When bad is good


Once, a man suffered a severe accident. He was moved to a hospital. After a few days he found himself confined to a hospital room in heavy plaster casts and stretching devices. He was told, he would be confined to a bed for the next few months but nurses would visit regularly and look after his needs. There was a TV in the room and they would bring magazines so that he might while away his time. But John, that was his name, had been an active man who loved the outdoors and felt depressed in this sorry state.

Some weeks later a companion by the name of Harry joined him on the only other bed in the room and it became a little better because there was someone to talk to now. Harry was more mobile and could move around, even sit up and look through the window near his bed. John asked him about the view from the window. Harry described how the snow was melting in the fields and new grass had begun to sprout up. How children came to play now and that there was a beautiful lake across the field. In the days ahead he described the crocuses and wild flowers, the cherry tree beside the lake that burst in to bloom, then the new leaves that came out and all such descriptions gladdened John’s heart and wiped away his depression.

One day Harry was released and John too was told that his cast would be removed and he would be able to walk around soon, at first with a walker for a few days, then a walking stick and later in time he would be almost as fine he had been before. Over the next few days, John too was able to get around a bit with the help of a walker. He dragged himself to the window to see the cherry tree and the lake outside. However, what he saw outside was not flowers and a lake but just blank walls of an old dilapidated building, a narrow alley and all that could be seen in the alley was an open garbage dump to which some stray dogs would visit from time to time.

Harry had made up stories to make John happy and lift his depression.  In very many posts of this blog, it has been mentioned how things like violence, stealing, lust, anger, lies etc. are animal things and how humans must rise above such things in order to evolve and become better humans. Yet the Lord has left these tendencies in humans so that in exceptional circumstances, when the need arises, one may make use of these abilities. Thus anger and violence is at times necessary in self defense, lust is needed for procreations and a human may face an emergency where he would starve but for stealing a loaf of bread, and there are times such as described in the story when a lie may serve a good purpose.

The difficulty arises when anger and violence are used not as defense but for gain or self interest, when they are so out of control that they cause unnecessary and grave harm to another, lust not for procreation, not even as a part of love but mere physical pleasure even without mutual consent, stealing not in order to avoid collapse from hunger but to fill one’s coffers, and lying used not to help another but to increase ill gotten gains. These latter can only lead a human soul to misery and degenerating back into an animal body or worse.

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