain of every story are the writer themselves. We are the ones that make the protagonist go through all those horrible things, It is our job to put as many blocks as we can between our characters and what they want to achieve. There has to be something wrong or there is no story. Still, I wouldn´t think of myself as a bad person. I don´t even hate my characters, actually, I love them very much. I guess I just trust that they will overcome the adversities and strongly believe that they will find happiness and growth through them.
I wouldn´t want to be the bad guy. It´s not my idea of a nice existence to be hated by everybody. It takes a huge effort to overlook being hated by everyone. If I were to cast an actor or an actress for the role of the bad guy I would choose the most compassionate person, knowing that they will have to put the same energy into it as the others, maybe even more, but will never get the same positive attention as the hero. Even if people appreciate the performance, being people, at least subconsciously, they will always flow towards the one they want to identify with. Stil, no villan, no story. In that sense, the bad guy really is quite the hero, or at least the one that plays the bad guy.
I know, that thought seems far off for most modern western civilizations but some religions and cultures do and did have gods that represent evil or adversity, that represent badness in general. Why would they give badness that much importance to make it a god or goddess? To worship it? Does badness deserve that? I think it does. In a world of duality there simply has to be darkness, has to be bad. How else would you describe light? How would we define anything good? How could anything good exist, if there wasn´t an opposite to compare it against?
Of cause, from a social point of view, being bad has to be an unprofitable thing. In order to live fully and not just survive unconsciously, it might help to ask ourselves what it takes for somebody to be good and if these things that are needed to be good are really always available to everybody. In my experience labeling people as bad and wondering how we can keep them out and away doesn´t do much good, yet that is how we momentarily deal with so-called „bad people“ in our society.
The thing is, what we focus on is most likely to happen, to come out in people, good or bad. Sociologists call it „labeling “, in psychology „self fulling-prophesies“ are describing this effect of people becoming what they or others expect them to be. People that have done bad things always have the capacity to change, the capacity to do a good thing next. Bad people can only go on doing bad things. I think it was a great misfortune for me to meet these so-called „bad people“ because otherwise if I hadn´t met them personally, I could have just gone on being as ignorant as most people are. I could have gone on putting labels on people and making myself feel better by putting them down. I would have felt safer, more in control, and the world would have seemed predictable to me. It also was a privilege to meet those so-called „bad people“ because they taught me to know better, to know that there are no bad people, no wrong people only people that have done wrong.