I clearly remember the day my eyes were opened, for the first time, to the reality of evil in our world. The conservative traditionalists say we shouldn’t teach our children about evil. At least in our generation they didn’t. They sheltered us. Our childhood was all about fairies, unicorns, and super heroes. That’s not bad. I just very strongly feel it’s incomplete.
I still lived in the Middle East then. Coming home from work I walked-in on my Mom watching the television. She was intensely staring at the screen, teary-eyed, embracing herself. Her body language told me something was wrong. “You gotta see this”, she told me as I walked-in. I saw clouds of black smoke coming out of and people falling from the twin towers of NY. I remember being so confused. I had so many questions. I was hoping I was watching a Spielberg film, but I wasn’t. I was seeing actual evidences of evil. How it corrupts. How it destroys. How it obliterates hope. Or at least, how it tried to…
I used to think that evil is just those unfortunate circumstances that randomly happens to the best of us. It hurts to be awakened to the reality that evil uses people against other people. It hurts to know there is no oneness in the one human race, at least not yet. It hurts to realize my faith will not exempt me from it. It hurts that it was so confusing I began to doubt my own sanity. It hurts to realize how I am so unknowingly familiar with evil that I can recognize it with just one look.
I personally do not know anyone who perished that day, or anyone in my inner circle who lost a loved one there. Something I should be grateful for I suppose. But I find no comfort in it. It was strange how I felt I deserved an apology from the offenders and how I thought I probably could not forgive them for it. In fact, if I am to be really honest, even more than a decade after, I would say there is a tiny part of me that possibly still thinks that way. Time will have to work doubly hard to heal wounds caused by that catastrophic heart break.
I guess it is justice our hearts cry out for. But as I write this account, there is no assurance that those responsible already paid for their crime. In a world like ours where the powerful can manipulate the truth, it is easy to dodge punishment. But there is one ultimate screening they cannot manipulate, at that final check-out in the closing end of a life, like we all will, they will have to face Divine Justice. In one way or the other, even if it cannot change the past, it will balance out. The debt of life will be paid with life – the one that’s eternal. He who is Love Himself will vindicate us. I find comfort in that.
So many lives lost! I still think about them. How they tried to send out one last communication to their loved ones. How at the near end of life they didn’t think about anything else other than the people they love. A very illuminating act attesting to what is truly important in life. Not securing possessions, not perfecting self-image, but just being able to say I Love You, even one last time…
Perhaps it’s those memories of love from the dead that helps the living learn to live with the loss and inspires from within each of us a revival of hope. The hope that we, as one race, learned the lesson we must and that it will not depart from us. Lessons that what we feed our minds form us, that life is most fragile, and that evil is so real we could see it even with our eyes closed.
Everyone should know who the real enemy is. We should teach our children about the reality of evil. That it exists. That it uses people. But that love conquers it every time. And that only love will, because only love can.