Now, you might find this to be nothing more than an inconsequential piece of trivia. But to me, today, it means so much more.
People have a tendency to say that good and evil are both necessary. We need evil for there to be any good, and vice versa. When we wax universal, we humans seem thoroughly comfortable with the yin-yang dance. It’s easy for us to say that there’s a delicate balance; that evil “just happens sometimes, but so does good.” For every Vader there’s an Obi-Wan.
But when you zoom in on that discussion, down to the daily goings on of human life, you find that the argument of balance is not entertained. When a significant other lies to you or breaks your trust, it’s not easy to say “well, mistakes happen.” Even if that person has been good to you one million times, a single mistake naturally outweighs all the good. When a friend lies to you, you don’t consider all the times they haven’t.
In all my research on the human condition, I have yet to find a culture capable of true forgiveness. In the most fair people, those who make mistakes do penance. They “repay” what they’ve done. But their mistakes are not forgotten afterward. Simply ignored, quietly simmering in the minds of onlookers that wonder: how long until it happens again?
And if it does happen again? How foolish was I to trust someone that made a mistake in the first place?
Perhaps little sleights can be overlooked. Cheating on a test or running a stop sign that wasn’t seen. When the infraction does not directly pertain to us, it’s so much easier to ignore.
But, if an error is made against us (whether it was intentional or not), the weight of that error is so much greater. The human mind is not the grand Universe. It doesn’t seek balance or fairness. It doesn’t care about weight. Your brain is impartial to the many arrows safely fired away from you. It really only cares about the one fired in its direction.
One day, I hope to live in a world in which mistakes can be properly weighted. Where one error can be seen as equal to an un-error of similar “value”.
Where my many goods can make a strong case against my few evils.
Maybe then, being good will matter more.
Protons weigh more than electrons, but their charges are the same. A vast number of goods are equally opposed by much fewer bads. People sometimes call the process of weighing goods against bads “justification”.
A fitting name, I think, because justice is balanced.
Yes, protons weigh more than electrons. But neutrons weigh more than both.
Ronin fucks up a lot, and sometimes he needs the people he loves to point him in the right direction again. To err is human, after all. You can check out Ronin’s work—markedly not riddled with mistakes (hopefully)—on Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook. He posts a video to his YouTube channel every Friday.
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